The Power And Pain Of Popularity

Jun 7, 2017

Credit Mitch Prinstein / Penguin Random House/2017

Popularity is often a concern for teenagers, but research shows it also influences life outside the high school cafeteria. Children as young as four years old can identify their most popular peer, and one’s popularity growing up can even predict his or her lifespan.

In the new book “Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World” (Penguin Random House/2017), Mitch Prinstein teases apart the distinction between two different types of popularity: likability and status. 

Guest host Anita Rao talks with Prinstein about the science of popularity, the role of social media and the dangers of fixating on status. Prinstein is also a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.