Desperately seeking 'cool'

Date of publication: October 22, 1997

Company: MSM


In adult social groups, there are few trend-setters and many followers. In some situations, it is essential to isolate the trend-setters' opinions and attitudes in order to predict the trends and behaviours of the masses. The trend-setters phenomenon is all the more true among children because groups play a key role in the development of their personalities, and children are very conformist and tend to model their behaviour and actions on those they recognise and accept as the group leader. In certain cases, it is necessary to speak to children who are capable of anticipating the interest of an operation and, once converted, then serve as the proponents of the ‘cause’ among their peers. These children are the creative trend-setter. This paper proposes a method to help researchers understand the psychological underpinnings of these children’s personalities in order to more easily identify and recruit them.

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