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Favorable evaluations of letters appearing in peoples' names were examined and found to vary according to a focus on the self versus others. Students described their personal preferences after thinking about either positive or negative qualities of themselves or a friend. Matches of consonant letters in preferences with consonants in first and last names was higher when the self-concept was challenged by an induced focus on negative personal traits, as well as when people thought about something of “theirs.” Thus, evidence of implicit egotism was seen when students thought (for good or for ill) of one of their self-chosen items, their best friend, or when they required a self-esteem boost, but not when they were focused on their own positive personal qualities. Results are discussed in terms of how name letter matching reflects a desire to keep a complimentary outlook about ourselves.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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