Four Popularity Types

Popularity Model by Mavarine Du-Marie (2013)

My working theory regarding the different types of popularity: performance (earned), familiarity (paid), accidental (owned) and modelled (borrowed).  For example: performance popularity we see in an artists’ work (earned), whereas in the familiarity (paid) popularity we see this in social groupings, although with the accidental (owned) we see popularity in an individual being renowned for having a sphere of influence, and the modelled (borrowed) popularity we see it in the demonstrated reciprocal animating of others.

And I think Personal Environment Fit (PEF) is linked to popularity in decisions and outcomes particularly in any chosen environment (interest) as its in ours and their own interest to get the fit right, thereby having the right fit is crucial to personal development (taxing) because it ties into emotional intelligence of being self-aware, self-managed, having empathy, as well as the emotional action of social and relationship management. The first three of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-managed, empathy, is about the components that are necessary for personal preparation before an interaction takes place. Whilst the emotional action of social and relationship management refers to the skills of being savvy in using popularity in the right environment and for good ends as a validating virtue.

We maybe helpful and therefore be seen as someone giving ideal support but the real motivator is feeling popular and socially accepted.  From this behaviour we develop four qualities of: advocacy, loyalty, cooperativeness and principled actions. This is a way of gaining notice and acceptance. While these are laudable qualities, they may leave the impression with others that social acceptance and popularity are more important than the other people involved in the task at hand.

So popularity should only be seen as ‘Adaptive-dealing’ in the context of everyday management, as being people-focused with popularity means that one can adapt with tact and flexibility to create and restore harmony; they are caring enablers, helpers at work and developers of peers or subordinates where they are committed to lofty goals, not the avoidance of work per sa, as the behaviour is a teacher who helps everyone in their sphere of influence to gain greater insight into reality if they can provide that from being popular. 

Another way of using popularity for success is to keep your objectives steady and vary your behaviour until you achieve success (adaptive dealing in action). Always judge behaviour by what it achieves.

For popularity should strive with the hope of proving worth and being accepted ─ principled, cooperative, and dedicated; as they need to feel persuasive and popular for their worth to manifest, that is for a positive perception and to benefit others, that is using their drive they are masters at facilitating teams and keeping the focus on adding value.  When knowing which popularity type they have, which is the one that comes easy, people like change to test it out, and this is to generate enthusiasm thus making a favourable impression when contacting people.

All of us have within us all four of these popularity drives to some degree.  However, the need to have them be conscious as we choose to change behaviour is important.  The more we have the ability to choose the kind of behaviour we exhibit, the better our own Self-Concept will be. Some maybe more developed than others. Probably, we may need to draw upon our popularity, but we may favour just one or two as a central tendency, given the situation and environment, as a referral to the model fit, and subsequently doing things which are useful at one time or another, that is, these four types of popularity can be equally powerful to influence any system of work in a positive, progressive and productive manner in distinct ways as individuals gather and process information due to their personality preferences.

One aspect that all impressive thinkers agree on is that growth is natural. And like anything natural or instinctual, these tendencies can be stunted by an environment that is oppressive. Knowing this, it is important to discuss the things that can foster the natural tendency to grow and develop in spite of unforgiving environments. Primarily this involves acting in your own sphere of influence (accidental popularity), cultivating a productive work environment one conversation at a time (performance popularity), as it is important to ferret out something positive and valid in your exchange (modelled popularity) and work with that part of the communication for good ends (familiar popularity).

Afterwards, one can retrieve one’s Self-Concept without its having been damaged or lessened in any way, with confidence intact. As Self-concept is a term used to refer to how someone thinks about, perceives or evaluates themselves. Thus within the foundation of PEF is the essential ability and skill in managing the emotions and tendencies in the right environment or handling the wrong environment too by utilising popularity in a valid virtuous manner.


The two types of interpersonal popularity

Everyone can point to the popular person in the room, but they do not necessarily like that person the most. If asked to choose someone to spend time with, they would likely point to someone else. And this is because there are four types of personal popularity as aforementioned. However, there is evidence that there are two main forms of interpersonal popularity that social psychology recognises, that is sociometric popularity and perceived popularity.

‘Sociometric popularity’ (freely given) is more or less the result of an individual’s likeability. If a person is generally well-liked and known for positive traits then they are sociometrically popular. People who are sociometrically popular are often known for their interpersonal abilities, their empathy for others, and their willingness to cooperate non-aggressively. Notable works dealing with sociometric popularity include Circle of Friends (1995) with regards to the character Benny, and the film Bend It Like Beckham (2002) with regards to the character Jess and in the movie An Education (2009) with regards to the character Jenny.  Where these sociometric individuals in society are concerned it is a more private judgement, characterised by likeability, that will not generally be shared in a group setting. Oftentimes, it is impossible to know whom individuals find popular on this scale unless confidentiality is ensured.

‘Perceived popularity’ (at a cost) is a characteristic used to describe individuals who are well known for being popular. This form of popularity does not have a positive correlation with perceived kindness and pro-social traits like sociometric popularity. This form of popularity, especially amongst adolescents has been widely explored by the popular media. Notable works dealing with perceived popularity include Mean Girls (2004), Odd Girl Out (2005), and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). Individuals who have perceived popularity are often highly socially visible and frequently emulated but rarely liked. Since perceived popularity is a measure of visible reputation and emulation, this form of popularity is most openly discussed, agreed upon within a group, and what most people refer to when they call someone popular.


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