(PACIFIC STANDARD) — Want to be thought of as an intelligent, erudite, high-status individual? New research suggests a remarkably simple way to project such an image: Use your middle initial.

Better yet, use two or three, if your parents gifted you with multiple middle names.

“People’s middle initials have a particular and powerful effect on how people are perceived by others,” argue psychologists Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg of the University of Southampton and Eric R. Igou of the University of Limerick.

“The display of middle initials increases the perceived social status of these people, and positively biases inferences about their intellectual capacity and performance,” they write in the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.