-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The first letter of your
childhood surname may influence your consumer behavior as an adult,
according to a new study.
U.S. researchers examined how fast adults responded to
opportunities to buy items they wanted, and they found that those
with childhood last names that began with a letter that appeared
later in the alphabet tended to be the quickest purchasers.
However, this effect wasn't seen with surnames that had changed
because of marriage.
The study will be published in the August issue of the
Journal of Consumer Research.
Children with last names that begin with letters that appear
later in the alphabet are often at the end of lines or at the back
of the class, noted researchers Kurt A. Carlson of Georgetown
University and Jacqueline M. Conard of Belmont University.
"The idea holds that children develop time-dependent responses based on the treatment they receive," the researchers wrote in a journal news release. "In an effort to account for these inequities, children late in the alphabet will move quickly when last name isn't a factor; they will 'buy early.'"
"Likewise, those with last names early in the alphabet will be so accustomed to being first that individual opportunities to make a purchase won't matter very much; they will 'buy late,'" they added.
The researchers concluded that whether "late alphabet consumers"
are heading toward a clearance sale, finding a seat to hear live
music, or shopping for produce at a farmers' market, they want to
make sure they're the first in line.
To learn more about U.S. buying habits, visit the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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