The Funny Name Effect

Like Barack Obama, I too have a funny name. Unlike Obama, though, I have read papers at APA meetings.

One time when I was reading a paper at an Eastern APA meeting, many people in the audience left early during my paper and also during the Q & A. This, however, was not the experience of the Caucasian speakers who preceded me in our session. I have wondered: would this have happened to me if I were a blond, blue-eyed elite grad school Ph.D. called John Smith?

One philosopher who had left early, and had seen others leave early, apologized to me later, saying he had to leave to take a call as his daughter was sick.