Psychology Study Shows that People Don’t Decide What’s ‘Cool’ on their Own

anthony clavien hipster essentialsAssistant Professor of Psychology at Gordon College, Dr. Jonathan Gerber proclaimed that college students don’t decide on their own what is cool. Gerber has conducted a study by the name of “Measuring the Existence of Cool using a Social Relations Model” which will be published in PsychNology, an academic journal. Many of us, long interested in psychology, finds this study interesting since it’s the first of it’s kind to examine the social psychology aspect of cool. It is usually marketing experts who conduct studies of this nature.

“If we want to find coolness, it may be necessary to search for it not in objects but in the perceptions of others—not in the speaker, but in our view of the receivers of the message,” Gerber said. “This is where cool has most stability, and it is where language might ordinarily be said to exist.”

In other words, what the study revealed is that what each person perceived that the whole group thought was cool, that became the very definition of cool.  There is often a big difference between what someone thinks is cool and what others do. For coolness to reside amongst a collection of people, those people must know what the others mean by cool.

He also added that we ought to think about what motivates people to care about what is cool in the first place – how much we hate rejection – and the correlation to what it really means to fit in.

Anthony Clavien


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