Can trends in baby’s names foreshadow major social events? (new study)

“Before 1992, the names ‘Hillary’ and ‘Hilary’ had been increasing in popularity for several decades. After 1992, however, their popularity dropped suddenly 10-fold.”

– explains Stefano Ghirlanda who is Professor of Psychology, Biology, and Anthropology, Brooklyn College, CUNY, and Founder and fellow, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Stockholm University. With this in mind, he writes, in the current issue of Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution regarding his thesis that : ‘Trends in First Names Foreshadowed Hillary Clinton’s Electoral Defeat’ 

“I examine trends in the popularity of first names around the years of USA presidential elections, showing that the names ‘Hillary’ and ‘Hilary’ decreased abruptly by more than 90% in popularity following the 1992 election of Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill. I show that this outcome is unique to the 1992 election, and argue that it may evidence a “dislike” for Hillary Clinton’s public image among both Democratic and Republican voters, which may have eventually contributed to Hillary Clinton’s losing the 2016 presidential election.”

Bonus Task [optional]: At the time of writing, according to the US Govt. baby names database, the most popular boy’s name is ‘Noah’. What, if anything may be inferred?

Update Note: Professor Ghirlanda was co-recipient of the 2003 Ig Nobel prize for INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH (along with Liselotte Jansson, and Magnus Enquist of Stockholm University), for their inevitable report “Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans.”

 

 

 

 

7 Responses to “Can trends in baby’s names foreshadow major social events? (new study)”

  1. Michael Shea, MD Says:

    I’m not at all surprised. But another interpretation of the data seems reasonable, and that is that Hillary Clinton lost the election because of her name. For me, the name Hillary brings forth images of annoyingly “liberated” high-maintenance females who seek power, find fault, and never smile.

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