Why Your Baby's Name Is Already Going Out of Style

baby in retro clothes

What makes a baby name popular ... or not? While it's often assumed that celebrities may kick-start baby name trends, a new study suggests that the Kardashians may have little to do with the names we pick (and avoid). Rather, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and City University London found that populations can come to a consensus on baby names all on their own.

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It's called "spontaneous emergence," and it means that baby name trends emerge, well, spontaneously! To figure this out, researchers had pairs of players play a web-based "name game" where they were shown a photo of a face, then asked to come up with a name for it. If the two players picked the same name, they both received a reward. If their names differed, they lost cash and were shown the other participant's name choice. The game continued for up to 40 rounds.

More from The Stir: 19 Surprising Scientific Facts About Naming Babies

When participants were paired with people who lived near them, picking the same name was surprisingly easy. Yet when participants were paired with geographically random people, chaos ensued ... at least at first. Yet within 10 to 12 rounds, even these random duos started reaching a consensus on which baby names were best.

Researchers theorize that our desire to "fit in" is so strong, agreements can surface against all odds -- and that goes with "cool" baby names and "uncool" ones, too. So however original you think you're being with your baby name, know that the collective unconscious has you pegged nonetheless.

Do you think your baby name is "in" or "out"?

For more great baby name ideas, visit BabyNameWizard

 

Image via Dubova/shutterstock

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