May 20, 2009

Trend of unusual baby names continuing

A new study of trends in baby naming indicates Hollywood stars aren't the only ones who give their children unusual names, say two U.S. psychologists.

Jean Twenge of California and W. Keith Campbell of Georgia say an analysis of names on Social Security applications indicates a dramatic decline in common names occurred during the 1990s, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The two researchers looked at the names of 325 million Americans born between 1880 and 2007.

The trend of giving children less common names began after World War II but the greatest change occurred during the 1990s and continues in the current decade, they say.

We know the desire for uniqueness is going up, and we know narcissism is going up, says Twenge. That doesn't mean we can say it's definitely a cause, but the two are clearly related.

Their findings will be presented in San Francisco Saturday at a conference of the Association for Psychological Science.