Tag Archive for: implicit egotism

Call it Implicit Egotism or I Like Me

Call it implicit egotism or I like me, most of us like things that are like us. According to Wikipedia, implicit egotism is “is the hypothesis that humans have an unconscious preference for things they associate with themselves.” I was reminded of this recently as I listened to the NPR podcast The Hidden Brain. The episode from October 2017 that got me thinking about this again was called What’s In It For Me?

When I first learned about implicit egotism many years ago I started collecting all the “coincidences” that come with people’s names and their effect on choice of career or partner. Below is my growing list. I think you’ll find some are quite humorous.

Let’s start with the proctologist named Dr. Ransbottom. If your bottom is sore he’d be the right guy to see.

When a good friend’s daughter was on the swim team I learned her coach was Jim Peterfish. Who’d have guessed someone with fish in their name would be into swimming?

The person who sold us our marble countertops years ago was named Dan Mason. Only someone named Stone could have done better.

My friend Michael Franzese has two favorite artists; Michael Angelo and Frank Frazetta. Michael and Michael may not be too uncommon but you can’t get much closer to Franzese than Frazetta!

On a news program I found out Dr. Lawrence Bone is an orthopedic surgeon in Buffalo, NY. You might say he’s the person to see for a good break.

James Float was an Olympic gold medalist in the 4×200 freestyle swimming event at the 1984 Olympics. Apparently, he does more than just float when he’s in the pool.

I don’t know Nicci Sprouse personally but found it quite interesting that she was President and co-founder of The Dating League. In other words, Sprouse helped people find a spouse.

I met Horace Henriot at a networking event. I thought it quite coincidental that he was a polo teacher. Why? Because Horace works with horses.

Robert Cialdini goes by Bob with friends. Is it totally random that he’s married to Bobette? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

Richard D. Fairbank was the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Capital One Financial Corporation. I wonder if anyone knew early on that Fairbank would start something so similar to a bank when he grew up.

Former Alaskan Air CEO was Bill Ayers. Come on now! I guess his head was in the clouds from a young age.

Ronald Reagan’s press secretary at one time was Larry Speakes. If you want someone to speak on your behalf you might as well get someone who truly lives it.

Marcus Webb was the director of The Amazing Spiderman. Perhaps Spiderman isn’t the only person who can spin a web.

Steve Ruble is an accounting manager for the company I work for. In case you don’t know it, the ruble is a form of Russian currency. Steve was destined to work with money.

And here’s the craziest one…as far as I’m concerned. My daughter is Abigail Ahearn. She’s dating Tyler Ahearn. What?!? Don’t worry, they were friends for years before they started dating and during that time checked ancestral records to see if there were related. Fortunately, there’s no relation as far back as they could go. If they were to get married their kids won’t have three eyes or 12 toes and best of all, my surname would continue on.

This is lighthearted but is there anything that can help you by knowing this? Yes, two things come to mind. First, when you’re drawn to someone or something and you notice a funny coincidence about names, pause and consider whether you really want the job or relationship or are you being drawn in because of implicit egotism.

My second bit of advice goes to you as a persuader. If you notice you have something that connects you and the other person or job, mention it. While implicit egotism usually happens at the subconscious level, making the connection for people will probably help and get a chuckle. Here are a few examples:

  • “Yes, my name is Bill and that’s why I think I would do well in billing and collections.”
  • “I guess you could say Sue is the perfect name for a prosecuting attorney.”
  • “With names like Patrick and Patricia it’s almost as if we were meant to be!”

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at InfluencePEOPLEand Learning Director for State Auto Insurance. His Lynda.com course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed nearly 135,000 times! Watch it and you’ll learn how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process.

Franzese or Frazetta: Do Names Really Matter?

I had a post all ready to go for this week but then I got really inspired by a friend, Michael Franzese. If that name sounds familiar it’s because you might have seen his drawing and recall that I mentioned him in my post three weeks ago titled, “Is Persuasion Manipulation?” He drew the picture of one man manipulating, wrestling the other to the ground.

Michael and I went to high school together but I feel like I know him much better now because of Facebook and his blog. He starting writing a blog called Franzeseinklings with the goal of 100 barbarian drawings and posts in 100 days. During my bodybuilding days in the ‘80s I was into Conan the Barbarian because of Arnold Schwarzenegger but other than that didn’t have much interest in those guys. But, after seeing Michael’s work and reading his posts I became a fan. You have to check him out because the artwork is very cool and I get a kick out of reading his posts each day. As you might guess, all of this week’s artwork is Michael’s doing.

So what’s Franzeseinklings have to do with influence? In his September 8 post, Michael mentioned his favorite illustrator, “the great Frank Frazetta.” He wrote about getting to meet the man he considered a hero. Take another look at that name — Frazetta. Looks a lot like Franzese doesn’t it? Could that be some of the attraction for Franzese to Frazetta’s artwork?

I shot an email over to Michael with an article from the Inside Influence Report that detailed the phenomenon of names then called him to talk about this post. He said the more he thought about it and how his mind worked the more he thought it was probably true. He said another of his favorite artists is Michelangelo. Michael likes Michelangelo…hmm, see a trend here?

I can’t take credit for anything other than being alert when it comes to this name thing. If you pick up a copy of Yes! 50 Scientifically Prove Ways to Be Persuasive, you can read about all this name stuff in chapters 29 and 30. Here’s the basic gist — we tend to like people with names that look or sound similar to our own. The psychological term for that is “implicit egotism.” After all, how could someone with your name be some kind of jerk?
Can you think of a time when you met someone with your same name where you instantly liked them? I sure can! We might joke about it being due to the name but it’s no joke because there are statistics to back up that claim.
Here’s another thing worth mentioning, not only do we like them; it makes us more compliant when they ask us to do things. So your name is Carlos and the salesman is Karl, what difference does that really make? Statistically Carlos will probably buy more from Karl than he would from Pete or Bill or someone else with a name that’s not similar because he feels a connection when implicit egotism is at work.
This is more than just names and people; it extends to things like where you live, the company you work for and the career you choose. Statistically Dennis is more likely to become a dentist than Jerry or Walter. If you doubt that pick up Yes! 50 Scientifically Prove Ways to Be Persuasive, turn to page 128 and read about the study for yourself. I’m not saying everyone named Dennis is destined to be a dentist anymore than Lawrence will become a lawyer or Mary will live in Marysville but they have a higher likelihood of that happening than people with names wholly unrelated to those professions or places.
Believe me, when Jane and I were looking for new countertops, it didn’t escape my notice that the salesman’s name was Dan Mason. I kid you not; Dan Mason worked as a salesman for a company that sold marble countertops. Oh gee, what a coincidence!
One more story to illustrate the point; Scott, the guy who gives my wife golf lessons (great instructor, you should see her game!) worked at a driving range alongside his ex-wife Pia. Not many people could work with their former spouse but Scott and Pia got along great. In fact, they’d both tell you they get along better as friends than they did as spouses. As I got to know Scott I noticed he drove a Kia. Do you see where I’m going with this? I told him about the name study and said, “I see you drive a Kia and your ex-wife’s name is Pia. I think there’s still something there.” He insisted there wasn’t and a week later the Kia was gone and Scott was driving a Hyundai. Point made!
Most people will insist there’s nothing to this but that’s because this is all going on in the subconscious. The statistics don’t lie and neither did your grade school teacher so I’ll end with a song many of you probably sang as youngsters. It’s about two friends with the same name.
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,

His name is my name too.
Whenever we go out,

The people always shout,
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.
Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah
One last thing, give Franzeseinklings a look and follow.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”