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Outliers Chapter 7

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Morgan Diamond

on 18 September 2014

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Transcript of Outliers Chapter 7

The purpose of this chapter is for Gladwell to present the argument of how the concept of something so small as cultural differences can lead to detrimental disasters such as plane crashes, and the deaths of hundreds. Gladwell shows how in this culture where one’s superiors hold so much power (PDI) - Power Distance Index - can be dangerous in situations such as these.
What arguments does Gladwell pose?
What audience does this chapter appeal to? Why?
Each of us has his or her own district personality. But overlaid on top of that are tendencies and assumptions and reflexes handed down to us by the history of the community we grew up in, and those differences are extraordinarily specific.
The general public
To bring awareness to different cultures of communication skills and how it can influence their lives.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
In this chapter, Gladwell analyzes multiple plane crashes, in which the pilots’ cultural background could have influenced their communication skills, playing part in the crashes.
Outliers Chapter 7
"The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes"

In this chapter Gladwell poses the argument of whether someone’s culture can affect their job performance so highly, causing the deaths of hundreds
In this chapter, Gladwell focuses on depicting the many deaths of the passengers on the flights to cause a strong emotional reaction towards those passengers.
Support Points
As a student in mixed-grade classes, talking to some of my classmates can be intimidating, as they are older than I am. Also, from living in San Francisco, we are able to observe a vast array of cultures and witness the similarities and differences between them.

Apply to Own Life
Discussion Questions
What are possible factors (other than culture) that you believe could have lead to these crashes?

Yes, by closely analyzing the conversations of the pilots recovered from the crash and relating his argument to the PDI list, Gladwell successfully convinces the audience.
Evidence Convincing?
Yes, the evidence that Gladwell uses is credible as it is actual recordings from the planes at the times of the accidents.
Credible Sources?
How can we know that it had to do with culture and not just the way the pilots were taught in flight school?
The fallacy in this chapter is hasty generalization because not all of the Korean pilots acted the way that the pilots who crashed did.
This chapter also uses ad hominem arguments because he attacks the culture of the South Koreans and puts all of their crashes against the amount of flights they've successfully landed.
Appeals to false authority are also used. The way that Gladwell uses the information of the flights causes a reader to think one way instead of seeing the whole perspective. This sources are trustworthy, but also could be used in a way to make a reader to only believe the author.
Conclusions and Fallacies
Are there possible downfalls in the professions of those from cultures at a lower placement on the PDI chart? What could they be?
By Gladwell's use of many credible sources, the audience believes and trusts in what he is saying throughout the chapter.
Dialogue from the plane's before they crashed
"Hofstede's Dimensions"
"Uncertain avoidance"
"Plane crashes are much more likely to be the result of an accumulation of minor difficulties and seemingly trivial malfunctions."
"Planes are safer when the least experienced pilot is flying, because it means the second pilot isn't going to be afraid to speak up."
PDI: concerned with attitudes toward hierarchy,
specifically with how much a particular culture
values and respects authority.
"How frequently in your experience, does the following problem occur: employees being afraid to express disagreement with their managers?"
"To what extent do the "less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally?"
PDI of pilots around the world measured by Helmreich and Ashleigh Merrit showed that number one was Brazil, and number two was South Korea.
"Loss rate for an airline like the American carrier United Airlines in the period of 1988-1998 was .27 per million departures = they lost a plane in an accident once in every four million flights."
"The loss rate for Korean Air in the same period was 4.79 per million departures- more than seventeen times higher."
Full transcript