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. Where does Langan grow up?

2. What does Gladwell find out about soccer leagues in Hungary and Czechoslovakia?

3. At what university does Lewis Terman teach?

4. What does Gladwell delay discussing until the next chapter?

5. From what does the title "The Matthew Effect" get its name?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Anders Ericcson learn in a study he makes of musicians?

3. What does Gladwell say Langan does not seem to be able to do?

4. What experiment does Lewis Terman carry out beginning in the 1920s?

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

6. Where is Langan at the time Gladwell writes his book?

7. Where is Roseto and who founded it?

8. Describe Chris Langan's childhood and college years.

9. What table of data does Gladwell insert in his book at this point?

10. What does Wolf finally decide is the reason for the low number of heart disease-related deaths?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Malcolm Gladwell.

2. What in Gladwell's background may have helped him in writing Outliers? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell gives the example of Harlan, Kentucky to introduce a discussion of how a person's cultural legacy can affect their success.

1. Define cultural legacy in your own words and give an example of it that is not in Outliers.

2. Discuss two examples of cultural legacy that are beneficial to an individual. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Define, according to the values of honor, integrity, hard work, response to authority and honesty what you think your cultural legacy is. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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