Good news: Researchers discover what makes someone cool

Be hot. When Dar-Nimrod first asked participants what words describe cool, he received myriad responses (1,639 to be exact). But again and again, he encountered words like “hot,” “handsome,” “beautiful,” “cute,” and “sexy,” with an overall theme of physical attractiveness. People agree that being attractive is cool.

“Our research was kind of designed to see what goes into coolness evaluation,” he says. “What we found was that the dominant perception of coolness is revolving around social desirability and generic semi-gentrified traits.”

Be friendly. Dar-Nimrod believed that coolness would have a rebellious feel to it, a James Dean “Rebel Without a Cause” vibe. What he found instead was that most people believe friendliness constitutes cool.