Who you marry could be influenced by your name -- here's why

Do opposites really attract?

Probably not.

There’s an idea among personality and social psychologists that people gravitate toward people, places, and things that resemble the self. This tendency is commonly referred to as “implicit egotism.”

As Melissa Burkley, a professor of social psychology at Oklahoma State University, points out in Psychology Today, we tend to be attracted to people who share our values, level of education, past experiences, and goals for the future.

And, according to research out of West Point and Columbia University, another trait we find attractive in others is how similar their names are to ours. This similarity activates people’s positive, automatic associations about themselves, the researchers write.

Using Census data and marriage records, the researchers found that people are disproportionately likely to marry others whose first or last names resemble their own.

“A wedding for Jesse Jefferson and Jennifer Jeffries may be just around the corner,” the authors write.

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