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Published:May 12th, 2014 12:57 EST
Does Using a Middle Initial in your Name Really Make you Seem Smarter?

Does Using a Middle Initial in your Name Really Make you Seem Smarter?

By Ron G Anselm

"It`s really amazing how the human mind works; the engineered stricter of areas of synopsis, electrical impulses and highways and byways inside the human brain make it a pathway to mystery especially when it comes to intellectual science." (Anselm, R.)

And it really is amazing how the human minds work. We see it every day from listening to someone`s opinion about something or a fact of stereotyping by another person make us visualize and evaluate how we tend to think of various things we come in contact with in life.

One tidbit of science I just read about if how putting a middle initial in your name makes you look smarter to people. I guess this is probably just an opinion but maybe it is just an observation when someone reads a person`s name with a middle initial present they subconsciously think of that person with a higher being of intelligence.

Recently, Psychologists Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg and Eric R. Igou (ahem) published a paper in the European Journal of Social Psychology that argued, the display of middle initials increases positive evaluations of people`s intellectual capacities and achievements. " (Popular Science, 2014)

This to me would seem like a subconscious evaluation by someone that may see a middle initial being used in a person`s name to think to themselves and form an opinion that that person is smarter than someone who does not use a middle initial in their name. In others words, it`s that person personal opinion but in science nothing is fact until fully evaluated.

With that last thought, in a recent study performed at the University of Limerick presented forty-eight students consisting of twelve men and thirty-six women with four organizations that are associated with intellectual performance (exp. the International Research Council) and four other organizations that are not associated with intellectual performance (exp. The Karaoke Club) the participants indicated whether they expected a person with say the name of David F. P. R. Smith to use his or her middle initials when presenting their name and the participants also indicated on a scale of one to seven if that person did use their middle initials when presenting their name was perceived to be smarter than the others in the group who did not use their middle initials when presenting their name.

Of course you know the outcome, yes the group`s overall opinions were that if a person uses their middle initials when presenting their name they were thought to have a higher intelligence than the ones that do not use their middle initials in their name.   

The study also added that someone who uses their initials in their name to be more admired, smarter of course, respected and have a higher learning capacity than the ones that do not use their middle initials.

Like I said in the beginning of this article, it`s funny how our minds work because if you think about this research and how the overall study came out this to me is stereotyping. You can`t judge someone on any level in my opinion until you actually meet this person. Looks do not define a person in any way; using middle initials in their name do not in all fairness define a person`s intelligence, etc.

No one is better or smarter than anyone else in my opinion and that`s the main downfall in people is that most people do tend to stereotype another person before they actually meet that person and can then form an opinion about them when they really get to know them as a human being.

But of course this is interesting. And in science just like when dealing with people anything and everything is possible with intellectual science or fact science. Dealing with people is the same to me as opening your first Christmas present you just received from your old Aunt Sally or your long time since you saw them, Uncle Carl (so to speak) you never know what you are going to get.


Yang, I., Popular Science, Middle Initials Make You Seem Smarter, (

     Retrieved 2014.

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