Lindsey Sirera
March 04, 2017 6:40 am

What’s in a name? Apparently, a whole lot of science! Researchers now believe there’s a link between many common names and the personality traits that may (or may not) go along with them, according to a study in the Journal of Personality and Psychology. Translation: Your name might (key phrase: might) affect your personality.

In the study, researchers predicted that certain names bring to mind certain characteristics, and that those characteristics might allow people to accurately guess a person’s name. Which, you know, would make running into people you’ve already met but whose names you’ve forgotten way less awkward.

We’ll paint a picture to illustrate this concept a little better (and less scientifically) for you, here. Are you a shoe-a-holic who lives and breathes fashion, footwear, and men? You’re such a Carrie. Are you a type-A workaholic with loads of success? You must be a Miranda. Are you a prim-and-proper Park Avenue princess? Charlotte-alert! Is Cosmopolitan‘s newest red-hot read practically inspired by you and your latest beau? Oh, you Samantha, you!

Okay, cheesy Sex and the City examples aside, this study basically says that if you’re given a list of names and faces, you’ll be able to match more of them correctly than pure chance would allow. This phenomenon only held true when people matched names and faces from their own culture, however. So an American probably wouldn’t have the same success matching American names and faces as she might with Swahili names and faces.

Nicknamed “the Dorian Gray effect” for its ability to paint a portrait of names and personality traits, the findings even suggest that these name-trait patterns might even help computer algorithms more accurately match faces to names. Which makes Facebook’s auto-tagging abilities seem way cooler, and a little bit creepier at the same time.

Now for our two cents: While this phenomenon is super cool, don’t put too much weight in it.

Because whether you’re a Carrie, a Miranda or whatever name you want yours to be, you just do you, girl.