The Last Name Effect: How Last Name Influences Acquisition Timing
Conard, Jacqueline M. (Jacqueline Mary)
In addition to deciding whether to buy an item, consumers can often decide when they buy an item. This article links the speed with which adults acquire items to the ﬁrst letter of their childhood surname. We ﬁnd that the later in the alphabet the ﬁrst letter of one’s childhood surname is, the faster the person acquires items as an adult. We dub this the last name effect, and we propose that it stems from childhood ordering structures that put children with different names in different positions in lines. For example, since those late in the alphabet are typically at the end of lines, they compensate by responding quickly to acquisition opportunities. In addition to responding quicker, we ﬁnd that those with late alphabet names are more likely to acquire an item when response time is restricted and they ﬁnd limited time offers more appealing than their early alphabet counterparts.
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