Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Malcolm Gladwell
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many hours does one have to practice something to become an expert?

2. What does Langan display at a very young age?

3. What does the town of Roseto have in great abundance when Wolf is conducting his investigations?

4. What does access via terminals replace at Joy's college?

5. With whom does Bill Gates found Microsoft?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does IQ stand for and who developed a test to measure it?

2. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

3. How are students in the hockey leagues grouped and what is the way the children move into other leagues?

4. Describe Canada's system of amateur hockey leagues.

5. What does Gladwell say a surface examination of the Canadian hockey league system would suggest?

6. What makes Roseto an "outlier" town and how does this fact come to light?

7. What did the experiment track and what are the results?

8. Who is Chris Langan?

9. What is the origination of the title of this chapter, "The Matthew Effect"?

10. How does Joy and some of his fellow students make it possible to use the computers more than is allowed and what is the result?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Wolf concludes that there is something about the town itself that keeps its residents free from heart disease. He discovers that the town has a very high sense of community. People are very social and several generations of families live together. There are many clubs and other organizations and people are involved with their community. These seem to be contributing conditions to the relative good health of the residents of Roseto. It is not who they are as individuals, but where they are from that keeps them healthy.

1. Why do you think being a member of a close-knit community might make a person healthier? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think a group of individuals from the same area who are more unhealthy than the average American could be unhealthy because of where they live? Why or why not? Make up an example of why this might be true. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Discuss what makes a community close-knit and how a small town that does not have a close-knit community might be able to promote one. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Outliers is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell measured things such as to what extent the people of a country trust and follow authority, and with what degree of willingness. This measurement is called the "Power Distance Index" or PDI. Countries like the United States have a low PDI, meaning that people interact with figures of authority without much deference and are ready to challenge authority when the situation calls for it. Countries like South Korea and Colombia have a high PDI, meaning that they recognize many levels of authority in a cultural hierarchy and are reluctant to challenge authority.

1. Why do you think recognizing many levels of authority in a cultural hierarchy might influence a person to not challenge authority? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Give an example, not discussed in Outlier, and discuss, in depth, where challenging authority would have a negative result. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Give an example, not discussed in Outlier, and discuss, in depth, where challenging authority would have a positive result. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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