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Missouri Southern State University logo

Madison Barlow

Social Work Major
Social Sciences Category


My name is Madison Barlow, I am from Seymour, Missouri, and I am a junior at Missouri Southern State University. I am pursuing a degree in social work with a minor in sociology.  


This study analyzed the fidget spinner fad of 2017 by using Turner and Killian’s Emergent Norm Theory of collective behavior. In 2017, the fidget spinner suddenly exploded in popularity, creating a fad that spanned the globe. Fidget spinners were marketed as a solution for disorders including ADHD, Autism, and anxiety. It is estimated that at least 19 million fidget spinners were sold in the first half of 2017. By May of 2017, sales peaked and soon after schools across the nation began to ban the fidget spinners, which caused the fad to quickly fade. The Emergent Norm theory explains how participants of collective behavior, specifically a fad in this situation, base their behavior on what everyone else is doing. The five classes of participants and the six conditions that Emergent Norm Theory predicts will be present for collective behavior to occur were all present in the fidget spinner fad of 2017. 

Poster Presentation