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Who doesn’t want to be more popular? Leading psychologist, Professor Mitch Prinstein explains why perhaps we should be careful what we wish for… More than childhood intelligence, family background, or prior psychological issues, research indicates that it’s how popular we were in our early years that predicts how successful and how happy we grow up to be. But it’s not always the conventionally popular people who fare the best, for the simple reason that there is more than one type of popularity: the first based on status and the second based on likeability. Although we are hardwired to crave status, research indicates that this type of popularity hurts us more than we realise. In fact, research shows that people who were popular in high school were more likely to suffer from addictions, problems in relationships and had a higher risk of depression, anxiety and loneliness in later life.
We discuss how popularity taps into our basic need to survive and examine 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. This conversation is more relevant today than ever before. In a world that pushes us to pursue power, and click our way to online status, it has become too easy to be lured towards a type of popularity that can harm us, and our children. This is a truly eye-opening conversation – I hope you enjoy it!
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