Your name and face shape could determine how likeable you are

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Emily Reynolds

How likeable you are is generally considered to be down to a complex range of things – how often you get a round in, for example, or how often you screenshot incriminating Snapchat Stories.

But there might actually be an easier way of working out how likeable you are – and it’s all down to how you look and what your name is.

In a technique outlined by Ben Ambridge in the Guardian, assigning numbers to the letters in your name and your face could give you a good indication of how other people see you. 

The technique is as follows:

  • If your face is angular, give yourself 3 points; if it’s round give yourself 1. If it’s somewhere inbetween give yourself 2. 
  • You then measure your name by scoring points according to the following vowels: a = 2, e = 3, i = 3, o = 1, u = 1.  You then “take the average” of this score –if your name was ‘Samuel’, for example ([a = 2 + e = 3 + u = 1] ÷ 3), would have a score of 2.
  • Next, you subtract the smaller number from the larger – if your face is angular (3) and your name score was 2, your overall score would be 1. 
  • The closer to zero the number is? The more likeable you are.

It’s all down to the way we perceive certain words, apparently –  the so-called ‘bouba/kiki effect’. In studies, participants were found to consistently pair the nonsense word ‘bouba’ with drawings of round objects or shapes; ‘kiki’ was, similarly, paired with ‘spiky’ or angular drawings. More recently, a study from the University of Otago in New Zealand found that people who have a ‘round’ sounding name and a round face are seen as far more likeable. 

In other words, we perceive certain sounds to have ‘shapes’ or forms – so if your name ‘matches’ your appearance, you’re perceived to be more likeable than someone whose name fails to match the way they look. If your name is Tom and you have a round face? You’re probably pretty likeable.

Same face and called ‘Jim’? Bad luck, mate. 


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Emily Reynolds

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