The Strange Ways Your Name Influences Your Behavior

04/01/2015 08:17 am ET | Updated May 14, 2015

Our given names influence our lives in all sorts of strange ways, affecting everything from where we choose to live to what we do for a living. That's the takeaway of a fascinating new video from PBS Digital Studios' BrainCraft series (above).

"We write our names thousands of times throughout our lives," science reporter Vanessa Hill explains in the video. "The more we are merely exposed to something, like those letters, the more we like them."

It seems we tend to pick cities whose names sound like our own. Phils, for example, often gravitate to Philadelphia. Virginias are overrepresented in Virginia Beach.

The same works for our occupations, according to the video. The ranks of dentists, for example, include more Dennises and Denises than you might expect.

Lauries, Lawrences and Laurens? Those names are especially common among -- you guessed it -- lawyers.

Scientists call this strange phenomenon "implicit egotism." But what explains it? Most people have positive self-associations, and by extension anything associated with the self -- even phonetically -- is seen as positive too.

Now you know!

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