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. Who is Roger Barnsley?

2. What does Gladwell say about the residents of Roseto as far as their health?

3. What does Roger notice about the majority of the hockey players in the game he is watching?

4. Why does Langan drop out of the second college he attends?

5. To where does Langan transfer from his first college?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. What is the 10,000-Hour Rule?

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

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

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

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

8. What does Gladwell assert about intelligence and what analogy does he use?

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

10. Where is Roseto and who founded it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chapter 5 is called "The Three Lessons of Joe Flom." Joe Flom is a partner in a very successful New York law firm.

1. Discuss, in depth, the three lessons of Joe Flom. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. How do you think the lessons of Joe Flom might relate to the idea of fate or destiny? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Do you think Joe's success, in his circumstances, was because he was Jewish or do you think any discriminated against minority might have fared the same? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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