The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: Ryan, Alex, & Connor


I’m on a nonfiction reading spree, with the last 2 books I’ve read and the current book I’m reading, The Tipping Point, being nonfiction. However, unlike Unbroken and Alcatraz 1259, which in their basis were autobiographies or biographies, The Tipping Point is much more like a textbook in terms of the way it presents information. However, this doesn’t make it anymore boring than any other book; in fact, the information it presents makes it even more interesting than a fiction book you may pick up.

The Tipping Point is a collection of research discussing how the little things in society can blow up dramatically. It opens with an example of Hush Puppies. For awhile, Hush Puppies had died, and it’s future wasn’t looking bright. However, in a spontaneous act of events, the brand suddenly skyrocketed, with sales increasing by more than 1400 percent. Gladwell discusses how the shoe brand could have make such an amazing comeback, and continues to further discuss the Three Rules of Epidemics. While reading through his gathered research, I found it very interesting how one of the rules, The Law of the Few, relates to my life.

The Law of the Few, to summarize, states that in society, there are a three specific types of people that come together to spread epidemics. The first is a Connecter, the type of person that knows everyone and is very outgoing, experiencing new things and new ideas. The second type of person is a Maven, who is the information hub and shares the information with other people. The third and last type of person is a Persuader, a charismatic person with very strong persuasion and negotiation skills. After I read this and contemplated awhile on it, I realized that there were lots of these types of people surrounding me, and I even knew some of them. I have a friend who seems to be in every single club, and likes to make new friends and talk to people they don’t know. In my life, they are my Connecter. I know another person that, admittedly, likes to search up random facts, try new things, and find out interesting facts I didn’t even know I wanted to know. I have an extremely proficient Persuader in my life, even convincing me to do things I didn’t think I would ever do.

cannot wait to keep reading The Tipping Point and finding out even more information about things in society, and I also can’t wait to hear how other people reading this book interpret the information.



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3 responses to “The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: Ryan, Alex, & Connor

  1. ryanzhang21

    At the time I am writing this review, no one has responded to my first post, so unfortunately I am unable to reflect on how they have reacted and interpreted The Tipping Point.

    As Gladwell continues to develop the factors of epidemics, he begins to talk about something called The Stickiness Factor. The Stickiness Factor essentially says how certain factors will cause something to “stick” in the audience’s mind, and how some factors will not. Gladwell brings up an interesting study involving preschoolers and childrens’ tv shows. Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues are used to study how the different techniques in the shows capture the child’s attention and keep the attention. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was young, but I don’t recall ever watching Blue’s Clues. However, as I read on in the study, I began to realize how I was captured by the funny looking puppets and people on the screen, and how I kept watching. Subtle things I would never have noticed kept my 5 year old brain focused on the tv screen.

    Since most people argue that toddlers and adult minds work differently, Gladwell also described an experiment involving college students. The college students were first educated about the dangers of tetanus, some more intensely than others, and then they were followed and noted if they had gone to the college clinic to actually get a tetanus shot. Surprisingly, few of them actually did, so when they attached a map of where the clinic was and times it was open, the amount of people that went rose dramatically. I found this very interesting, because I thought the map would be useless because the college students already knew where the clinic was and when it was open, and yet it increased the amount of people that went by noticeable amounts.

    Gladwell keeps bringing up many different aspects that can change how people think, and this keeps making me question my own actions and how much they are determined by what I see. I can’t wait to keep reading, and see how my classmates interpret this information as well.

  2. komodolafrance

    The Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell was a very interesting read for me. I’ve never read a Gladwell book before, and I’m glad that I started with this one. The Tipping point talks about the three main stages of any epidemic, whether it be Hush Puppies, the drug problem in Brooklyn, or even things like Sesame Street, or Blue’s Clues.

    The book starts off by talking about the three characteristics all these epidemics share; contagiousness, little causes having big effects, and the change happens in one dramatic moment, rather than the gradual changes we often associate with these monumental changes.

    So far, this book’s insight to issues that we are still struggling with today, is refreshing, it feels like there’s no sugarcoating, Malcolm Gladwell is a fantastic writer, who isn’t afraid of the facts, and I can’t wait to continue reading this book

  3. ryanzhang21

    As I won’t be available this weekend, I’m writing my final review a little early.

    I have never fully read a Malcolm Gladwell book either, and as Alex said above, it was a very refreshing and interesting read, and I am glad I chose to read this book. I haven’t read a book that discusses real life research and studies before, and the nonfiction books I’ve read are biographies and autobiographies, so it was very beneficial for me to read something different, while very interesting at the same time.

    While I was finishing this book, something I was wondering about was finally discussed by Gladwell. This book is all about epidemics and contagiousness, in addition to addictions. When I hear the word addiction, I tend to immediately think about smoking, one of the largest known addictions to humans. Many people wonder why we haven’t stopped smoking addictions yet, with all this new research about how it’s horrible for your health and causes cancer, etc. Gladwell discussed how instead of educating smokers on the benefits of quitting smoking, a different approach must be taken to address this problem. He goes on to describe healthy alternatives to smoking, and numerous studies conducted to research how and why people get caught. He goes on to describe 3 different types of people: those who smoke once and never again, those that smoke occasionally but for some reason don’t get addicted, and those who are heavy smokers that go through packs of cigarettes in a week. He described how that the genes in a person can determine whether they smoke or not. People with genes that are capable of taking in more amounts of nicotine that other genes are more likely to get addicted to smoking that other people. I found all this research extremely interesting, and I recommend other people to read this to not only learn about all these amazing studies, but to also see how it correlates to your life.

    Throughout these reviews, I have mainly discussed many of the studies and research conducted, but I have never really discussed the way Gladwell writes and how it captures my attention. The information is written in moderately understandable english, but sometimes I do have to look up what certain words mean. However, this doesn’t deter me from continuing on reading; in fact, it drives me to read more, as I am curious to learn all these new facts on these pages. The way Gladwell organizes his information is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. In each chapter, he has subsections, each diving into something along the lines of the topic of the chapter, but looks entirely different from other examples in the same chapter. An example of this was a study of suicide with addiction, and then talking about smoking. However, although each study only lasts for a few pages, the style he chooses to write in captures my attention and keeps me reading.

    This book is definitely not for those who read for a story. In fact, it is the complete opposite. Those who are interested in psychology, and even those who aren’t, would benefit a lot from reading this. I think everyone is able to read and comprehend the information in this book, and I recommend it to everyone who is looking for something different to read.

    All in all, even though this is my first real nonfiction book and I have nothing to compare it to, I rate The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell a 10/10.

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