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Understanding the Rise of Unique Names: The Emphasis on Uniqueness Matters

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摘要: Uncommon personal names have become increasingly popular in many countries and cultures over the past decades. However, little is known about the causes. We propose that the emphasis on uniqueness, manifested both as a cultural value at the macro level and as an individual need at the micro level, may account for the widely observed increase in unique-naming practices. We tested these hypotheses in China. Study 1 found that the increasing cultural emphasis on uniqueness (rather than on independence or competition), as a Granger cause, explained the increasing name uniqueness. Study 2 revealed that the increasing individual need for uniqueness (rather than narcissism or self-esteem) explained the higher preference for unique baby names among younger than older generations. Study 3 showed that, in actual naming practices, younger parents emphasized name uniqueness (rather than modernity, positivity, or other features) more than older cohorts. These findings convergently support our hypotheses, highlighting the importance of identifying specific mechanisms underlying psychological and behavioral changes, rather than assuming the rising individualism as a general explanation.

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[V1] 2023-08-15 19:42:10 ChinaXiv:202308.00186V1 下载全文
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