Psychologists are finding that more choices often lead to more paralysis and regret, and baby names seem to be no exception.
"There isn't hard data, partially because I don't know of any accessible data on name changes," said baby-name expert Laura Wattenberg. "But as a percentage of my mail … remorse from parents who have already chosen names is rising." [...]
Almost invariably, name-hunting parents are looking for something appealing but unique, Wattenberg said. That's a tough standard, given that appealing names are generally popular by definition. As a result, baby name books have become thicker and thicker, with the record-holder currently swollen with 140,000 names.
The problem with this name explosion is that psychologists don't necessarily find that having more choices is better. To explain this phenomenon, Swarthmore College researcher Barry Schwartz coined the term "the paradox of choice." Schwartz's research suggests that the more choices we have, the more stressful those choices become. And even if we make a perfectly serviceable choice, we're more hampered by regret.
Now, I wonder if the parents of these kids have any regret.