Thursday, January 29, 2009
Don't Have a Cow, It's Just a Name
On the very first inside page of the Express paper yesterday, I read that boys with names like Ernest or Ivan are more likely to commit crimes, while those who are named David or Michael far less likely to become criminals.
Then a few pages later, I read that cows with names like Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce milk that cows with no names.
Is there any correlation? If you name your son Gertrude will he be more productive? Is a cow named Ivan more likely to kick over a bucket of freshly-squeezed milk?
These studies are all well and good, but they look for patterns that may or may not exist. It is likely that cows with names like being called by these names and maybe treated more affectionately, so they produce more.
The name article about humans concluded that it is not only names, but also household income and being raised by a single mother that make a boy more likely to be criminal. The study said it found this to be true whether the kids were black or white...but I just feel that they picked names like "Ivan" and "Ernest" for examples to try to avoid being accused of being stereotypical, since technically, someone from any background could give their kids these "uncommon" names.
Even the Freakonomics guy was doubtful: Do Uncommon Names Turn Kids Into Criminals?