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A new study has found that people whose last names begin with letters towards the end of the alphabet are more likely to respond quickly to limited-time shopping deals. The idea is that if you spent a lot of time being sent to the back of the line as a child, you'll be faster and scrappier in time-sensitive situations. Explains the Wall Street Journal:
In one of the researchers' four experiments, people were emailed the chance to get four free tickets to attend a highly-ranked women's basketball game. In order to get the tickets, students had to reply ASAP via email since the tickets were in limited supply and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
The average response time was 22.7 minutes. Those who had surnames that began with one of the last nine letters of the alphabet was 19.38 minutes and those with a surname from the first nine letters of the alphabet was 25.08 minutes.Married women who'd changed their names responded according to their maiden names, adding credence to the childhood theory. We're tempted to test this out next time we're waiting to get into a sample sale, but we're a little worried that while we're quizzing people about their last names, some wily Wilson, Xavier, Young, or Zimmerman will nab our place in line.
· The Soft Tyranny of Alphabetical Order [WSJ]