What does this say about J.R.R. Tolkien?

Middle It is rather alarming how frequently we make unconscious judgments about one another based on utterly nonsensical criteria.

New research suggests that (in Western cultures, at least) when we meet strangers, we perceive them to be more intelligent and competent if they use their middle initial.

In other words, to use the example that the researchers used, “David F. Clark” would be seen as more intelligent that “David Clark.” And “David F.P. Clark”? That guy is the smartest of them all.

The theory is that we typically see people’s middle initials on formal documents like diplomas, so we begin to associate them with achievement. Also, a disproportionate number of US Presidents seem to have used their middle initial (John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson, Harry S Truman, Ulysses S. Grant).