Notes on Gladwell's discussion with Adam Grant

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(These notes will be only on the bits that seem relevant to the question about slow people)

He begins by talking about Sheelah Kolhatkar. She had a job in finance that required making snap decisions that would affect people's lives and had a tough time with it. She then became an investigative reporter and was very successful. Gladwell describes her as "dogged" in her investigative reporting. Gladwell thinks she's high in Big5 traits of Conscientiousness and Neuroticism.

He describes her as a "neurotic tortoise." He thinks that these types of people are good at mastering very complicated domains and doing a very thorough job, having very few mistakes.

He then goes on to make an argument that we should slow down the lsat to allow for more tortoises to succeed in law school.

Adam Grant is pushing back on Gladwell's lsat argument, which isn't quite the same topic as our question. Grant makes point that we should expect experts be faster, as they can rely less on slow thinking and have better intuitive judgements.

Grant also says that one of the key components of having more quality works, is just having a higher quantity of work (he references this article of Gladwell's). Gladwell responds that you don't want your lawyers to be the high output, high error rate kind of people. For positions that require low error rates, you may want a "neurotic tortoise" instead.

Grant "why can't we just have a really conscientious hair?" Gladwell thinks that conscientious neurotic people will be tortoises. I'm not so sure. I've been trying to find any type of correlation between big 5 personality traits and processing speed, and it's not easy to find.