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Top 450 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes
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Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “In teaching, the implications are even more profound. They suggest that we shouldn’t be raising standards. We should be lowering them, because there is no point in raising standards if standards don’t track with what we care about. Teaching should be open to anyone with a pulse and a college degree – and teachers should be judged after they have started their jobs, not before.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “There are specific situations so powerful that they can overwhelm our inherent predispositions.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “The statistics show that the Southerner who can avoid arguments and adultery is as safe as any other American, and probably safer.” In the backcountry, violence wasn’t for economic gain. It was personal. You fought over your honor.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “We would all be sitting in our deck chairs in the backyard, and we would look up, and all of a sudden, the Air House – or maybe even some specific part of the Air House – would be gone. Poof. High-altitude precision bombing. Curtis LeMay won the battle. Haywood Hansell won the war.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “There is no doubt that those Jewish immigrants arrived at the perfect time, with the perfect skills,” says the sociologist Stephen Steinberg. “To exploit that opportunity, you had to have certain virtues, and those immigrants worked hard. They sacrificed. They scrimped and saved and invested wisely. But still, you have to remember that the garment industry in those years was growing by leaps and bounds. The economy was desperate for the skills that they possessed.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “The As were judged to be much more alert, poised, attractive, and well dressed. In fact, the scores on those four dimensions are so different as to make you think you are looking at two different species of humans. You aren’t, of course. You’re simply seeing the difference between those schooled by their families to present their best face to the world, and those denied that experience.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “We fall out of truth-default mode only when the case against our initial assumption becomes definitive. We do not behave, in other words, like sober-minded scientists, slowly gathering evidence of the truth or falsity of something before reaching a conclusion. We do the opposite. We start by believing. And we stop believing only when our doubts and misgivings rise to the point where we can no longer explain them away.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Coupling is the idea that behaviors are linked to very specific circumstances and conditions.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context. The reason that most of us seem to have a consistent character is that most of us are really good at controlling our environment.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “It was not the privileged and the fortunate who took in the Jews in France. It was the marginal and the damaged, which should remind us that there are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “This idea of the importance of stickiness in tipping has enormous implications for the way we regard social epidemics as well. We tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how to make messages more contagious – how to reach as many people as possible with our products or ideas. But the hard part of communication is often figuring out how to make sure a message doesn’t go in one ear and out the other.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Gottman is far more selective. He has found that he can find out much of what he needs to know just by focusing on what he calls the Four Horsemen: defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “We could start by no longer penalizing one another for defaulting to truth. If you are a parent whose child was abused by a stranger – even if you were in the room – that does not make you a bad parent. And if you are a university president and you do not jump to the worst-case scenario when given a murky report about one of your employees, that doesn’t make you a criminal. To assume the best about another is the trait that has created modern society.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “The striking thing about Ericsson’s study is that he and his colleagues couldn’t find any “naturals,” musicians who floated effortlessly to the top while practicing a fraction of the time.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “The psychologist Barry Schwartz recently proposed that elite schools give up their complex admissions process and simply hold a lottery for everyone above the threshold. “Put people into two categories,” Schwartz says. “Good enough and not good enough. The ones who are good enough get put into a hat. And those who are not good enough get rejected.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “They believed that it was a mistake to separate product development from marketing, as most of their contemporaries did, because to them the two were indistinguishable: the object that sold best was the one that sold itself.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Prejudice and incompetence go a long way toward explaining social dysfunction in the United States.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “A typical five-year-old consumes about 60 percent more ketchup than a typical forty-year-old, and the company realized that it needed to put ketchup in a bottle that a toddler could control.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “My upbringing allowed me to be comfortable with failure,” he said. “The one trait in a lot of dyslexic people I know is that by the time we got out of college, our ability to deal with failure was very highly developed. And so we look at most situations and see much more of the upside than the downside. Because we’re so accustomed to to downside. It doesn’t faze us.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “There they are, the professor and the prodigy, and what they prodigy clearly wants is to be engaged, at long last, with a mind that loves mathematics as much as he does. But he fails. In fact – and this is the most heartbreaking part of all – he manages to have an entire conversation with his calculus professor without ever communicating the one fact most likely to appeal to a calculus professor. The professor never realizes that Chris Langan is good at calculus.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Just as Tom Gau could, through the persuasive force of his personality, serve as a Tipping Point in a word-of-mouth epidemic, the people who die in highly publicized suicides-whose deaths give others “permission” to die-serve as the Tipping Points in suicide epidemics.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Somewhere in retirement, Haywood Hansell saw that announcement in the newspaper, and I’m sure he wondered why he didn’t get an award as well for the effort he put toward fighting a war with as few civilian casualties as possible. But we don’t give prizes to people who fail at their given tasks, no matter how noble their intentions, do we? To the victor go the spoils.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “And why did so many of the British politicians who met with Hitler misread him so badly? Because Hitler was mismatched as well. Remember Chamberlain’s remark about how Hitler greeted him with a double-handed handshake, which Chamberlain believed Hitler reserved for people he liked and trusted? For many of us, a warm and enthusiastic handshake does mean that we feel warm and enthusiastic about the person we’re meeting. But not Hitler. He’s the dishonest person who acts honest.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “You know, in order to make somebody laugh, you have to be interesting, and in order to be interesting, you have to do things that are mean. Comedy comes out of anger, and interesting comes out of angry; otherwise there is no conflict. But he was able to be mean and you forgave him, and you have to be able to forgive somebody, because at the end of the day, you still have to be with him, even after he’s dumped the girl or made some choices that you don’t agree with.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Human Rights Watch: “Nationwide, the rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men is thirteen times greater than the rate for white men. In ten states black men are sent to state prison on drug charges at rates that are 26 to 57 times greater than those of white men in the same state. In Illinois, for example, the state with the highest rate of black male drug offender admissions to prison, a black man is 57 times more likely to be sent to prison on drug charges than a white man.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Biologists often talk about the “ecology” of an organism: the tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “He was an underdog and a misfit, and that gave him the freedom to try things no one else even dreamt of.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “It is easier and far more satisfying to retreat and compose yourself after every score – and execute perfectly choreographed plays – than to swarm about, arms flailing, and contest every inch of the basketball court. Underdog strategies.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “I define a moral action as one that brings advantage to my friends.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “That’s the consequence of not defaulting to truth. If you don’t begin in a state of trust, you can’t have meaningful social encounters.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “When we talk about the advantages of class, Lareau argues, this is in large part what we mean. Alex Williams is better off than Katie Brindle because he’s wealthier and because he goes to a better school, but also because – and perhaps this is even more critical – the sense of entitlement that he has been taught is an attitude perfectly suited to succeeding in the modern world.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “What happens to true believers when their convictions are confronted by reality?”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “Numerous studies of human cognition have come to parallel conclusions: the human brain can divide random stimuli into about six or seven different categories. For example, the average person can distinguish between about six different musical notes before getting confused.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “We think we can transform the stranger, without cost or sacrifice, into the familiar and the known, and we can’t.”
Malcolm Gladwell Quote: “You’re in a situation where you have two very important responsibilities that both have a deadline that is impossible to meet. You cannot accomplish both. How do you handle that situation?”
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