x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Women with long names do better at university

What's in a name? A psychologist at Zayed University has found that for female students, the answer appears to be "academic success".

What's in a name? A psychologist at Zayed University has found that for female students, the answer appears to be "academic success". Justin Thomas analysed the exam scores of more than 2,500 female students from the university's Abu Dhabi and Dubai campuses, to explore the relationship between the length of their names and their grade point average (GPA). "To my admitted surprise I found what we call 'a significant positive correlation'," he said. "This basically means that there was a general trend for longer names to be associated with higher GPAs.

"This finding was statistically significant to the level p .001, which is geekspeak for, 'We are 99.99 per cent certain that this is not just a chance occurrence.'" But, he warned, there were plenty of exceptions. Not all long-named women had high GPAs. Dr Thomas said he suspected the reason for the correlation could like lie in the Islamic concept of "nasab", typically translated as lineage or genealogy.

He suggested that a healthy respect for nasab was frequently reflected in the use of the fully elaborated name, and might also be associated with being a better student.