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Psychology of Popularity

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Coursera


The level of popularity you experienced in childhood and adolescence is still affecting you today in ways that you may not even realize. Learn about how psychologists study popularity and how these same concepts can be used in adulthood to be more successful at work, become better parents, and have a happier life.


  • How is Popularity Affecting Your Life as an Adult?
    • We will review how popularity is changing your social information processing and DNA expression.
  • How Do We Study Popularity Scientifically?
    • We will discuss the ways that we have identified different subgroups of kids and adults who have different popularity profiles.
  • Why are Some People More Popular Than Others? (Part 1)
    • We will discuss what behaviors popular people engage in, and what types of specific behaviors make people unpopular almost immediately. Implications for adult relationships will be discussed.
  • Why are Some People More Popular Than Others? (Part 2)
    • We will review why facial and body attractiveness plays a role in popularity and how parents can make their children more popular.
  • How Does Popularity Change Our Mood, Feelings, and Behaviors? (Part 1)
    • We will discuss recent findings regarding the links between popularity and psychopathology.
  • How Does Popularity Change Our Mood, Feelings, and Behaviors? (Part 2)
    • We will review why popular people really do have better skills and life outcomes compared to others.

Taught by

Mitch Prinstein


4.2 rating, based on 10 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 983 ratings

Start your review of Psychology of Popularity

  • This offering opened my eyes to how impactful your peer/social standing was in childhood to your current disposition. Notably, there is a great room for research especially in non-Western or non-North American settings, and these findings should guide both policy and how we treat others on a daily basis.
  • Anonymous
    Brilliant! It changed the way I think about popularity and social behavior.It gives the causes and the solutions for various problems and helps all of us to make the improvements we need.

  • Taich
    I dropped this course. While there was some good information in the lessons I did listen to, it was pretty basic stuff. Well into the second week the term 'popularity' had yet to be defined for the purposes of the course.
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    Lee Plumbe
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    Алексей Аверченко

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