Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Final 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. What is the second lesson of Joe Flom?

2. Where is the school that Gladwell focuses on in "Marita's Bargan"?

3. What is not unique in Harlan?

4. What do the men have to do after performing the task asked of them?

5. What does a feudal lord take from his farmers?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Joe Flom?

2. How does Harlan gain notoriety in its early days?

3. What is the third lesson of Joe Flom?

4. How do Korean Airlines change their bad record of crashes?

5. What does Suren Ratwatte say about a Colombian airliner that crashes in New York?

6. What is entailed in growing rice?

7. How is a work ethic related to growing rice?

8. What is Gladwell's interpretation of Cohen and Nisbett's experiment?

9. What evidence is there that summer vacations may be hindering the success of many students?

10. What experiment do Dov Cohen and Richard Nisbett conduct in the 1990s?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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