Name and Profession - A Positive Correlation

May 19, 2011
Posted by Jay Livingston

I’ve known for a long time that the brains behind Playboy’s marketing strategy, especially in its early decades, was a sociologist – A. C. Spectorsky (in 1955, he coined the term exurb in his book The Exurbanites). Now, thanks to Scott McLemee’s Inside Higher Ed review of a new book about Playboy, I learn that the A.C. stood for Auguste Comte.

Elsewhere in this blog, I’ve been skeptical about the influence of names – the research purporting to show that batters whose names begin with K are more likely to strike out, that students with D-names get lower grades than do A-name students, that women named Laura are more likely to become lawyers and men named Dennis dentists, or that boys named Tennyson are more likely to go to college in Tennessee. (The posts are here and here .)

But now with A.C., I may have to rethink this name thing.

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