The True Power Behind the Power of Context

Powerful Essays
The human psyche and the natural behavior of humans is something not well understood in today’s modern society. Psychologists still have trouble trying to take and formulate what makes up the human mind what makes us do what we do. What type of environment pushes the human mind into making the decisions that lead them to become criminals such as bank robbers and murderers? If any institution has a better understanding of the psychology of the human mind and behavior it is the New York City Police Department. In Malcolm Gladwell’s essay, “The Power of Context”, he discusses some of the reasoning behind the thoughts and behavior of criminals in New York, through a concept he calls “the power of context”. Gladwell claims the power of context is the reason for such a drastic drop in crime rates in New York which derives from the changing behavior of residents. This is a strong claim and such a claim is argued against in Michael Specter’s essay “A life of its Own” and in Edward Tenner’s essay “Another Look Back, and a Look Ahead”. Edward Tenner and Michael Specter put the blame of natural human behavior on things such as where one grew up, how one was raised, poverty or a traumatic event in one’s lifetime. This is how one would argue against Gladwell whose claims are environment based such as that simply washing graffiti will dramatically decrease crime rate. Although ones background, past experiences, and natural-born mental issues all contribute to human behavior, the power of context in the end has the greatest influence in changing human behavior due to its influence on our immediate decisions and how we think which impact who we are and the actions we are capable of committing.

Before venturing into the discussion of how ...

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...o the environment and is contagious. It is contagious to the extent that when one person laughs, it may cause other people to laugh, when one person acts gloomy, other people around that person are more likely to act gloomy as well. This fact makes the power of context a very strong psychological force and it plays an important role in the evolution of the human mind and identity.

Works Cited

Malcolm, Gladwell. “The Power of Context, “The New Humanities Reader”.ed. Richard E Miller. Kurt Spellmeyer. Boston, MA: Cengage, 2012. 152-165. Print.

Specter, Michael. “A life of Its Own.” “The New Humanities Reader”.ed. Richard E Miller. Kurt Spellmeyer. Boston, MA: Cengage, 2012. 364-377. Print.

Tenner, Edward. “Another Look Back, and a Look Ahead”. “The New Humanities Reader”. ed. Richard E Miller. Kurt Spellmeyer. Boston, MA: Cengage, 2012. 433-453. Print.
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