Published on January 20th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Harvard Study Aims to Decode What Makes Hipsters Hip
Unless you live in a hipster enclave, in which they are totally unironically uncool. Or ironically cool. Or something.
Scientists were actually able to isolate hipster-ism in hipsters, and studied the whole hipster phenomenon, attempting to shed light on what makes hipsters hip. Apparently- according to the study’s results- it comes from a desperate and enduring desire to remain perceived as on the cutting edge by abandoning the things you once loved when friends of yours begin to like the same things.
The study actually followed 200 hipsters via Facebook over a four year period- and the behavior was confirmed among like and dislike patterns among the participants. It seems the meme about “liking [thing] before it was cool” is basically the core of what defines a hipster. Lead study researcher Kevin Lewis had to totally go mention one of my favorite bands on MSNBC when discussing the study’s findings, thereby ruining their hipness and by extension, my bragging rights on Spotify. (Which, by the way, is totally getting crowded.) Lewis explains:
“The meaning of an indie/alternative taste rests not just in the taste itself- but also in being the only one among one’s friendship circle that expresses it. If I like The Decemberists, and suddenly my friends start liking them too, suddenly I’m no longer socially distinctive. So this taste loses much of its appeal and I will run off in search of some new band to express my ‘hip’ identity.”
The study- which also determined many hipsters essentially use Facebook to gauge popularity and subsequently discovering what not to like- was published back in December in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but you probably didn’t hear about it.