Georgetown professor pioneers the “last name effect”
The first letter of your last name may determine your response time to limited buying opportunities as adults, according to findings by Georgetown professor Kurt Carlson. Along with Jacqueline Conrad of Belmont University, Carlson was able to produce evidence for the “last name effect,” as published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The pair’s method was to email participants with a limited-time offer for tickets to an exclusive basketball game, and clock their response time. Those with last names near the end of the alphabet responded faster to the offer than those with names in the first part of the alphabet.
They hypothesize that we are trained as kids to compensate for being at the end of a line, and often lines are formed alphabetically.
Critics of this paper have been vocal, but Carlson isn’t worried. “No study is perfect,” Carlson told The Wall Street Journal . “But my co-author’s maiden name is Yates and she jumped at the chance to work on this paper immediately.”