Is popularity genetic?

Mitch Prinstein explains that there are some factors that are heritable that contribute to our likability. Our physical attractiveness is much more related to status popularity than it is to how likable we are
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Is popularity genetic?

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- There are some factors that are heritable that contribute to our likability. So for instance, our physical attractiveness is much more related to status popularity than it is to how likable we are, but physically attractive people do tend to be more likable, it seems. Also, there's a genetic predisposition towards inhibition, and that tends to make some kids a little bit more standoffish, and that could influence likability as well. But probably even more than the genetic contributions to likability are the extent to which we can teach kids how to be likable. Kids who grow up in an environment where they're not learning how to be aggressive, they're not in a hostile kind of home place, and kids who generally learn how to share and express emotions appropriately, they tend to grow up to be quite likable. Parents also can specifically coach and teach their kids likability by the ways that they set up play dates and monitor those play dates in an age-appropriate way.

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Mitch Prinstein explains that there are some factors that are heritable that contribute to our likability. Our physical attractiveness is much more related to status popularity than it is to how likable we are

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Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D. is a husband, a father, board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology, and serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Mitch’s Peer Relations Lab has been conducting research on popularity and peer relations for almost 20 years, and has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child and Human Development, and several private foundations, resulting in over 100 scientific works, including a slew of scientific journal articles, book chapters, a set of encyclopedias on adolescent development, and even a textbook on the field of clinical psychology.Mitch is deeply committed to science and training in clinical psychology, having served as President of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and on the boards of the American Psychological Association, the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, and publication board of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.He and his research have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Time magazine, New York magazine, Newsweek, Reuters, Family Circle, Real Simple, and elsewhere.

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