Mr. Py’s progress

Interest in Nominative Determinism (ND) goes back, some say, for millennia, and the most recent ND research has just been revealed in the latest (March 2011) edition of  the scholarly publication Names: A Journal of Onomastics.
Professor Nicolas Guéguen (see: Improbable Research, passim [1] [2] &etc) and colleague Alexandre Pascual, investigated the effect of a symbolic connation associated with a surname, thus :

“…Several ads offering private math lessons for pupils were published in various local French newspapers. The surname of the professor in mathematics who offered his help was manipulated according to the experimental conditions: Mr Py a surname that sounds like the famous mathematical constant (Pi) was compared with Mr Rie a name with the same frequency and vowel sound but who was not associated with any symbol or professional connotation…“

As a result of the faux ads, Mr Py received more phone contacts for his pretend math lessons than did the other non-mathematically named advertisers. Leading to the conclusion -

“Results provide some support that symbolic connotations associated with surname and a professional function has implications on people’s behavior toward their owner.”

The paper can be found here: Mr “Py” is Probably a Good Mathematician: An Experimental Study of the Subjective Attractiveness of Family Names
UPCOMING BONUS: More new Guéguen research will be presented, here, soon.