Mitch Prinstein discusses his new book, Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World.
"What makes Popular fascinating [is] the depth with which Prinstein explains the world in its perma- Mean Girls ways. . . . His book reads as a cheerful overview: an exploration of popularity as both a sociological phenomenon and a physiological one. Prinstein is a lively writer, and he illustrates his arguments with personal anecdotes [and] with evocative turns of phrase. . . . Here, via a professor who has studied popularity and its effects, is a book that is frustrated with all the pretense. Popular, as its title suggests, wants us to talk about its subject--forthrightly and, perhaps more to the point, unabashedly. It wants us to question the power that popularity--status, in particular--exerts on our lives. It offers insights that are bolstered by research; it also, more broadly, gives the concept of popularity a specific language, and an insistent voice." --Megan Garber, The Atlantic
"If painful memories of what cafeteria table we ate lunch at can potentially stick with us well into adulthood, what does that say about our culture's relationship to this thing called 'popularity'? That's the question all over the syllabus of Mitch Prinstein's first book, Popular, a study of how we, all the way down to our DNA, want to be viewed positively by our peers but how we go about it--through being liked, needed, amusing or feared--affects our own health and happiness and that of the society we model from it." --Kevin Smokler, Salon
Mitch Prinstein is the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his research have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Time magazine, New York magazine, Newsweek, Reuters, Family Circle, Real Simple, and elsewhere.
A leading psychologist examines how our popularity affects our success, our relationships, and our happiness--and why we don't always want to be the most popular