20 Exploratory Essay Topics: Interesting Facts about Personal Names

Topics and ideas
Posted on October 27, 2016

Welcome to our second guide where we discuss 20 topics for an exploratory essay on “what’s in a name”. If you’ve missed our first guide where we discussed 10 facts for an exploratory essay on “what’s in a name” then we recommend that you go through that first before going through this one.

In this guide, you’ll be introduced to 20 Topics relevant to your assignment, so you can begin writing without having to worry about where to start. We’ve also included a sample exploratory essay by choosing one of the 20 topics outlined below to give you a good idea about how an exploratory essay is faithfully written. Having essay examples on “what’s in a name” will prove to be very helpful as it will assist you tremendously in writing your essay.

Once you’re done reading this guide, we highly recommend taking a look at our final and third guide, “how to write a deep exploratory essay on what’s in a name”. This last guide is perfect for polishing your writing skills and getting to know how a remarkable exploratory essay is written.

Without further ado, here are 20 topics for an exploratory essay on what’s in a name:

  1. Why Personal Names Are of Psychological Significance
  2. The Relationship between Personal Names and Human Psychology
  3. Do Names Affect Your Life Significantly? Studies and Experiments Suggest They Do
  4. Why Deeper Research and Studies into Names Have Been Largely Neglected by Psychologists
  5. What Kind of Roles Does a Name Play in Your Life?
  6. The Reason Behind Trusting a Person Whose Name is Easy to Pronounce
  7. Why Boys with Feminine Names are More Likely to Bully in School
  8. Evidence Suggests Women with Masculine Names are More Attractive Physically
  9. Does Culture, Religion or Fashion Influence How We Name Our Children?
  10. Studies Show that You Cannot Have a Unique Name
  11. German Researchers Reveal the Most Appealing Names on Online Dating Platforms
  12. Why Psychologists Should Devote Their Time to Researching the Significance and Importance of Names
  13. Is there a Relationship between Names and Facial Appearance?
  14. The Effect of Names on Your Job and Professional Life
  15. How People Perceive You When You Have a Jewish or Muslim Name
  16. Psychological Factors that Affect Preferences for First Names
  17. Evidence Suggests that Your Name Might Make You a Future Smoker
  18. The Effect of Names on an Individual’s Self-Esteem and How They Seem to Feel Depressed
  19. The Definition of Attractive and Unattractive Names According to Psychologists
  20. Why Parents Should Be Careful When Choosing Their Children’s Names

Liked the topics? There’s just so many to choose from, you may not know where to start. Allow us to help you with that: when choosing a topic, shortlist the ones which can be researched easily. This will assist you to writing the perfect exploratory essay without having to worry about what topic to choose.

Below, we’ve written a sample exploratory essay for you on one of these 20 topics so you can have an idea about how to write an exploratory essay on your own. It’s good to take a peek or two when you are writing just to make sure you are doing it right.

Anyhow, here is the exploratory essay:

Sample Exploratory Essay: Do Names Affect Your Life Significantly? Studies and Experiments Suggest They Do

According to Shakespeare, names are unimportant and arbitrary but research and evidence has shown otherwise, since a number of psychologists have taken a keen interest in exploring the significance of names and their effect on our lives as well as our interests. Studies now suggest that people’s lives are indeed influenced by their first names.

Researchers have now found how people’s names affect their lives. For example, women that have a masculine name tend to achieve greater success in the legal profession while women with attractive names are considered more physically attractive.

On the other hand, when research was conducted on boys[4]  that had feminine first names, it was concluded that they were more mischievous misbehaving at school and even after school. Although the reason was unclear, many psychologists agree that this was due to lower self-esteem and because their classmates might be embarrassing them by calling out their names. However, to this day, the real reason has not been unearthed.

Our names also affect how others perceive us. During the studies, researchers found out that a name’s ethnicity plays a significant role in how we choose our jobs, our hometown and the people we interact with.

In a recent study conducted by UC Irvine, it was concluded that easy to pronounce names are more truthful and trustworthy in the eyes of strangers, while people with hard to pronounce names are “hard” to trust. The study showed that easily pronounced names are also easily remembered, which is why our brain signals our instinct to trust that person.

A study conducted by German researchers, found something of significance about the names. These researchers sent 47,000 emails to online daters and found out that people tend to go for attractive names. The best part? These emails did not include photos, but only names and a general introduction. This goes to show how important it is to choose an attractive name instead of a random one. For example, Alexander is one of the best names for males while for females, Charlotte is considered a top choice.

These experiments and studies concluded that there is much to be revealed about names than meets the eye. Although psychologists neglect to investigate this matter further, it’s about time they started taking an interest in names and their effect on human behavior. Many studies and experiments have shown that names play an important role in our lives. Conducting more experiments and studies on a large scale would contribute a lot to what’s in a name and the significance of this subject.

Now, let’s head to our final guide on how to write a deep exploratory essay on what’s in a name which rounds off our bare essentials for writing a marvelous exploratory essay.


  1. Robin S. S. Kramer, Alex L. Jones, (2015) Do People’s First Names Match Their Faces? Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis Vol. 12, No. 1 http://www.jasnh.com/pdf/Vol12-No1-article1.pdf
  2. Kenneth M. Steele, Laura E. Smithwick, (1989) First Names and First Impressions: A Fragile Relationship, Sex Roles, Vol. 21, Nos. ⅞ , Mars Hill College http://www1.appstate.edu/~kms/documents/SteeleSmithwick1989.pdf
  3. Jochen E. Gebauer, Mark R. Leary, Wiebke Neberich; (2011) Unfortunate First Names Effects of Name-Based Relational Devaluation and Interpersonal Neglect, Sage Journals http://spp.sagepub.com/content/3/5/590.short
  4. Andrew M. Colman, David J. Hargreaves, WladySlaw Sluckin; (1980) Psychological Factors Affecting Preferences for First Names* – ARG, University of Leicester https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/npb/people/amc/articles-pdfs/psycfact.pdf
  5. Andrew M. Colman, David J. Hargreaves, WladySlaw Sluckin; (1983) The Attractiveness of Names – Human Relations, Volume 36, Number 4, pp. 393-402 https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/npb/people/amc/articles-pdfs/psycfact.pdf
  6. Hewitt, E.A. (no date) ‘WHAT’S IN A NAME: Gender, power, and Classic Maya women rulers’, Ancient Mesoamerica, 10(2), pp. 251–262.
  7. David N. Figlio, (2005) Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and their Peers – NBER Working Paper No. 11277 http://www.nber.org/papers/w11277
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