The Tipping Point
how little things can make a big difference
The law of the few: connectors, mavens, and salesmen
The stickiness factor: Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, and the educational virus
The power of context (part one): Bernie Goetz and the rise and fall of New York City crime
The power of context (part two): the magic number one hundred and fifty
Case study: rumors, sneakers, and the power of translation
Case study: suicide, smoking, and the search for the unsticky cigarette
Conclusion: focus, test, and believe
Contagion (Social psychology)
Context effects (Psychology)
Through entertaining anecdotes Gladwell explains the phenomena of fads, or how little actions can ripple outward until a “tipping point” is reached which results in a dramatic change.
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"What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behaviour or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus. This, too, contradicts some of the most ingrained assumptions we hold about ourselves and each other. We like to think that who we are and how we act is something permanently set by our genes and our temperament...We are actually powerfully influence by our surroudings, our immediate context, and the personalities of those around us." pg 258-259
''The Tipping Point,'' by Malcolm Gladwell, is a lively, timely and engaging study of fads. Some of those he writes about fit snugly into the long tradition of crowd behavior: out-of-fashion Hush Puppies resurged into popularity in 1994 and '95; teenagers, despite repeated health warnings, continue to smoke and in the past few years have been doing so in increasing numbers; and in 1998 a book called ''Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'' reached a sales mark of two and a half million copies. Some of the other phenomena analyzed by Gladwell are a bit more unusual, including the decline in crime in New York City that began under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. But all of them can be taken as examples of how unpredictable people can be when they find themselves in the throes of doing what everyone else is doing at the same time. - The New York Times
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