A new study has revealed your first name could influence the way others see you — and your ability to do your job.
The research, conducted by Leonard Newman at Syracuse University in New York, involved asking 500 students to rate their reactions to 400 common names.
The students were given the names, and then asked how competent, warm and old they imagined the person to be, reports news.com.au.
Dr Newman told New Scientist the research revealed some ingrained sexist attitudes, with many female names — such as Mia, Melody and Hannah — seen as warmer but less competent than their male counterparts.
On the flip side, many names associated with less warmth but greater competence were male, such as Howard, Lawrence and Reginald.
"The results reflected gender stereotypes," Dr Newman told the publication.
The research also found some names to be more strongly associated with age, with people sporting monikers such as Betty and Bruce considered to be older than those with names like Brittney and Brad.
While trendy names gave a clear indication of the age of the owner, traditional names do not.
"If you give your child a fashionable name for the time, it might date them," Dr Newman said.
"The only way around it is to choose a name that never seems to go out of style, like David or Michael."
Dr Newman said the use of fictional names in psychological experiments could potentially be skewed by the names chosen.
He pointed to an experiment conducted in the 1960s, which asked participants to mark identical essays, with half attributed to a "John" while the rest were said to be written by a "Joan".
Joan's essay received a lower mark overall, which was attributed to sexism — however, Dr Newman said as Joan was perceived as an older person's name, it could instead be the result of ageism.
Dr Newman told New Scientist that while race, gender and age apparently affected name bias, unusual names do not necessarily stop people from getting ahead in life.
"Many years ago, my parents came to visit me in Chicago and I pointed out signs for a local politician who was running," Dr Newman said.
"I told them, 'He's very appealing, he's going to go far,' and they laughed at me and said, 'I don't think he'll go very far in American politics with a name like Barack Hussein Obama.' Obviously, they were wrong, and there are clearly more important things than names."
WARM, COMPETENT NAMES:
Ann, Anna, Caroline, Daniel, David, Elizabeth, Emily, Emma, Evelyn, Felicia, Grace, James, Jennifer, John, Jonathan, Julie, Kathleen, Madeline, Mark, Mary, Matthew, Michael, Michelle, Natalie, Nicholas, Noah, Olivia, Paul, Rachel, Samantha, Sarah, Sophia, Stephen, Susan, Thomas, William
WARM, LESS COMPETENT NAMES:
Hailey, Hannah, Jesse, Kellie, Melody, Mia
COMPETENT, LESS WARM NAMES:
Arnold, Gerard, Herbert, Howard, Lawrence, Norman, Reginald, Stuart
NAMES OF LOW WARMTH AND COMPETENCE:
Alvin, Brent, Bryce, Cheyenne, Colby, Crystal, Dana, Darrell, Devon, Dominic, Dominique, Duane, Erin, Larry, Leslie, Lonnie, Malachi, Marcia, Marco, Mercedes, Omar, Regina, Rex, Roy, Tracy, Trenton, Vicki, Whitney