- 1: of or relating to the general public
- 2: suitable to the majority: as a : adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority <a popular history of the war>
- b : suited to the means of the majority : inexpensive <sold at popular prices>
- 3: frequently encountered or widely accepted <a popular theory>
- 4: commonly liked or approved <a very popular girl>
Popularity is the quality of being well-liked or common, or having a high social status. Popularity figures are an important part of many people's personal value systems and form a vital component of success in people-oriented fields such as management, politics, and entertainment, among others.
Borrowed from the Latin popularis in 1490, originally meant common or "being well-liked". The use of the word popular to mean the "fact or condition of being well liked by the people" is seen originally in 1601.
Many different variations of popularity exist, and many ways in which to gain it. General popularity usually involves respect in two directions: a popular person is respected by peers and will reciprocate that respect, thus reinforcing the belief of deserving the popularity. Likewise, amicability is an important component of popularity, as a person who does not like others is unlikely to be liked by others. This reciprocal nature of interpersonal popularity is often overlooked by people (particularly the young) who are attempting to become popular: being loud may be successful in gaining attention, but is unlikely to provide mutual respect.
Neuroimaging identifies the anterior insula and anterior cingulate as key areas in the brain determining whether people prefer something in regard to its being popular with their peer group. The influence of one's peer group upon is strongest during adolescence.