What Makes Popular Kids Popular?

What Makes Popular Kids Popular?


So often in American high school movies, there’s
a certain format when you think about the students, especially in those older films. The cliques, and the clichés, usually involve
some alpha male who’s a bit of a jock. He’s handsome and tough, but usually gets
his comeuppance. If there’s an alpha female, the school’s
hottest chick, well, she often turns out to be mean and insecure. Then there’s the bespectacled nerd, or the
likeable and clumsy stoner, and the wholesome churchgoing kid who really pines for wild
excitement. Is there any truth to these stereotypes? Probably, yes, but only you can be the judge
of that. A better question is, why do some kids always
seem to attract a following? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this
episode of The Infographics Show, What Makes Popular Kids Popular? This popularity game isn’t just a phenomenon
in high school. If you watch young kids interact in primary
school, or even pre-school, you’ll often see a child that seems to spend a lot of time
by him or herself, ignored and sometimes looking slightly sad. Then you look over to the other end of the
playground and there’s a little tyrant shouting orders and taking charge of pretty much everything. This is often the popular child, at least
as far as the eye can see. One Researcher named Patricia Hawley calls
these types of children “bistrategic controllers”. There’s another name for this that you might
know: Frenemie. They dominate, and they could be what we call
alpha-kids. Hawley says they will also take stuff from
their friends and threaten other children. Now, while that doesn’t sound like it could
lead to popularity, she also says they have great social skills and can be very cooperative. Still, why are they so popular? Well, that’s partly because they are usually
quite charming and act in a positive way. It draws kids to them. This confidence of theirs attracts friends
and that makes them happy, and this happiness is also said to be magnetizing. Psychology Today goes further, explaining
that by time the kids are around the age of eleven they are already in some kind of clique. But there’s one clique more popular than
the others, and about one third of young students will be in that clique. “This group engages in a lot of nasty political
maneuvering to maintain or enhance social status,” the researcher said, stating that
about one tenth of students will be trying to get into this clique – the hangers-on
– and another one tenth will be natural born loners. About half of the students in one school year
won’t care much about popularity and have their own small group of friends, without
much politics, and they are generally loyal and caring to one another. They might only be popular with their group,
but it seems they might also be more content. Besides being dominant, psychologists say
that when children approach their teens, just being good-looking will make them popular,
as will athleticism, wealth, strength and sometimes the fear they impose, or the fashionable
clothes they wear. While manipulative and aggressive kids may
win other kids over in the younger years, researcher Antonius Cillessen says that these
cool kids will often lose their attraction in high school. But there is always nuance when it comes to
the human mind. An Australian study taken in 2015 said one
of the best assets a kid can have if he or she wants to be popular is actually, “mind-reading.” They were talking about young kids, though,
ages 2-10. They looked at 2,096 children from Asia, Australia,
Europe, and North America and found that those that got on best and were popular knew what
the other kids wanted, thought and felt. They were empathetic. You don’t have to be a Mean Girl to be liked,
but you may have to if you want to constantly be the belle of the ball. The British Journal of Developmental Psychology
said a similar thing, in that kids that know what others are thinking tend to be popular,
and they added that sometimes this could be used for kind acts but at other times manipulation. It’s no wonder school is sometimes called
a Battleground. The same study said jock popularity was indeed
a real thing, stating older high schoolers will be drawn to strong, good-looking, athletic
and smartly dressed kids. But in actuality, said the study, we might
just perceive them being more popular…they might also be secretly envied or hated by
their peers. Who needs that? The study said the same about tough guys. While they might be surrounded by minions,
that doesn’t necessarily mean they are popular. Humans are not primates, and we don’t have
the same dominance hierarchy because we have more developed and complex minds. In fact, what really makes popular kids more
popular is when they have great impulse control. They might get angry, but only when it is
called for. Most studies state that those dominant kids
who may seem popular but are distrusted, disloyal, or too aggressive, are actually not as popular
as we might think. Psychologists state that these kids are often
unhappy on the inside as we all get fulfillment from true love and sincere friendships. But why trust the experts? What do high school kids think about what
makes others popular? This was asked on a forum and here are some
of the answers. One high school senior said social skills
was one thing, but also having some particular skill you are very good at. You must have both. The sociability might be an important factor
here, as sometimes great minds tend to be less sociable. We might call these young adults nerds, or
geeks. The genius Elon Musk said he was always a
bit different, and for that he said he was continually bullied in school, enough to traumatize
him. Musk’s first wife once said, “I don’t think
people understand how tough he had it growing up. He was a really lonely kid.” Michael Phelps said he was also bullied a
lot, but said he channeled his anger into his training regimen. Most people on the forum agreed, being good
at socializing and having some kind of talent was key to high school popularity. Another person was maybe more cynical, and
even had her own equation for popularity. This combined looks, friends, number of enemies,
rejections, and who is following you on Instagram. She believed mathematically you could work
out your popularity, but it’s likely she was joking. So, what if you are popular, or were popular,
what does this mean for later life? One study led by Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P.
Kelly, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, looked at 184 U.S. teens and
followed them for ten years from age 13 to 23. According to that study, being popular comes
back to bite you in the butt. They said the popular kids in high school
were more likely to have problems with drugs, alcohol and even have more chance of becoming
involved in crime. The study also followed those cool kids in
school who showed “pseudomature behaviors.” These are the reckless kids, the kids that
first smoke, sneak into movie theaters, damage property or tell you how they reached second
base when you haven’t even been near the field. Not surprisingly, these kids, as the Hollywood
movies often portray, became more delinquent until it started to make them less popular
and more reckless. The study said they would take part in riskier
and more criminal acts to gain popularity with older peers, but it was a dead-end street. As for the kids that were only popular for
their looks or bravado, the study said in later life this became a problem. “These previously cool teens appeared less
competent — socially and otherwise — than their less cool peers by the time they reached
young adulthood,” said the researchers. Because their early relationships weren’t
grounded in empathy and love, in adult life they struggled to form lasting relationships. So, are you in high-school right now, and
if so, can you add to this? We’ve all been there, so what do you think
about these studies? Do they mirror your experience? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Private School vs Public School! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 comments / Add your comment below

  1. How to be popular

    1 play the f word
    2 play basketball
    3 be not me
    4 be excessively rude when some disagrees

  2. All this doesn’t matter. School is a distraction except for when your learning. Stop thinking about the short-term think about the long-term and if you never made friends or you were a loner with friends, or popular or anti-social etc. You were meant to be that because whatever happens, happens. You could of made a choice to try and become popular but you didn’t because it was meant for you to be the way you’re. School is so irrelevant to how powerful you can become. The people who run this country even some celebrities got bullied are weren’t popular but now they’re because they were thinking about long-term goals and thoses popular people or followers are wishing they were special or could make a lot of money but no. They ruined their lives at least most of them. All I’m saying is it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re not a follower and you don’t look down on others. Because in the end you will be the ones at the bottom

  3. did anybody else think they were going to be popular and grow up to find out that they were totally wrong?

  4. My best friend is pretty popular and she’s an extrovert. I think that might have something to do with it…

  5. Who else is stuck in a spot were they have some popular freinds but there other popular freinds hate you and some nerdy friends but are stuck in the middle

    just me ok……

  6. I used to bully and tease people, bark out orders and simply beat someone up from time to time, and that made me very popular in Primary school, now I only have a few friends and in general am pretty sad since I am now addicted to video games.

  7. My school is different the popular has
    -dark/funny humor
    -strong
    -handsome But not too handsome
    Oh also very smart and insult someone sometimes
    Also im not th
    Im friend with the popular so im a bit more popular than average

  8. simple , if you are goodlooking or rich

    by the way , im a lone wolf , i dont need anyone and i can do it alone

  9. All of the smart kids are popular in my school, they look the best and are smart so people are attracted to them. I am popular among all of the groups in school but not popular as in everyone likes me tho

  10. Argentina (my country) works different.
    *If you annoy someone smaller than you, the biggest guys from the school, will say you coward and they will punch you
    *If any teacher sees any fist near any face, the fist's owner gets banned
    *Everyone is nice, but everyone knows how to fight hard
    *There's no such thing as nerd kids, they sometimes are weirdos, but everyone respects them due to their brain

    There's no such thing as bullying in school, if in argentina you insult someone, you will end up dead.

  11. At my school like 96% of girls are popular 6% are just hanging on and the rest are unpopular or in there own group. I’m in my own group

  12. The popular kids might want to laugh while they can because the nerds will have the last laugh.

  13. At my school many people are popular because they are genuine nice people and are fun people to be around.
    Actually, that's the case at most places I go to. Maybe I just live in a nice place.

  14. I was always that one kid at the back of the room… the time i ran with the popular kids is when i made a youtube vid, and i then came to realization they ONLY liked me for my vids

    I have to admit it was nice for a little while

  15. Hating Fortnite at my school makes u unpopular … I hate it but I know I'm doing the right thing 😀

  16. How to be a popular kid 2019: Year 7
    A. Be loud
    B. Social
    C. Try-hard
    D. friends with a loud/social person
    E. Don't be a nerd
    F. Be smart
    G. "date" the popular kids
    H. Be normal
    I. Be part of the 'smart' class. (AKA my class)
    J. Have LOADS AND LOADS of friends or followers on instagram
    K. have the latest iphone
    L. Don't make lists
    M. Don't be artsy
    N. Be pretty~
    O. Don't have the followoing: Depression, Anixiety …etc: mental disorders = non popular
    P. Be in a "squad" / clique / large friend circle

  17. I'm somewhat popular in school

    Here's a tip
    Don't be a NICE guy be a nice GUY
    Just think that through at it will make sense
    Try the r/niceguys subreddit if you need some help

  18. In my school (which is in KSA) the ''popular'' (mostly called the well known kids) are really chill. Like I'm one of them and the whole 3rd floor knows me; you can go to the class in opposite corner, ask them who I am, and they would most likely know me because I'm the meme dealer, the mother of my friends group and know literally everyone's (in my class) secrets nOT because I stalk them or something but because they all trust me and I'm their ''shoulder to cry on''

  19. Sadly this is still true in some places in the world. I noticed that from my own experience it exists in big city’s, but I also have seen it and experienced it in small towns

  20. Thank you for making this video it was very informative you probably can tell but I was one of the kids that was off in the corner sad but then in middle school I got a few friends and I got really happy to happy people got annoyed by how happy it was… i’m in an endless loop lol

    MEOW :3

  21. In school iam smart but not popular I always win in quiz bees but the 2nd 3rd placer is always the one they congratulate so in cheering they always cheer other people no one cheers me my bff is on the other section she forgot about me…

  22. I was once an introvert, isolated myself, but not really a nerd. I wasn't popular but I wasn't bullied either.
    Now things has changed, I have become both an extrovert AND a nerd at the same time. I would say my popularity now is average.

  23. I am from Denmark but there is no popular kids or unpopular all is Pretty equal or some time there is a more popular guy but not a person who controls everybody

  24. Well to be honest popular kids parents are really poor nerds parents: drives a Mercedes popular: drives Toyota astra

  25. when I was in high school, I was quiet and shy but then I developed psychic powers and became popular. For me, it was more about charisma and game. I also became very athletic but was mindful of relating to everybody as much as I could for different types of people rather than one group. Putting yourself in cliques makes you snooty and arrogant. Try as much as possible to relate to everybody to the best of your ability. Granted, of personalities can clash and not everyone can get along, however relating to people no matter who they are is a better mentality then lifting yourself above others. I was also popular with girls, but also talked to all kinds of girls in school. Being so arrogant like that, you actually make more enemies than friends by labeling yourself as popular.

  26. I was definitely a bit introverted, I never drank or did drugs, and was probably seen as a "goody two shoes" but I ended up becoming semi popular by my senior year for my unending witty quips. Not that I was constantly invited to house parties, but I had success with girls, a lot of acquaintances, and was generally well liked by people who knew me, so I was definitely pretty content with my social life. Honestly I have no real complaints about my high school years and I'd say I enjoyed my 4 years there.

  27. I'm more of a nerd but nobody messes with me and I'm not popular. I am known for my anger one time a kid was teasing me I punched the kid straight in his face and his tooth fell out. Nobody teased me since

  28. I’m popular in high school and it’s a group of like 20 of most of us are top 5% in our class and play multiple sports and everyone is real with each other and generally well liked by everyone in our school don’t know why popular people get so much hate.

  29. I never got involved with drama and stuff, so in my perspective, I just have enough friends to make me happy and most people don’t bully me. (I have the feeling it’s because my default face looks mad tho)

  30. I was popular in high school for my looks and that helped me get to home base a lot after high school, my years of popularity started fading away at about 20 and now that I'm 24 I struggle to keep any relationship and I hardly manage to get any girls at all, I have commitment issues and insecurities

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