Leading Psychologist Mitch Prinstein on the Eternal Popularity Contest and Why It Matters
Mitch Prinstein—psychologist, professor, and author of the fascinating new book Popular—helps us come to terms with the various social dynamics at play in our organizations. Offering a new framework, he shows us how to deal with everything from feedback to rejection, promotions to raises, roles and relationships, all through the lens of popularity.
The foremost researcher in this fascinating field, Mitch Prinstein’s writing and keynotes offer compelling looks into popularity’s expansive reach. It goes so far as to affect our DNA, our health, and our longevity. More than childhood intelligence, family background, or prior psychological issues, Prinstein’s talks show us how our understanding of popularity in early years predicts how happy and successful we are as adults. Additionally, he explains how we can make wise choices regarding this knowledge—how wherever we identify on the spectrum, our popularity (or lackethereof) is not a sentence, but an organizing principle.
“Status is one thing, and likability quite another. The origins of both types of popularity are the topic of this singularly fascinating, extraordinarily well-written book.”— Angela Duckworth, Author of the bestselling book Grit
To Prinstein, popularity is a system of power, and a key factor in the success of our work, relationships, and happiness. In Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World, he unpacks the ways smart leaders can leverage popularity, both good and bad forms, for better communications, motivation, belonging, and group dynamics—at work, in the classroom, and beyond.
Prinstein is board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology. He serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as 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, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Newsweek, and elsewhere.
Mitch Prinstein’s Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World is published by Viking.