The friendship paradox is the phenomenon first observed by the sociologist Scott L. Feld in 1991 that most people have fewer friends than their friends have, on average. It can be explained as a form of sampling bias in which people with greater numbers of friends have an increased likelihood of being observed among one's own friends.

In contradiction to this, most people believe that they have more friends than their friends have. People with more friends are more likely to be your friend in the first place; that is, they have a higher propensity to make friends in the first place.Another example deals with Twitter: The people a person follows almost certainly have more followers than they. This is because people are more likely to follow those who are popular than those who are not.

Thus, over 98% of users are subject to the friendship paradox. - Strogatz, Steven (September 17, 2012). "Friends You Can Count On". New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2013.

Popularity is a social phenomenon that dictates who or what is best liked, sometimes referred to as in vogue. Through peer influence, target objects can quickly skyrocket in how pervasive they are in society.The more pervasive something is, the more people have access to it. Since popularity is judged in a social context, the more people who support or know something or someone, the more popular it will then be judged. Interpersonally, people can alter their appearance to change how others perceive them, causing popularity to increase or decrease in the form of individual likability or group consensus. – (Wikipedia) “I think the difference is that popularity, though not in and of itself negative, is a shallower thing than friendship.

Popularity can and does fade when circumstances change.Friendship, if it's real, does not. You might be popular for perfectly valid reasons: success, talent, personality, etc..

But if you lose one of those things, your popularity will decline. Friendship isn't based on what you do, it's just based on how you connect with someone on a human level as well as trust and chemistry formed with time and interaction. Friendship doesn't disappear when external things change, because the bond it's built on remains the same. Just my 2 cents, anyway. " – (lanablackmoor of HubPages, February 2013) "It seems as though that popularity is a main issue to teens.

The need to feel accepted by others in order to be the center of attention, and the need to be distinguished greatly from everyone else is a strong force that exposes itself to nearly all teens at school. We spend most of our years at school, and begin well-known can almost seem to complete an emptiness that we feel. There shouldn’t be a need to become popular, there may be a few benefits, but it never lasts for long. I find that the many ‘unpopular’ students in schools feel very content with how they are because they know that people are interested in them for who they really are, and they don’t have to put on a ‘face’ for anyone.It is better to have someone who likes you for who you are then going around pretending to be something you aren’t.

The task to becoming popular should not be an act of the fake fun-loving cheerleader or the strong athlete. It reminds me of climbing a young, thin tree. The way up can seem easy, yet at some points a branch can break. Once you get to the top there is nowhere else to go but down. The journey down the tree is harder since the branches you once had to lean on; you had broken on the way up. Now, there’s nothing left to do but jump down with risks of hurting yourself.

One should become popular for who they are, and what they represent. Being yourself can be the only freedom you have to achieving true popularity. It doesn’t involve being well known, or good looking, or funny. Rather it includes having faith in who you are, those that realize just how great you are, are the only people that matter. One doesn’t have to be the center of attention to be the center of few people’s hearts.

" – (123HelpMe. com, 18 Jan. 2014. ) Being considered popular at school can be both a blessing and a curse, and generally this may depend on the reason one is popular.A student who is popular on his or her own merits is generally a happy, well-adjusted individual. These students are friendly, talk to everyone, do well and set a good example, and are people to look up to.

Because they are admired for their positive traits they are popular and well-liked. Their peers genuinely like this type of popular student, and more importantly, respect them-and this type of popular person respects others as well. Other students may be popular due to things over which they have less control, such as physical appearance, athletic ability, wealth, or possessions.If one is an extremely fortunate individual, he or she may also be kind and generous as well, but that is not true of all popular people of this type. Stereotypical typing seen in movies such as Mean Girls comes from this sort. A pro of popularity is having no lack of people around.

A friend to hang out with is only a call away-but is the friend really a friend, or are they just trying to increase their own popularity by being seen with the popular person? Popularity boils down to visibility. If you are noticeable for a ‘good’ reason (more specifically, a socially acceptable reason) then you will be more popular.This might include your personality, who you hang out with, and what you wear. But if you are visible for a less desirable reason, such as intelligence, lesser physical attractiveness, or awkwardness, you will be less popular. A con of popularity is that some of those who are popular feel the need to deride those who aren’t, so that they will be set apart from the less desirable people.

Becoming popular through merit of physical attributes, from clothes or personal appearance to possessions, is not very desirable, though to a high-schooler it may seem so. Neither is setting you apart from others by picking on their weak points.This lessens the self-esteem of both parties, and creates false ideas about what is really valued in society. While appearance is unfortunately a factor and shouldn’t be ignored completely, success really comes from hard work, honesty, and intelligence.

– (Sara Srati, April 13, 2008) “It hit me today. My best friend has everything. She's fun, super confident, pretty, a straight-A student with a perfect family, and masses of friends (no exaggeration). I guess this is what it feels like to realize you're always going to be the underdog..

.Walking down the corridors in school, she gets 'Omg hi!! ’ along with squeals and hugs, countless times in an average day. Me, well, I'm the one left standing there feeling like a bit of a plank. Sure, I say hi to whomever it was that time too, but why do I bother? They ignore me of course. I'm just the boring, plain one next to the golden girl. I'm a high achiever, but however hard I try, nothing ever measures up to her top notch grades.

Even if I do occasionally beat her, although she SAYS all the right supportive-best-friend things, and acts happy for me, it never seems sincere.As if she knows her place, top of the pile, and is waiting for me to fall back into mine. Makes me mad sometimes, constantly being made to play the part of the second class citizen, but I don't want to lose my friendship with her. Because she is a great person, even if a bit self-focused. How can I be noticed next to her? I just want to be seen as her equal.

For once. ” – Because of this story/question of her, it’s a proof that one may be left out and unnoticed even if you’re with someone popular. – (Found in Yahoo Answers – A question by Lollipop Girl 5 years ago)Much research has focused on youth who are rejected by peers; who engage in negative behavior, including aggression; and who are at risk for adjustment problems. Recently, researchers have become increasingly interested in high-status youth. A distinction is made between two groups of high-status youth: those who are genuinely well liked by their peers and engage in predominantly prosocial behaviors and those who are seen as popular by their peers but are not necessarily well liked.

The latter group of youth is well known, socially central, and emulated, but displays a mixed profile of prosocial as well as aggressive and manipulative behaviors. Research now needs to address the distinctive characteristics of these two groups and their developmental precursors and consequences. Of particular interest are high-status and socially powerful aggressors and their impact on their peers. The heterogeneity of high-status youth complicates the understanding of the social dynamics of the peer group, but will lead to new and important insights into the developmental significance of peer relationships.

Developmental psychologists continue to be interested in the social structure and dynamics of the peer group in childhood and adolescence. Peer status is an important construct in their research. In the past, much of this research has been driven by a concern for children and adolescents with low social status, who operate at the fringe of the peer system and may be categorized as rejected. As a result, much has been learned about the origins of peer rejection and its effects on development (Asher ; Coie, 1990).More recently, researchers have become increasingly interested in peer-group members with high social status. Interestingly, high-status children and adolescents do not form a uniform group.

Traditionally, the study of peer relations has focused on Sociometric status, how well liked (or rejected) youth are by their peers (Asher ; Coie, 1990; Coie ; Cillessen, 1993). Several decades of research have provided data on the behavioral and adjustment correlates of sociometric status (Kupersmidt ; Dodge, 2004).This research provides a crucial foundation for understanding peer relations. Recently, researchers have begun to examine perceived popularity as a unique but equally important dimension.

Educational sociologists have long recognized the social power (influence over others) of perceived-popular youth as evidenced by qualitative descriptions of them by their peers (Adler ; Adler, 1998; Eder, 1985). Only in the past 5 to 10 years have researchers begun to study perceived popularity with quantitative methods.Sociometric popularity is usually assessed with a peer-nomination procedure, in which participants are asked to name the peers in their grade who they like most and like least. Nominations for each question are counted and adjusted for grade size so that the data are comparable across grades (Coie, Dodge, ; Coppotelli, 1982). Sociometric popularity for each person is represented with a score on a continuous scale (social preference) calculated by using the number of liked-most nominations minus the number of liked-least nominations he or she received.

Alternatively, rather than using such scores, researchers may employ a categorical approach and identify sociometrically popular youth as those with many liked-most and few liked-least nominations. In early qualitative research, educational sociologists using ethnographic methods identified perceived-popular youth by simply observing which classmates were referred to as popular by their peers (Adler ; Adler, 1998; Eder, 1985). In recent quantitative studies, however, perceived popularity has been derived from peer nominations (i. e. , participants name who they see as most popular and who they see as least popular; Cillessen ; Mayeux, 2004; LaFontana ; Cillessen, 2002; Parkhurst ; Hopmeyer, 1998; Rose, Swenson, ; Waller, 2004).Scores on a continuous scale of perceived popularity have been derived from the number of most-popular nominations or the number of most-popular minus least-popular nominations.

In other studies, researchers have taken a categorical approach and identified youth with high perceived popularity as those with many most-popular nominations and few least-popular nominations.Interestingly, in neither the original ethnographic research nor the recent quantitative studies did researchers provide participants with an a priori definition of popularity; rather, they relied on the participants’ intuitive understanding of the concept. Recently, researchers have begun to map the meanings children and adolescents ascribe to ‘‘popularity,’’ again without providing an a priori definition (e. g. , LaFontana ; Cillessen, 2002). Findings from these studies show that children and adolescents associate a mixture of prosocial and antisocial traits and behaviors with perceived popularity.

Although there is overlap between sociometric and perceived popularity, the constructs are not redundant (LaFontana ; Cillessen, 2002; Rose et al. , 2004). Consider one study that employed a categorical approach to identify sociometrically popular and perceived-popular youth (Parkhurst ; Hopmeyer, 1998). Only 36% of sociometrically popular students were also perceived popular, and only 29% of perceived-popular students were also sociometrically popular.

There is enough distinction between the two constructs to determine similarities as well as differences between the characteristics of sociometrically popular and perceived-popular youth.An important reason for studying peer relations is that experiences with peers may be predictive of personal adjustment. Accordingly, much research has addressed how Sociometric status correlates with adjustment, and the research consistently indicates that sociometric popularity is predictive of positive adjustment both concurrently and in the future (Rubin et al. , 1998).

For example, sociometrically popular youth tend to be well adjusted emotionally and to have high-quality friendships.Considerably less is known about the adjustment of perceived-popular youth. Previous research on status and behavior in the peer group leads to opposing expectations. On the one hand, because aggression is associated with behavior problems, one would expect similar behavior problems for popular youth who are aggressive. On the other hand, because high status in the peer group is associated with being well adjusted, one would expect that perceived popularity, even if achieved through aggressive means, is associated with positive adjustment.

The limited evidence available at this time seems to favor the second expectation—that perceived popularity has immediate rewards (Hawley, 2003) without concurrent negative consequences (Rodkin et al. , 2000). Hawley’s (2003) research indicates that a mixture of prosocial behavior and coercive or aggressive behavior makes youth effective at getting what they want in social contexts. And the tough popular youth identified by Rodkin and his colleagues (2000) did not demonstrate elevated symptoms, such as depression or anxiety.The contradictory expectations may be reconciled if perceived-popular and aggressive youth experience benefits in the immediate social context of the adolescent peer group, but pay a price in terms of their long-term adjustment beyond adolescence.

Thus, we hypothesize that for perceived-popular youth, short-term advantages may be combined with long-term disadvantages. Establishing whether this is true will require long-term follow-up studies of such youth. Just as there are tough and model high-status subgroups (Rodkin et al. , 2000), there may be two diverging developmental paths that popular youth follow into young adulthood.In one path, perceived-popular youth may continue to be influential and serve in leadership roles in later peer groups. In the other, they may no longer be socially central and successful when they move into new social contexts that have different reward structures and different criteria for social prominence.

Which of these two pathways an individual follows may depend on whether he or she is able to strike the optimal, delicate balance between prosocial and Machiavellian behaviors?