martes, noviembre 13, 2007

Usted tiene cara de llamarse Manuel

¿Alguna vez han escuchado alguna frase del estilo "es que ese nombre no le paga con esa cara"? Lo que podía parecer absurdo, puede que tenga razón de ser:
Who do you look like? Evidence of facial stereotypes for male names¹

[De la introducción]

Choosing a name for a forthcoming baby occupies a good deal of time for most expectant parents. Many worry about things like how their child’s name will shape the future opportunities of the child, or how susceptible to teasing the name renders the child (Satran & Rosenkrantz, 2004). Few worry about whether the name will provoke a facial stereotype in the minds of others (hmm . . . he doesn’t look like a “Bob”), but, as the present research suggests, this may be yet another potential worry to have when one selects a name for one’s progeny. This is an especially provocative suggestion as names are usually chosen before or immediately after birth, certainly before any knowledge becomes available of what the child may look like when they are adults.

That names can provoke stereotypes in terms of personality is not a particularly new observation in the realm of social psychology. People associate a given name with certain characteristics, such as ethicality, success (see, e.g., Bruning, Polinko, & Buckingham, 1998; Mehrabian, 2001), gender (Kasof, 1993), and ethnicity (Maclin & Melpass, 2001). It has also been shown that certain facial characteristics are associated with personality traits (Shevlin, Walker, Davies, Banyard, & Lewis, 2003), desirability (Goldstein, Chance, & Gilbert, 1984), gender (Perrett et al., 1998), and race (Lindsay, Jack, & Christian, 1991). What we have not yet documented is that certain faces seem to go with certain names, and vice versa.

[El resumen]

The present research provides evidence that people use facial prototypes when they encounter different names. In Experiment 1, participants created face exemplars for fifteen common male names, subsets of which were endorsed as good examples by a second set of participants. These most typical faces were morphed to create face– name prototypes. In Experiment 2, participants matched one of the names to each of the prototype faces from Experiment 1. Participants’ matching choices showed convergence in naming the prototypes for many of the names. Experiment 3 utilized these same prototypes in a learning task designed to investigate if the face–name associations revealed in Experiment 2 impacted the learnability of the names. Participants learned face–name pairings that had a higher association (based on frequencies from Experiment 2) faster than pairings with a low association. Results suggest a more direct relationship between faces and names than has been previously proposed.
En castellano. Los participantes pudieron construir caras que correspondieran a Pepes, Manolos, Carlos... Cuando se pidió a nuevas personas que unieran esas caras con los nombres, les dieron el nombre 'correcto' en una proporción apreciable de casos, más de los que se habría encontrado si hubieran respondido al azar. Por último, cuando a dos nuevos grupos participantes se les presentaron las caras junto a nombres, aquellos que recibieron el emparejamiento descubierto antes (los Pacos asociados a cara de Paco) aprendieron mejor la relación entre nombres y caras que aquellos a los que se les dio un emparejamiento distinto (el nombre de Paco dado a una cara de Manolo).

Qué cosas...

¹ Lea, M. A, Thomas, R. D., Lamkin, N. A., & Bell, A. (2007). Who do you look like? Evidence of facial stereotypes for male names. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 901-907.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario