Tag Archives: popularity

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

5 Feb

“Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives.”

Thompson walks us through what makes people like things – whether those things are songs or movies or pet rocks, or even so-called politicians. A central thesis is that hit makers nail that tension between familiarity and surprise – at providing their audiences with what he calls an “aesthetic aha!” He explores the idea of “fluency” – that our minds like things that feel familiar and that feeling reinforces for us that such things are “right” or “true.” And apropos of these times, he finds that “less thinking leads to more liking” and that “when something becomes hard to think about, people transfer the discomfort of the thought to the object of their thinking.”

As you may deduce from my quotes above, I found real value in this book, and highlighted sections for later review. I’ve shared concepts from this book with others, and have even gotten into discussions with strangers on airplanes about the ideas in this book.

Really interesting & thought provoking. Highly recommend.

I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair & honest review.