What Makes Fads & Trends Popular?

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Updated on Jun 11, 2013

The next “big thing” is always around the corner. From singers & actors to simple objects, fads attract attention. They elicit what is commonly referred to as a craze, mania or a phenomenon due to its tremendous popularity. What makes fads and trends so popular? In the 70’s they had the pet rock, in the 80’s it was big hair, and the 90’s there was grunge. Most fads and trends can be attributed to fashion but the image and personas of famous performers have been marketed to create a cult like following. In this study we will explore the elements of a fad or trend by questioning the trend followers.


How do trends and fads catch on?


  • Test subjects


  1. Using your list of historical fads and trends examine the qualities and properties that made them so popular. Based on your background research what are the elements of a fad/trend? How do these elements apply to past fads/trends?
  2. Choose a current fad/trend and find is loyal followers.
  3. Develop a questionnaire based on your findings in step 1.
  4. Interview your subjects to determine how the current fads/trends have gained popularity.
  5. Have the elements of a fad/trend evolved with technological advancements?
Melissa Bautista is a research scientist, freelance editor, and writer, with a focus in Neuroscience. She believes in establishing solid foundations in education through experience, creativity, and collaboration. She is fascinated by pedagogy and the concept of learning through living.

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