Jack and Ava have been revealed as the naughtiest names amongst children in Scotland, whilst children named Arthur and Olivia are considered to be the most well behaved, according to new research amongst children, parents and teachers in the country.
All those surveyed agreed that Jacks are the most likely to misbehave in the country, with over a quarter of those researched claiming children with the moniker are the naughtiest. Teachers in Scotland also admit to expecting them to be unkind to their classmates.
For girls, it’s Avas that teachers and parents associate most strongly with mischief, although girls’ names generally are considered to be less naughty than boys’ names. Ava ranks at number four on the complete list, behind three boys’ names.
When it comes to well behaved children, boys named Arthur top the list in Scotland, according to the research commissioned by My Nametags.
It’s Olivia that comes out on top of the behaviour chart for girls, with just 2% of those surveyed expecting children with this name to be misbehaved.
Girls named Olivia are also considered to be quietest in the class, with their peers agreeing children with this name tend to be amongst the most reserved.
By contrast, girls named Emily are seen as the most confident children in the country, with none of the children surveyed considering them to be quiet. For boys, it’s Muhammads who are assumed to be the chattiest.
Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Scientist, Linda Blair, explains why these stereotypes exist: “In today’s information-rich world, we’re exposed to far more data than we can deal with at any given moment.
“To help sort through this avalanche, we form stereotypes about what people will be like based on only a few easily obtained facts such as facial expression, body posture and a person’s name.
“Rather than making judgments about others scientifically – taking a dispassionate look at everyone called Noah or Isabella, for example – we create our stereotypes using just the people we know, as well as those we think we know via social and other media.
“Once we’ve formed a stereotype, it becomes fixed in our minds because of a phenomenon known as ‘confirmatory bias’.
“This is when we look for and remember people who match up to the stereotype we’ve formed, while at the same time ignoring information that doesn’t fit. This is why we become so convinced our stereotypes are correct.
“For popular names, these stereotypes are likely to be at the forefront of our minds because most of us will already know or have read about someone called Jack, Harry or Emily – and we’re quite likely to meet more of them.”
The study, which analysed the opinions of 1,500 teachers, children and parents in the UK, found that Brits are quick to make assumptions about a child based on their first name, with strong stereotypes associated with each of the names featured in this year’s top 20 baby names list.
The national results found that children named George are considered by both adults and their peers to be the most intelligent in class, with over one in 10 believing this is the most intellectual name from this year’s top 10 boys names list.
They also associated it with kindness, with teachers and children regarding boys named George as kind-hearted.
According to teachers, Isabella tops the list for girls when it comes to intelligence. However, children’s attitudes of Isabellas differ drastically, with over one in 10 children assuming those named Isabella will be spoilt, based on their first name alone.
For boys, its Harrys that children expect to be spoilt, whereas teachers consider those named Oliver to be the most indulged.
Lars B. Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, said: “We know that there are strong stereotypes attached to names and that someone’s first name can really paint a picture of what they are like.
“It was interesting to discover that these stereotypes are formed from a young age, with children and adults quick to make judgements about children based on their first name alone.
“These beliefs can make the difficult task of naming a child even more challenging, but we hope that our research will help give expectant parents an insight into society’s opinions of the most popular boys and girls names in the UK right now.”
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