The Tipping Point CommonLit Answers

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Text-Dependent Questions And Answers

QuestionAnswer
Q.1. PART A: Which of the following identifies the central idea of the text?The similarities between social phenomena and diseases show the significance of small changes.
Q.2. Which phrase from the text best supports the answer to Question 1 Part A?“Why was the Transit Authority so intent on removing graffiti from every car and cracking down on the people who leaped over turnstiles without paying? Because those two ‘trivial’ problems were thought to be tipping points — broken windows — that invited far more serious crimes.” (Paragraph 25)
Q.3. PART A: What is the meaning of “unprecedented” in paragraph 2?groundbreaking
Q.4. PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Question 2 Part A?“There is probably no other place in the country where violent crime has declined so far, so fast.” (Paragraph 1)
Q.5. PART A: What is the author’s purpose in this text?to bring attention to a new understanding of how social problems behave and how they might be improved
Q.6. PART B: Which quote from the text best supports the answer to Question 3 Part A?“Epidemic theory should change the way we think about whether and why social programs work. Now for the critical question: Should it change the way we think about violent crime as well?” (Paragraph 18)
Q.7. How do paragraphs 4-5 contribute to the development of ideas in the text?Paragraphs 4-5 contribute to the development of these ideas by giving examples such as ” the decline and stabilization of the crack trade, the aging of the population…” By using this quote he relates to real-life examples to connect with the main idea. Contribute to the idea and the development of the theme in a way that shows how the epidemic system works, and then identify how this operating system can be very well reflected along with the behavior of the same human being. Through the complaint rates, the chances of contagions are greater, but it mainly goes through the inflection point that people expose themselves more when there is an important event because the behavior of the same people in leaving is more inciting to leave and thus significantly infected rate.
Q.8. How does the author support his claim that there are tipping points for social problems?He always supports his affirmation by giving examples of how the epidemic expansion system works. Giving examples of whose behaviors humanity acts when there is a small agent of chaos, this one is motivating or drawing people’s attention by awakening their curiosities, so that their behaviors are repeated as the example that the author manages to give as “Break window”one action leads to the other, following these steps successively.

Discussion Questions & Answers

Question: Do you agree with the theory described in the text? Why or why not?

Answer: While the text raises intriguing ideas, I cannot fully agree with the author’s conclusions. While human behavior can be influenced by social trends and “contagions,” comparing it to the spread of physical illness simplifies the complex nuances of human actions and motivations.

Initially, the concept of “contagious” behavior seems far-fetched. However, upon deeper reflection, one can see elements of truth in the statement. Humans naturally tend to act in groups, historically aiding our survival.

This tendency can be manipulated, making chaos and destructive behavior seemingly easy to incite. The example of the vandalized car illustrates this point, demonstrating how one act can trigger a chain reaction of destructive behavior.

However, attributing this solely to the “contagiousness” of human behavior overlooks the underlying factors influencing these actions. Individual motivations, existing social tensions, and the specific context are crucial in shaping our response to such situations. Simply labeling human behavior as “contagious” fails to capture the depth and complexity of these influences.

Furthermore, drawing direct parallels between physical illness and social contagions disregards the agency humans possess. Unlike passive victims of a virus, we have the ability to critically evaluate information, resist negative influences, and choose our actions.

This capacity for self-reflection and individual decision-making differentiates us from the purely reactive nature of physical contagions.

While the author raises interesting points about the impact of social trends and group behavior, comparing physical illness is overly simplistic and underestimates human agency.

Instead, we should focus on understanding the complex factors influencing human behavior and promote environments that encourage critical thinking, individual responsibility, and collective well-being.


Question: In the context of the text, why do people do bad things? How does the “tipping point” encourage, or invite, bad behavior in a community? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Answer: Understanding the motivations behind bad behavior requires considering both external and internal influences. External influences include social pressures and the tendency to conform to group norms. The text mentions how individuals can be influenced by “friends” who engage in criminal activities, highlighting the power of peer pressure and the desire to belong.

This aligns with the concept of the “tipping point,” which suggests that once a certain threshold of individuals within a group engage in a behavior, it becomes normalized and encourages others to follow suit. Historical examples like the broken windows theory further illustrate how visible signs of crime can trigger a cascade of negative behavior in communities.

However, external influences alone cannot fully explain why people do bad things. Internal factors like depression, trauma, and feelings of despair can also play a significant role. The text touches on this by mentioning the example of New York City’s decreasing crime rate under a new police commissioner.

While increased law enforcement undoubtedly contributed to this change, it’s also possible that addressing underlying social and economic issues that contribute to crime, like poverty and lack of opportunity, may have played a role.

My own personal experience reinforces the complex interplay between external and internal factors. Witnessing firsthand the negative consequences of drug addiction within my community revealed how external pressures and limited opportunities can lead individuals down destructive paths.

However, I also recognize the importance of individual resilience and the ability to overcome challenging circumstances.

Literature and art provide further insights into the motivations behind bad behavior. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment delves into the psychological torment of a murderer, highlighting the internal conflicts that can lead individuals to commit heinous acts.

Shakespeare’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth illustrates how ambition and external pressures can corrupt even the seemingly strongest individuals.

These fictional representations, while exaggerated, offer valuable perspectives on the complex interplay between internal and external factors that can lead people to do bad things.

Ultimately, understanding why people engage in negative behaviors requires a multifaceted approach. We must consider the influence of social norms, peer pressure, and external circumstances while also recognizing the role of individual psychology, trauma, and internal struggles. Only by addressing the root causes of bad behavior can we hope to create safer and more just communities.

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