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A person, action, decision or thing becomes popular if many people like that entity/object. Popularity figures as an important part of many people's personal value systems, and forms a vital component of success in people-oriented fields such as politics.

Many different variations of popularity exist, and many ways in which to gain it. General popularity usually involves respect in two directions: the popular person is respected by his peers, and will simultaneously show them respect, thus reinforcing their belief that he is deserving of his popularity. Likewise, amicability is an important component of popularity, as a person who does not like others is unlikely to be liked by others. The two-way nature of inter-personal popularity is often overlooked by people, particularly the young, who are attempting to become popular: being loud or a show-off may be successful in gaining attention, but is unlikely to provide the necessary mutual respect involved for true popularity.

Humour may also be a viable means of increasing one's popularity, as there are few people in the world who do not warm to somebody who amuses them. However if taken too far this strategy can result in one being seen as a clown or buffoon, who ends up laughed at rather than laughed with, and who misses out on the crucial component of respect.

Compare popular music, populism.

Member parties of the coalition European Popular Party are usually demochristian parties like the Spanish Partido Popular and the Italian Partito Popolare.