Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Fads Can Be Dangerous

NEWARK, Delaware (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Fads like the pet rock or the Macarena are relatively harmless but others can be downright dangerous.

University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best, author of Flavor Of The Month: Why Smart People Fall For Fads (University Of California Press), says people succumb to faddish behavior because it represents progress.

That’s fine as far as clothing or music, but it’s not so good when the fads become “institutionalized,” like back in the 1980s when “multiple personality disorder” was all the rage until fad-following doctors split for something new.

Treating a patient based on the latest fad is potentially dangerous; but Best says that the medical world does actually pay attention to scientific evidence.

That’s a far cry from the business world where trends like “re-engineering” or “quality circles” are adopted and discarded without rhyme, reason or proof they work.

Meanwhile, some fads do have staying power, such as the wristwatch, which has been around for 80 years despite being declared a fad in 1915.

(Contact numbers available only to subscribing media or trial media users. You can request samples at the Wireless Flash web site.)
Copyright © 2006 Wireless Flash News Inc. All rights reserved. Wireless Flash® and FlashNews® are registered trademarks of Wireless Flash News Inc.