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With popularity (from the Latin populus " people ") one describes

  • the popularity of a person or a product in a group of people. It is an essential product of public opinion ( see there ),
  • the common comprehensibility of the presentation of a complex object that is actually difficult to understand for an audience while largely avoiding technical terms and argumentation.

Measuring popularity through opinion polls

Opinion research institutes measure the popularity of people or ideas from time to time on behalf of or for publication through opinion polls. Politicians then set up popularity scales, mainly during election campaign times.

Measuring popularity over the internet

The popularity of an “object” (person, company, product, place, etc.) can also be measured over the Internet. Suitable search queries are used to determine how often and in what context this object is mentioned on pages on the Internet. If you summarize the results of objects of "the same kind" (film actors, doctors from, for example, Bochum, MP3 player manufacturers, etc.), a ranking can be created from them. If this is done comparatively for a group of objects, a web ranking is created . Companies such as Google also use certain algorithms that analyze the interests of users and include search results that are adapted to them in the web ranking.

Mechanisms of popularity

Popularity is given a self- reinforcing mechanism by the mass media coupling popular actors and events . In 1966, John Lennon claimed : "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus today" and sparked a discussion about the cult of star. The consequences were public record burnings by fundamental Christians, radio boycotts and death threats. What the pop group lost in popularity on the one hand, also gave it new support among the rebellious youth of the time . A politician or pop star only loses popularity when events occur or statements are made that conflict with a consensus in society as a whole.

Common sense

The common understanding of a lecture, a book or similar presupposes the presentation of a scientific and / or technical subject as well as an audience that is not (significantly) pre-trained in relation to this science / subject. It follows that the basics of this / s science / subject (terms, arguments, basic knowledge, etc.) cannot be assumed and either explained within the description or through various techniques such as B. pictorial or exemplary wording must be replaced. The common understanding is therefore a different concept than the intelligibility of a text. In the mass media in particular, most representations must inevitably be made understandable. This trend is particularly visible on television, for example. B. through history programs, science shows, etc.

Relationship between popularity and common understanding

A person can achieve his popularity precisely by representing a subject that is generally regarded as incomprehensible, but making it accessible to a broad audience. See e.g. B. the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking or the physicist Harald Lesch , whereby this could achieve his popularity among other things through the ZDF .

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: popularity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations