International Conference on Social Informatics

SocInfo 2014: Social Informatics pp 216-227 | Cite as

The Social Name-Letter Effect on Online Social Networks

  • Farshad Kooti
  • Gabriel Magno
  • Ingmar Weber
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8851)


The Name-Letter Effect states that people have a preference for brands, places, and even jobs that start with the same letter as their own first name. So Sam might like Snickers and live in Seattle. We use social network data from Twitter and Google+ to replicate this effect in a new environment. We find limited to no support for the Name-Letter Effect on social networks.We do, however, find a very robust Same-Name Effect where, say, Michaels would be more likely to link to other Michaels than Johns. This effect persists when accounting for gender, nationality, race, and age. The fundamentals behind these effects have implications beyond psychology as understanding how a positive self-image is transferred to other entities is important in domains ranging from studying homophily to personalized advertising and to link formation in social networks.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farshad Kooti
    • 1
  • Gabriel Magno
    • 2
  • Ingmar Weber
    • 3
  1. 1.USC Information Sciences InstituteMarina del ReyUSA
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrasil
  3. 3.Qatar Computing Research InstituteDohaQatar

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