Academic journal article et Cetera

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Article excerpt

Malcolm Gladwell. The 71pping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Boston: Little Brown, 2000.

Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for the New Yorker, says fads are not really fads at all but are illustrations of what he calls "the tipping point" - a term Gladwell has taken from medical science and that he defines as the "one dramatic moment in an epidemic when everything can change all at once." In other words, according to Gladwell, ideas, products, messages, and behaviors spread just as viruses do.

Gladwell believes that fads and epidemics are governed by common scientific principles and he discusses three in particular as they relate to fads. The first one he calls the "Law of the Few," which has to do with the idea that a notion or behavior spreads because of the unusual qualities of a few key groups or individuals who are able to acquire and dispense knowledge in such a way that others want to follow their lead. Gladwell labels the second law of fads the "Stickiness Factor," and it involves the idea that their are many latent fads that exist in the culture but only certain ones become manifest. For example, Sesame Street was failing badly with test groups until someone, in an eleventh hour effort, had the idea to mingle puppets with real people. …

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