First names as identity stereotypes

Rachel Dinur, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, John E. Hofman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four hundred eight high school and college students in Israel were presented with a sample of 12 typical first names divided on an a priori basis into 2 categories—Israeli and Jewish—with the former subdivided into recently coined and biblical names and the latter into names of general use and names of special significance to the diaspora. The names were to be rated on a 12-scale semantic differential and on 3 additional scales (Close to me-far from me, Israeli-Jewish, Israeli non-Jewish). Analysts indicated that in general, the participants preferred Israeli names to Jewish names, newly coined Israeli names to those with biblical associations, and general Jewish names to those associated with the diaspora. The participants who were more traditionally oriented tended to follow this same overall pattern but demonstrated a significantly greater liking for general Jewish names than their more secular peers did. The nonreligious participants preferred even the non-Jewish name Robert to names that were associated with the diaspora.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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