Mitch Prinstein (photo by Somer Hadley, Revolution Studios)
Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World that Cares Too Much about the Wrong Kinds of Relationships is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 2018 selection for the Carolina Summer Reading Program. Written by UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Mitch Prinstein, the book explores why popularity plays a key role in human development and ultimately, how it still influences people as adults.
The book examines how popularity affects success, relationships and happiness — and why people don’t always want to be the most popular. Prinstein serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Director of Clinical Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“This book is directly relevant to incoming students and can spur tremendous conversation about the challenges of transitioning to college and adult life,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp. “We’re also thrilled to have work by one of Carolina’s own to mark a milestone for the reading program, the 20th anniversary.”
First-year and transfer students who enroll at UNC-Chapel Hill this fall are encouraged to read the book this summer and participate in small-group discussions during the Week of Welcome before fall 2018 semester classes begin.
The Carolina Summer Reading Program, now in its 20th year, aims to stimulate critical thinking outside the classroom and give new students a shared experience. Students are encouraged to come to their own conclusions about the book and will participate in summer reading discussion groups that serve as an academic icebreaker.
“I am so excited that students will get a chance to learn which type of popularity will help them over the course of their lives, which type is toxic, and the ways that social media may be influencing them without even realizing it,” said Prinstein. “Anyone who ever went …