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Explaining Royal Love: Prince Harry and the Allure of Implicit Egotism

By Sadie Leder-Elder Ph.D. - High Point University

A few years back I wrote a post about one of my favorite laws of attraction, implicit egotism (see here for more).  Although you may never have heard it by name, the chances are you or someone you know have demonstrated this phenomenon.  Implicit egotism is the tendency to prefer things that resemble the self, including showing a preference for one’s own initials.1 That’s right, relationship scientists have found an above average tendency for people to establish relationships with partners who share their name-letter initials! 

A few celebrity examples include, Kim and Kanye (Click here for more), Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beil, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, as well as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kuchner. 

Interestingly, this unconscious tendency may have led Prince Harry to feel particularly attracted to Meghan Markle.  How you might ask?  Well, although we rarely use it, the royal family does have a last name.  It is Mountbatten-Windsor.  That’s right, Prince Harry is actually named Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor.  And that means that he and Meghan share a name-letter initial.  Even more fascinating is that his brother Prince William also selected a partner who shared the same name-letter initial (Kate Middleton)!  Of all the fish in the sea, both landed on life partners that inexplicably shared their last name’s initial.  Isn’t love fascinating? 

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Jones, J. T., Pelham, B. W., Carvallo, M., & Mirenberg, M. C. (2004). How do I love thee? Let me count the Js: Implicit egotism and interpersonal attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology87, 665–683.

Dr. Sadie Leder-Elder - Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Leder-Elder's research focuses on how people balance their desires for closeness and protection against rejection, specifically during partner selection, goal negotiation within established romantic relationships, and the experience of romantic love, hurt feelings, and relationship rekindling. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 

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