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Boys With Unpopular Names More Likely to Break Law

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posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:06 AM
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I found this interesting article in LiveScience:


Boys With Unpopular Names More Likely to Break Law

Boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than those named Ernest or Ivan.

David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania compared the first names of male juvenile delinquents to the first names of male juveniles in the population. The researchers constructed a popularity-name index (PNI) for each name. For example, the PNI for Michael is 100, the most frequently given name during the period. The PNI for David is 50, a name given half as frequently as Michael. The PNI is approximately 1 for names such as Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, and Malcolm.

Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity. The least popular names were associated with juvenile delinquency among both blacks and whites.

The findings, announced today, are detailed in the journal Social Science Quarterly.

While the names are likely not the cause of crime, the researchers argue that "they are connected to factors that increase the tendency to commit crime, such as a disadvantaged home environment, residence in a county with low socioeconomic status, and households run by one parent."

"Also, adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers, making it more difficult for them to form relationships," according to a statement released by the journal's publisher. "Juveniles with unpopular names may also act out because they consciously or unconsciously dislike their names."

The findings could help officials " identify individuals at high risk of committing or recommitting crime, leading to more effective and targeted intervention programs," the authors conclude.

www.livescience.com...

I remember an article in a Norwegian newspaper some years ago, where they presented a list of the 100 most notorious criminals in the country at that time. These were repeat offenders, and they had all had contact with the criminal justice system from a young age. The one thing that struck me then, was their names. Several of them were called Ron, Ronny, Glen, Johnny - names that are not typical Norwegian at all.

And who can forget the parents who called their little son Adolf Hitler...
www.thedailyjournal.com...

So I wonder - do "bad" parents really prefer certain names for their children? What are the mechanisms here...?





posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:09 AM
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I get from your post that the reason why many people break law is due to their names?


If many dont like their names, they can change it as per law. So, I think that will cure half of their problems.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:10 AM
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Interesting. I however dont agree with the research. I am not convinced that names are what makes a personality or causes a person to comit crimes.

True that a persons environment and perhaps how they were brought up or how they were treated by peers may have an impact on how the person acts later in life, but I dont believe that a mere name is the core of the reason why people do what they do.


Cheers!!!!

[edit on 4-2-2009 by RFBurns]



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:13 AM
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Ivan?





The Backpacker Murders is a name given to a serial killing case that occurred in New South Wales, Australia during the 1990s. The bodies of seven missing young people were discovered partly buried in the Belanglo State Forest, 15 kilometres south west of the town of Berrima, New South Wales. Five of the victims were international backpackers visiting Australia, and two were Australian travellers from Melbourne. Ivan Milat was convicted of the murders and is serving seven life sentences in prison.

en.wikipedia.org...

Interesting....



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:14 AM
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reply to post by peacejet
 


I understand what you mean, but when people change their names, the do it as adults, I believe. And then it is perhaps too late, if a name really can be such a burden and negative factor in a person's life?



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:15 AM
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Thats is indeed interesting. I bet those parents who named their kid Adolf are kicking themselves.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by RFBurns
True that a persons environment and perhaps how they were brought up or how they were treated by peers may have an impact on how the person acts later in life, but I dont believe that a mere name is the core of the reason why people do what they do.
[edit on 4-2-2009 by RFBurns]


I agree with you. It is the upbringing, the childhood enviroment that can damage a child. But I am still curious about why certain partents give their children names that obviously can be a burden. What are their motivations..?



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by ziggystar60
reply to post by peacejet
 


I understand what you mean, but when people change their names, the do it as adults, I believe. And then it is perhaps too late, if a name really can be such a burden and negative factor in a person's life?


I have seen many people changing their names at the age of 50.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:46 AM
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This research isn't really that revolutionary.

It was covered in one of my favourite books, freakon omics.

Personally I think its an inverse correlation. A person called "Mike" as opposed to "Kareem" isn't going to commit less crime. Its just that people with uncommon names are named thus because of their socio-economic background.

e.g. A girl called "Chardonnay" or "Candy"... unusual name- but is that what would cause her to be anti-social, or is it rather that her parents named her in that manner due to their socio-economic class?



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 07:03 AM
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I'd like to know more about this study. What was the size of the study group, for instance? And from what regions were the subjects taken? This sounds preposterous from the get-go, to be honest.

The study focused on juvenile delinquents. How do the findings compare to other types of crime? I immediately thought of the fact that virtually all American serial killers have had common first names (e.g., John, Ted, Robert, David).

While you may, according to the study's findings, want to be more aware of the delinquency of Kareems and Malcoms, I'll personally be more concerned about the brutality of the Garys and Richards of this world.

Or is that kind of ridiculous?



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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Originally posted by RFBurns
Interesting. I however dont agree with the research. I am not convinced that names are what makes a personality or causes a person to comit crimes.

True that a persons environment and perhaps how they were brought up or how they were treated by peers may have an impact on how the person acts later in life, but I dont believe that a mere name is the core of the reason why people do what they do.


Cheers!!!!

[edit on 4-2-2009 by RFBurns]



"Also, adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers, making it more difficult for them to form relationships," according to a statement released by the journal's publisher. "Juveniles with unpopular names may also act out because they consciously or unconsciously dislike their names."


I do believe that as a child, how your peers treat you impacts how you act but is not the sole determining factor of it. I also believe that how a child responds is, to some degree, a result of that child's environment. Children can be downright mean to each other, they may not realize how mean they're being or they may not care and it can be over something as little as being teased constantly about their name. The children who are receiving the meanness don't have they emotional maturity to be able to deal with it properly without the help of adults. That's why environment is so important. Parents, older siblings, etc... help a child understand different perspectives and different ways of dealing with the meanness. If a child doesn't have this support then they are prone to acting out and later, acting out in ways that'll get them thrown in jail.

[edit on 4/2/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

[edit on 4/2/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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Names are much more powerful than you think. Just look on ATS. You define yourself through your name. And names define your actions and how you think.

So, when people give their child a name, this name says a whole lot of things about them. Among other things the name of the child gives clues about what social status the family has. It gives clues about their creativity, how much they want to fit in, etc...

It's just an other indicator for more subtle things, just as clothes, pronounciation, mimics, taste etc...

Everything has deeper meanings



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 08:56 AM
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People really are that biased as to treat people different because of their name.If you had an unpopular name you would know this.humans are more biased and more stupid than they will ever admit.Most of you any way



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by paperplanes
I'd like to know more about this study. What was the size of the study group, for instance? And from what regions were the subjects taken? This sounds preposterous from the get-go, to be honest.


This is taken from the published study. Because of confidentiality concerns, the researchers signed an agreement not to disclose the identity of the state.


To test for a relationship between first names and juvenile delinquency, we use two data sets from a large state.1 The first data set provides the first names for all males born during the period 1987–1991. From this data set, we construct a popularity-name index (PNI) for each name. The PNI is then matched and assigned to each respective name in the juvenile delinquent data set. The PNI for the ith name is calculated as:



The PNI for Michael is 100, the most frequently given name during the period. The PNI for David is 50, a name given half as frequently as Michael. The PNI is approximately 1 for names such as Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, Malcolm, Preston, and Tyrell, indicating that Michael is 100 times more popular than these names.2 Overall, there are 15,012 different names in the data. We treat names that are spelled differently but sound the same as distinct names. Furthermore, we do not change names that could be perceived as misspelled since it is possible that the unique spellings are intentional (e.g., Adriaan, Kristofer, and Patric). It should be noted that this data set does not include any other information, such as the city or county of birth, surname, family structure, or parental sociodemographics.

The second data set consists of all persons in the state who were referred to a county's juvenile justice system for alleged delinquent offenses that were later substantiated during the period 1997–2005. For each delinquent, we have information on the juvenile's first name, last name, date of birth, sex, race, and family living arrangements. The data are for approximately half the state's counties for the period 1997–2005, with the population in these counties accounting for approximately 50 percent of the state's population in 2006. These data provide a representative mix of the state's urban and rural counties, and include the state's largest metropolitan area.


You can find the whole published study here:
www3.interscience.wiley.com...



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Interesting that that could be such an influence.
Personally however I suspect that parenting and social influence play a greater role.
That and kids a cruel little buggers - a fine reminder as to why humans are the most successful at being savage murderous buggers as compared to any other animal out there.

Ofc a person may legally change thier name - ah yes I remeber the case of that three year old that did so after reading ... oh hang on a second, any influence a name may have over the development and treatment of said child would have happened well before and after three years of age, not to mention the sheer lack of probabilty that any child would learn they could before any influence this could have would have been effective.

Assuming ofc anyone happens to sit back on day and say, hey you know, all this time I've been beating the hell out of random people, stealing and doing drugs - has all been because before I was born mum ran off from dad and decided to call me 'Fred'. Seems likely that.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by LeTan
Thats is indeed interesting. I bet those parents who named their kid Adolf are kicking themselves.


My grandfather's name was Adolfa before World War II. As soon as you know who came to power he changed it. Adolfa served in the U.S. Navy as a radioman during the Normandy invasion. He was the one that relayed the 'go' signal to a very anxious admiral. That invasion lead to the defeat of...guess who. I suppose you could say he was prone to lawlessness and delinquency because of his name, but according to the military, he was worthy of a 21 gun salute at his funeral.

[edit on 4-2-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


Interesting also to see how "normal" names can be tainted, like "Adolf" was. Luckily the name was still perfectly acceptable when your grandfather was a kid, so he did't grow up with any kind of stigma attached to his name.

Adolf was also a name like any other here in Norway one time - before WWII. But it sure would raise some eyebrows if anyone named their son Adolf today. Especially since Norway was occupied by the nazis during the war.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by ziggystar60
Interesting also to see how "normal" names can be tainted, like "Adolf" was. Luckily the name was still perfectly acceptable when your grandfather was a kid, so he did't grow up with any kind of stigma attached to his name.


On the contrary, he was an Italian lad growing up in Chicago in the 20's and 30's. The name alone was worth a pounding. Same goes for the Irish and Scots in the early 1900's. My spouse's ancestor had the "Mac" part of the Scottish name dropped when arriving in America. My grandfather's last name sounds like pasta surely. I took some heat growing up but not nearly as much as he did. Oh, I'm also a psychopathic biochemist apparently. Any idea how many scientists in my office have 'unusual' names? I've two bosses, one has an Egyptian name, the other Phillippino. Other names represented are from Ghana, Nigeria, China, India, and Costa Rica. Sure, we have some "John Williams" names as well.


Originally posted by ziggystar60
Adolf was also a name like any other here in Norway one time - before WWII. But it sure would raise some eyebrows if anyone named their son Adolf today. Especially since Norway was occupied by the nazis during the war.


It was a 'spite against society' move, I remember reading the story but had it been for a legit reason then perhaps we haven't come as far from Martin Luther King's day as I hoped. Mr. King did a lot for all minorities (Italians included) no matter what name they may bear.

[edit on 4-2-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:35 PM
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This is an interesting correlation, though I'm inclined to agree with 44soulslayer that it's more a matter of children from certain socio-economic environments both being more likely to have an "unpopular" name and more likely to be delinquent teens.

I forget who said it, but I would also be interested to see if this carries over into more serious criminal activity – for example, if juvenile delinquents with uncommon names are more likely to move on into adult violent crime than their fellow delinquents with common names. I would guess not.

It occurs to me to wonder also if kids with unpopular names are in some cases being named more for their parents' benefit than for their own. Not to say that all parents don't to a certain extent project their unfulfilled dreams on their children, but perhaps in some cases it reflects an insecurity on the part of the parents that could carry over into their parenting abilities also.

Finally, I wonder if this will change at all as naming trends change. As an example, it seems to have become a trend for a while now in the urban black communities to name your child with a combination of part of the mother's name and part of the father's name (I think I read once that it's based on an old African tradition but not sure about that).

The result is an almost infinite variety of individual names that nevertheless follow a socially dictated and approved formula – an exception to the common vs. uncommon dichotomy that could shed light on what the actual causality could be in the correlations.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


How about Gaylord Focker? I would say this guy would end up murdering his parents first, and then possibly turn into another Adolf Hitler (he always did look kinda gay to me)... unless, of course, he would happen to have been born gay, in which case he would be outta the closet before he was really ready.



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