Outliers: Gladwell's new uncommon sense

I’ve been hearing more than a few things about Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers.

Wayne Hurlbert (gotta love that last name) just read and reviewed it on Blog Business World. As a good Canadian, he pulled a good Canuck anecdote out of the book:

Malcolm Gladwell begins his book with the seemingly innocent observation that elite level hockey players share similar birth dates, clustered in the first three months of the year. With this data in hand, the author discovers a pattern that has gone unnoticed by others. While coaches, selecting eight and ten year old hockey players believed they were selecting talent objectively, their selection bias favored older and bigger players. As a result of their being chosen, the players received better coaching and more playing time. By they time they reached adulthood, as a result of this self fulfilling prophecy, the players were better than their slightly younger cohorts.

Here’s the full review

 


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