The Hype Train

Originally published at: The Hype Train -

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#178: Getting excited about something and bringing friends along for the ride is a big part of Geek culture. Some of us are more HYPE than others… The team talks about hype and for Media Matters they discuss the GLAAD and Ubisoft partnership regarding the Shadow Heritage DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

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00:00:00 – Intro / Announcements

00:01:59 – THE HYPE TRAIN

00:29:34 – Patreon Promo

00:30:15 – Media Matters

00:42:12 – Community Catch-Up/Wrap-Up

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After recording this episode, while doing some assigned readings, I came across a theory that I feel adds to what we discussed in this episode. Specifically, when people are really resistant to others’ HYPE.

(Source: Mourali and Yang (2013) The Dual Role of Power in Resisting Social Influence Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (3):539-554)

Basically, people who have high levels of ‘power’ are more resistant to others’ opinions (social influence). Empowered people believe they know what’s up, they’re experts, other people’s opinions aren’t as important/valuable as their own. This is particularly true when the individual is in a situation that they have high levels of certainty. For example, a guy who has worked on cars most of his life will likely feel empowered and certain about any decisions he makes about purchasing a car (regardless of what others say). However, when an empowered person is in a situation with less certainty, it begins to impact that ‘empowered’ feeling. Like, if car guy was asked to choose models’ accessories for a high-fashion show. This leads to people outright rejecting others’ opinions in these situations, because to admit uncertainty, is to reduce your power–and possibly threaten your identity as an ‘empowered’ person-- which must be avoided!

This might be why Brandon was resistant to watching Steven Universe at first. He’s got Da Powah, and he’s quite certain about what kinds of shows he likes, so when other people kept recommending it, that might have felt like an underhanded “actually, you don’t know what you like, I know better” which would reduce certainty, and then increase social influence resistance.


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Huh, that’s super interesting, but it makes a lot of sense. I think that’s my general approach to most of my hobbies at this point. This was definitely how I felt when it came to Into the Spiderverse. I put off watching it for a while because my twitter feed was inundated with how much people enjoyed it. And I had a friend go into a bit of why she liked it so much, but it just made me more worried for the movie with a few things that were said. I’m not the biggest spiderman fan but I really like Miles and the more bits I heard the more resistant I was to watching it. I did end up seeing it (twice) but the feeling was there still through most of the movie.

Was still a great movie and easily one of my favorites I’ve seen in recent years but that’s a pretty interesting way to look at how people are resistant to anything that is against what they feel they know really well!

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I think people sometimes just get caught up in the hype of others. Like fomo. You see people really excited about a thing and you want to fit in so you hype even more.

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