When you hear the names Betsy, Helen, Vivienne, Gladys and Mildred, do you immediately think of your granny? We sure do, and that’s because names go in and out of style. A popular name back in the day may not be what we’re naming our babies in 2014. But what drives these name trends? A new study suggests that standard computer keyboards do.
While it sounds a little farfetched, research proves that our society’s interaction with technology, specifically with a standard QWERTY keyboard, is very present in the names of newborns. Unconsciously, parents tend to select baby names that can be easily typed on the right side of a keyboard, like Imogen, Liam, Noah or Olivia. And because most of us are right-handed, it makes sense.
Daniel Casasanto, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, said that the phenomenon was discovered when 700 baby names were randomly selected from children born between the years 1960 and 2012. Since 1990, more and more names have been made up of letters to the right of T, G and B on a keyboard. Consequently, 1990 was around the time that computers became popular. Coincidence? Researchers think not.
We’ve heard a lot of different theories when it comes to newborn names. The Bible was a major source of inspo in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, some name their kids after brands like Timberland or Lexus and nowadays there’s the Disney Princess effect — not to mention the Katniss/Khaleesi effect. Is it really that crazy that our tech habits are subconsciously swaying these major decisions? Hey, as long as we don’t start relying on autocorrect to dub our new babe’s name :-X
So tell us: What year were you born? Do a majority of the letters that make up your name fall to the left or the right of the keyboard? Talk to us below!
(h/t Huffington Post)