Cliff Notes on the News

Cliff Notes on the News

Veteran San Diego news director and reporter Cliff Albert shares his thoughts on the latest news and stories each weekday at 12 noon.Full Bio


Study Blames "Alphabetism" for Lack of Success

You ready to add another “ism” to an already long list of “isms”?

The newest one is called “alphabetism.”  Researchers of a study done at the University of Colorado came up with it to describe what they found when it comes to a person’s last name and how it can affect their success.

They looked at data from a study of several thousand men from the time they graduated from high school.

The study found that those whose last name started with one of the beginning letters of the alphabet were more likely to see greater achievements, especially in school.

And the researchers found that those who always had to wait the longest to raise their hand during alphabetic roll calls faced more negative effects. As the co-author of the study put it, “If your name is at the end of the alphabet, you’re less likely to be identified by teachers as an outstanding student.”.

They say the effect on the success of the people in their study was seen mostly during their earlier years, including young adulthood, and then faded away later in life.

One researcher even referred to it as “alphabetic injustice.”

It’s unlikely anyone is going to change their last name because of this study, but don’t be surprised if there a few students who blame their lack of good grades on “alphabetism"


(Photo Getty Images)

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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