Wednesday, February 2, 2011


William Brafford sends along a link to this Slate article.

Carlson and Conard break new ground by measuring not the immediate but rather the long-term effect of having a surname at the alphabet's end, and how that, in turn, affects buying patterns. Their working hypothesis is that "[R]epeated delays imposed on children whose last names are late in the alphabet create in those individuals a chronic expediency motive that is automatically activated" by limited-time offers to buy stuff. In effect, Carlson and Conard believe the R-to-Z set will prove easier prey for "act now!" marketing pitches than the A-to-I set.

Which is to say that they have shorter time horizons.

This explains Steinglass, Taibbi, and, as William wrote in the email, Yglesias. Perhaps FLG should study whether liberals have a statistically significant bias in their surnames.

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