Measuring the existence of cool using an extended social relations model

J. P. Gerber, Carly Geiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a simple method to measure people's perceptions of the coolness of other people in localized social networks. Folk concepts of cool suggest that cool is real and yet elusive. Approaches to measuring cool that are indebted to traditional personality theory are shown to be insufficient because cool is a constantly changing construct. Instead, the tension between the real and elusive sides of cool may be best characterized as a distributed property of a network. This is measured with an extension of the social relations model in order to give an estimate of the actual stability of cool, instead of just vague folk concepts. 47 undergraduates completed a round-robin rating of the personal and group level coolness of others. Preliminary results suggest that about a third of ratings in cool are due to the actual coolness of the targets, showing both the reality and elusiveness of cool itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalPsychNology Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cool
  • Distributed networks
  • Interpersonal perception
  • Social relations model


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