Mitch Prinstein

The Popularity Illusion
  • The Popularity Illusion

  • Who doesn't want to be more popular? Popularity expert Professor Mitch Prinstein shows that perhaps we should be careful what we wish for ...

    Surely a person's popularity, be it at school, work or on social media, is the best predictor of how happy and successful they will be? The truth is actually much more complex and is based on millennia of human evolution. In this impeccably researched and highly entertaining book, Professor Mitch Prinstein reveals that there are two very distinct types of popularity: the first based on status and the second based on likeability. Whilst we may be hardwired to crave status, only one of these types will really get you where you want.

    Based on two decades of research into the human psyche and genetic make-up, The Popularity Illusion reveals the science behind what popularity is and why we care about it so much – even if we don't think we do. Investigating social media phenomena, playground cliques and work place politics, Professor Mitch Prinstein explores how popularity taps into our basic need to survive and examines the surprising links to our health and lifespan, offering important insights for all of us about how we can cultivate the right kind of popularity of ourselves and our children.

    An enlightening read on a topic that has fascinated us for centuries, The Popularity Illusion will show you how popularity influences your life in unexpected ways.

    First published in hardback as Popular: Why Being Liked is the Secret to Greater Success and Happiness.

Mitch Prinstein Ph.D. is the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mitch’s Peer Relations Lab, first at Yale University and then UNC, has conducted research on popularity and peer relations for almost 20 years. His classes on popularity are so popular that people queue down the halls to get in and he has to use the largest lecture halls to hold them. Mitch also serves as the President for the Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the American Psychological Association.