Isn't it possible that some people just want to make a name for themselves so bad, that they will purposefully search for an opposing or radical alternative solution? Everything is so competitive in the western world, that it wouldn't surprise me if the dynamics of problem solving are misused for a popularity contest rather than getting to the core of a real problem. I often wonder if researchers latch on to an interesting subject and inadvertently shift their focus from something of real value to simply having something important "sounding" to say...just so it appears as if they are being original and creative.
There are many pressures to perform at any level of the spotlight, and those aspiring to join the club, such as US university students, would naturally be a little more vulnerable to have their intent seeded with a burning desire to impress. Just as well, if one were to statistically calculate how many grad students were doing research in the humanities, social sciences, psychology, etc...it immediately becomes obvious that the chance for standing out in the crowd would greatly increase, were one to produce some fresh content. I just worry that the content we are being fed is lacking in substance.