Controlled experiments with numbers date back to when the researcher Dietz asked Dutch people to name the first number to come to mind between 0 and All numbers under were submitted at least once and nearly half of the numbers under 1, They showed undergraduate students random numbers and asked them to say quickly whether they liked the number, disliked it, or felt neutral. The researchers concluded that number fluency predicts number preference: hence multiplication table numbers are preferred over prime numbers.
The closely related field of letter-preference research dates back to the s.
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In , Belgian psychologist Nuttin reported the unexpected finding that people tend to disproportionately prefer, unknowingly, the letters of their own name. The name-letter effect has been replicated in dozens of follow-up studies in different languages , cultures and alphabets , no matter whether participants selected their preferred letter from a random pair, or picked the top six of all letters in the alphabet, or rated each individual letter. In , researchers Shinobu Kitayama and Mayumi Karasawa observed that studies repeatedly showed that Japanese people do not seek to maintain and enhance their self-esteem , unlike Europeans and Americans.
It seemed unlikely to them that Japanese have no positive feelings attached to their selves. They hypothesized that somehow Japanese do not allow these feelings to be detected overtly. To test this, they ran two experiments that hid the aim of assessing self-esteem, measuring instead implicit self-esteem. For the letter experiment, they asked Japanese undergraduate students to rate each of the 45 hiragana , part of the Japanese writing system , according to how much they liked it.
The number 49 was chosen as the upper limit to mask the true aim of the study, which 31 being the maximum number of days in a month might have hinted at. Likewise, the number 0 was included for disguise. Participants had to give ratings on a six-point scale, ranging from 1, if they disliked the number very much, to 6, if they liked it very much. Once done, participants were asked for various demographic data, including their birthdays. Analysis of the letter preference data revealed a name-letter effect: an enhanced liking for letters in the participant's own name.
For each number, the researchers first calculated the mean liking by participants who did not have that number in their birthday. These means served as a baseline. For each participant 50 relative liking scores were computed between the baseline of a number and the actual preference. The effect was stronger for higher numbers, over 12, than for lower numbers. The effect was weakest for males and their birth month only a 0. Overall, women showed a greater liking for the numbers in their birthday than men did.
Kitayama and Karasawa concluded that the patterns in the findings from both experiments were most consistent with the hypothesis that the preference is due to an attachment to the self. These feelings leak out to stimuli that are closely associated with the self, not just names and birthdates, but also, implicitly, their constituent letters and numbers. The researchers suggested that the effect is stronger for higher numbers because in daily life these numbers are less saturated with other meanings, other than their associations with birthdays.
An alternative explanation for the birthday-number effect that had to be tested is mere exposure. If it were true that the numbers in one's birthday are used disproportionately in one's daily life, then the preference for numbers in one's birthday could simply be a preference for what is most frequent.
Zajonc found in his s and s lab studies that familiarity can strongly influence preference, and coined the term "mere exposure effect". Kitayama and Karasawa concluded that Japanese people do indeed have warm feelings towards themselves, just like Americans and Europeans, but that these feelings are masked when explicitly asked for. They speculated that the reason for this masking lies in the Japanese tendency to attend to negative, undesirable features by way of improving the self.
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By , Kitayama and Karasawa's original study had been cited in over scientific papers. The first follow-up study looked at cultural differences. In their paper presented at the American Psychological Association 's annual conference in Chicago, in August , they reported the same result: a preference for birthday numbers. They did find a much stronger effect though, which according to the researchers could be due to Americans' tendency towards self-enhancement.
The second follow-up study was done in by Kitayama and Uchida. They sought to investigate the relationship between a person's name-letter effect and his or her birthday-number effect, given that Kitayama and Karasawa had suspected a single driving force behind both. As they had predicted, Kitayama and Uchida found that within a person the two effects were correlated.
In , Bosson, Swann and Pennebaker tested seven measures of implicit self-esteem, including the birthday-number task and name-letter task, and four measures of explicit self-esteem. On average, respondents scored their birthday number 0. When the researchers retested all seven implicit self-esteem measures, the birthday-number task was one of three that produced similar results. Later studies investigated aspects of the effect. Koole, Dijksterhuis, and van Knippenberg sought to explore how automatic the preference process was. They did this with both numbers and letters.
They divided participants into two groups. The first group was asked to give quick, intuitive reactions stating preferences for the stimuli. The second group was asked to reason why they liked some numbers better than others and to analyse which features of the numbers they liked. They argued that thinking about reasons instigates deliberative overriding of implicit self-esteem effects. Jones, Pelham, Mirenberg, and Hetts investigated how the effect held up under so-called 'threats' to the self.
Earlier research by Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, and Dijksterhuis had already shown that the name-letter effect is influenced by a perceived threat. What they found was consistent with previous findings: people who liked themselves a lot liked the numbers in their birthday and the letters of their name even more when an aspect of their self seemed under threat.
Calculating the Birthday Number
This is predicted by the theory of unconscious self-enhancement. It can not be explained by mere exposure theory. Nickell, Pederson, and Rossow looked for effects with significant years. They asked 83 undergraduate students to rate, on a scale from 1 to 7, how much they liked the years between and , the months of the year, the seasons, times of day, and even types of pet in an attempt to disguise the aim of the study. Analysis of the data showed that participants liked the year of their birth much more than the average of the four years after they were born.
The researchers also found that the year of high school graduation was also liked better than average. Of the months of the year, the most liked month was the one in which the participants were born. Falk, Heine, Takemura, Zhang and Hsu investigated the validity of implicit self-esteem measures to assess cultural differences. They asked participants from six countries to rate numbers between 1 and They found that in countries where gifts are exchanged on 24 December participants disproportionately preferred the number 24, whereas in countries that do this on 25 December participants preferred In psychological assessments , the birthday-number effect has been exploited to measure implicit self-esteem.
There is no standard method for applying the task. The most commonly used one is a rating task, which involves having participants judge all the numbers under a certain threshold typically over 31 to mask the purpose of assessing connections to dates , indicating how much they like them on a 7-point rating scale. At least six algorithms are in use. In their meta-analysis of the name-letter effect, Stieger, Voracek, and Formann recommend using the ipsatized double-correction algorithm.
Stieger, Voracek, and Formann recommend that the task involve both letter preference and number preference, that it be administered twice, and that the instructions focus on liking rather than attractiveness. Researchers have looked for wider implications of the birthday-number effect on preferences, both inside and outside the lab. They looked at people who were born on 2 February, 3 March, 4 April, etc.
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Simonsohn tried to replicate the finding in different ways but without success. He found no effect of just the day of birthday on the town e. He also found no effect of birthday number on street, address, or apartment number. Jones, Pelham, Carvallo and Mirenberg investigated the influence of number preference on interpersonal attraction.
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In a lab study they showed US participants text profiles of people. The profiles came with a prominently displayed, seemingly arbitrary code that was explained as merely to help the researchers keep track of the profiles. One half of the participants were shown a code that matched their birthday e. All participants were shown exactly the same profile. They had to rate how much they thought they would like the person in the profile. The results showed that participants liked the profiles significantly more when the code matched their own birthday numbers.
Jones et al. They used statewide marriage records to conclude that people disproportionately marry people who share their birthday numbers. Coulter and Grewal investigated if the birthday-number effect could be exploited in sales and marketing. Over participants of an online survey were asked about an advertisement for a pasta dinner, where the price was secretly matched to the day of the month of their birthday.
The researchers found that matching numbers increased price liking and purchase intention. When introducing a perceived threat to the self into the task, they found an exaggerated effect. They manipulated the prices in advertisements for pizza and a music streaming service to match the birthday day, year of the participants in their lab study. They did not find any disproportionate liking of matching prices, neither for the year the participant was born in or the day. Keller and Gierl concluded that there must be some prerequisites such as priming stimuli to trigger the effect, although they suggested it is possible that their participants, who all happened to have been born between and , saw their birthyear as price so often in real life that it had become too common.
Smeets used name and birthday matching in a product-liking experiment. He made up product names for a DVD that matched both part of the participant's name and his or her birthday. He found that high self-esteem participants liked products more if the product names were self-relevant than if they were not. He also found the opposite happened among low self-esteem participants: they liked products better if they were not self-relevant. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For yearly variation in mortality rates, see Birthday effect.
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Bellos' explanation was that in both the East and the West odd numbers tend to have more spiritual significance than even ones. But as Bosson, Swann, and Pennebaker later argued, this does not control for common preference effects. These people rated him more favourably than the control group. Jiang, Hoegg, Dahl and Chattopadhyay examined the role of a salesperson and a potential customer knowingly sharing a birthday in a sales context.
They found such an incidental similarity can result in a higher intention to purchase. This persuasive effect stems from the need for connectedness. Some participants were led to believe they shared a birthday with the requester, who asked for an overnight critique of an eight-page English paper. Burger et al. Participants reacted in a heuristic fashion, acting as if they were dealing with a friend.
Bellos, Alex People born on the 27 th day of the month are often great artists. You need to try yourself in various areas before choosing one to specialize in. You are a humanist, you know and understand feelings of people, their needs and struggles. You are emphatic, so you can help directly the needs of community and people there, and what is more important - you do care for them. The greatest pleasure that you can get through life will be a result of your actions to improve the living of others. From the other side, you can be deeply disappointed and even broken down, if your efforts will be vain.
Sometimes you tend to be dramatic, but most of the time you are quite composed. You are able to make good money if you work in the service-oriented areas. The bigger is your work for people - the bigger is your resulting income. You will have problems with ability to forgive others or to accept another point of view.
You must cut off all the negative connections and people who make you feel bad form your life without delay.
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