People Really Do Look Like Their Names

Published January 13, 2018 37 Plays

Rumble A recent study had people look at a stranger’s face with the choice of five names. They correctly identified the man as “Dan” about 38 percent of the time. That’s greater than the 25 percent level of the chance. Amazing!

Researchers also found that people with the same names were more likely to share similar expressions around their eyes and mouths. Not only do our faces affect people’s social perceptions, but our names might also be shaping our faces. So, do you look like your name?

If you've ever caught yourself thinking, "She looks like a Jane," or "He doesn't look like a John," a new study may back up your instincts about whether people's names suit them. In fact, people often do "look like their names," perhaps especially those named Tom or Veronique, the research suggests.

Have you ever successfully guessed a stranger's name or told someone they "look like an Anne"? It's strange how well some people match their names. Research shows that people really can match strangers' names to their faces above chance level. It may be because Anne's face changes in response to a lifetime of being, well, Anne.

In addition, the findings also suggested that hairstyles play an important role in how easy it is for their names to be guessed correctly. In the first experiment, the researchers Photoshopped the hairstyle, ears and neck while the facial features were blurred. In the second experiment, only the facial features i.e. the eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks were clear, and the hairstyle and neck were digitally removed. The third set of images showed the full facial image, including hair and facial features.

However, the overall findings also revealed that the participants were able to best match the faces to the names when the faces they looked at came from within their own culture. Do you think your name matches your personality?