YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the
health world

Last names and buying habits: How these researchers explain the connection

January 21, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty…)

Here's a strange twist on the name game: The surname you had as a kid might influence your shopping habits, a new study says.

The Hartford Courant's Give 'em Health blog writes about a study that links the letter of your last name to how quickly you respond to a sale or other consumer come-on. The post says:

"If your name is, for instance, Zywiec, chances are that you've spent a lot of time waiting for things that go in alphabetical order. So when something comes along that isn't determined by the alphabet, you take full advantage of the situation."

The authors even have a name for this. The abstract says:

"We dub this the last name effect, and we propose that it stems from childhood ordering structures that put children with different names in different positions in lines." Read the abstract here.

Maybe ... perhaps those whose last names start with "Z" should let us know whether this has proved true for them.

In the meantime, note the authors' surnames are Carlson and Conard. Likely they didn't have to wait in line too much.

Los Angeles Times Articles