The Power Of Context Gladwell Summary

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Can the solution to quickly ridding a city of crime and changing how the inhabitants behave and judge simply be controlled by the environment and surroundings. In “The Power of Context,” the author, Malcolm Gladwell, discusses and uses examples to demonstrate and explain how the environment and surroundings as well as context play a major role in behavior and judgment and how it had an influence on crime in New York City. In addition, another author, Leslie Bell, discusses in the "Selections from Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom," how two women, Jayanthi and Alicia, unique lifestyles, different environmental factors, and upbringings manipulated their behavior, identity, and sexuality. Although both…show more content…
This theory can be applied to other circumstances and situations, good or bad, as long as the environment is the main factor specifically affecting and influencing a specific person’s behavior. For example, Bell explained how Jayanthi, one of two women she discusses, did not want to be the typical good Indian as her parents desired her to be. Therefore, Jayanthi “worked hard to give herself history that differed from her family’s expectations…” (Bell 34). In this context, the environmental factor and situation affecting and influencing Jayanthi’s behavior was her parents, which was not in a bad context. However, Jayanthi wanted to rebel and did not want to settle down and be the model Indian child that her parents wanted her to be. Jayanthi’s upbringing and environment in which she was raised in caused her to behave a certain way. Although Jayanthi was raised in a good household and her parents had good intention, it was because of these intentions, strict expectations, and rules that eventually influenced and led her to behave in a way that went against and differed from what her parents and culture agreed with. This is a prime example of how a certain environmental factor and/or circumstance can affect a person’s behavior without it having to be in context with physical objects, as it was…show more content…
In his essay, Gladwell talks about an experiment in which several people were split into two different groups. One became a questioner who made up questions using his/her personal knowledge and the other a contestant who answered the questions. The outcome was that the most of the time the contestants would say that the questioners were smarter than them (Gladwell 159). In this situation the contestants were underestimating themselves because they could not answer the questions that they were being asked. There was nothing physical, like a broken window or parents, influencing their behavior or judgment. The contestants themselves came to the conclusion that they were not as smart as the questioners because they could not answer the questions being posed. What this shows is that the contestants, and humans in general, tend to not look at the contexts or environment of certain situations before judging or coming to conclusions. If the contestants would have realized and looked at the situation in the context that the questioners were experts in the area that the questions were being asked in, they would have not come to that same conclusion. The contestants let themselves be manipulated by the situation and the environment into causing

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