Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Tipping Point

This week I mentioned to my students one of my presents over Christmas a little book that I read avidly called The Tipping Point

It’s an interesting book about how changes can occur in our society very suddenly with apparently little effort. The drop in the New York crime rate that was brought about by zero tolerance on minor crime such as vandalism is a case in point. The book identifies three rare types of people who are influential in such changes: ‘Connectors’ who at the hubs of social networks, ‘Mavens’ who are knowledgeable about the issue and ‘Salesman’ who will persuade people, consciously and unconsciously, to make the change. As such it is a good discussion of minority influence. There is also plenty of other psychology such as a discussion of the bystander effect. There is a chapter on pro-social media influence that looks at how people have communicated such ideas in memorable ways.

Incidentally, one idea in this book is that 150 is a maximum number of people that an individual can have a genuine relationship. Apparently this is taking off in Christian circles as a good size for a church to spit.

An excellent book, highly recommended.

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