Shiny object syndrome

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Shiny object syndrome is the situation where people focus undue attention on an idea that is new and trendy, yet drop it in its entirety as soon as something new can take its place.


Shiny object syndrome (SOS) is a pop-cultural, psychological concept where people focus on a new and fashionable idea, regardless of how valuable or helpful it may ultimately be.[1][2] While at the moment it seems to be something worth focusing one's attention upon, it is ultimately a distraction,[3] either a personal distraction or something that is done intentionally to distract others.[4] People who face a fear of missing out are especially susceptible, as the distraction of shiny objects in themselves clouds judgment and focus.[5]

The term shiny object syndrome is often used when people mistake something small and focused and fixate on it to the extent that they lose the big picture.[6] This is used within management literature, popular psychological literature, and across the social and computer sciences.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pearson, Teresa (2015). "Why Does It Take So Long for New Ideas to Catch On?". AADE in Practice. 3 (3): 8–10. doi:10.1177/2325160315580963. ISSN 2325-1603. S2CID 177223937.
  2. ^ Church, Allan H.; Del Giudice, Matthew; Margulies, Alyson (2017-08-07). "All that glitters is not gold: Maximizing the impact of executive assessment and development efforts". Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 38 (6): 765–779. doi:10.1108/LODJ-05-2016-0127. ISSN 0143-7739.
  3. ^ "Do You Have 'Shiny Object' Syndrome? What It Is and How to Beat It". Entrepreneur. 2017-02-09. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  4. ^ Leibovich, Mark (2015-09-01). "The Politics of Distraction (Published 2015)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  5. ^ Wozniak, Tom. "Council Post: Three Tips For Avoiding 'Shiny Object Syndrome' In Marketing". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  6. ^ Finkel, David (2020-01-16). "Entrepreneurs May Be Particularly Susceptible to Shiny Object Syndrome. Here's How to Cure It". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  7. ^ Roberts, James A. (2011). Shiny objects : why we spend money we don't have in search of happiness we can't buy. New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-209360-8. OCLC 526084214.
  8. ^ Harrison, Henry (2019-03-01). "Headline hype disguises security failings". Computer Fraud & Security. 2019 (3): 6–8. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(19)30027-2. ISSN 1361-3723. S2CID 182600699.