Questions for Close Reading Essay Sample

1. The thesis is clearly stated in the first sentence of paragraph 4: “We believe in Type A—a victory for a impression with no peculiar scientific cogency. ” Prior to paragraph 4. Gleick illustrates the cultural pervasiveness of the Type A class and traces its designation to Friedman and Rosenman’s surveies ; these surveies attempted to associate bosom disease to a set of personality traits clustered around the “theme of impatience” ( paragraph 2 ) . Following the statement of his thesis. Gleick challenges the scientific cogency of Type A. while detecting its compelling cultural relevancy. He concludes the essay in paragraph 12 by repeating the thesis ; he says that associating the Type A phenomenon to cardiac jobs “made for hapless medical research. ” but “it stands however as a victory of societal unfavorable judgment. ”

2. Friedman and Rosenman’s survey. “Association of Specific Overt Behavior Pattern with Blood and Cardiovascular Findings. ” looked at connexions between bosom disease ( including high blood force per unit area ) and Type A behaviours. Gleick gives several grounds why the survey was “obvious and false” and “a wildly flawed piece of research” ( 5 ) . First. merely a little figure of people were studied. Group A consisted of merely 83 people. Second. the topics were all work forces. Third. the research topics were non chosen at random. Alternatively. Friedman and Rosenman selected topics who shared similar professional and personal features. They were by and large “white-collar male employees of big businesses” ( 5 ) who exhibited stressed behaviour. who smoked. and who were overweight. Fourth. instead than admiting these shared features and the possibility that they might be associated with bosom disease. Friedman and Rosenman alternatively claimed that the Type A personality—rather than the subjects’ unhealthy behaviors—was responsible for Group A’s medical jobs. Gleick besides cites the researchers’ formless definition of Type B as grounds of their flawed apprehension of Type A.

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3. “The impression of Type A has expanded. shifted. and flexed to accommodate the changing demands of different research workers. ” writes Gleick in paragraph 7. He calls Type A a “grab-bag” of traits ; research workers pick and choose those features that reinforce their preset decisions. Such research workers. each with a definite docket. leap on the Type A bandwagon. bring forthing sometimes dismaying. sometimes farcical. but normally debatable consequences. For case. research worker V. A. Price associated hypervigilance with the Type A personality. And researcher Cynthia Perry applied her involvement in the survey of reveries to the Type A phenomenon and was able to reason that Type A’s reverie less frequently than other people. Similarly. National Institutes of Health research workers looking at the effects of petlessness on peculiar groups connected the incidence of bosom disease in Type A people with the status of petlessness. Further. research workers interested in the behaviour of children—even babies—have extended the range of the phenomenon to include this group: babes who cry more are Type A ( 7 ) .

Gleick concludes that even before they begin their surveies. these research workers already have in head how Type A will be tied into their findings. and they manipulate the surveies “until they find some correlativity. someplace. . . ” ( 8 ) . He concludes: “The classifications are excessively variable and the prognostications excessively self-fulfilling” ( 9 ) .

4. Gleick demonstrates that the Type B personality has been “defined non by the personality traits its members possess but by the traits they lack” ( 10 ) . He comments slightly slightingly that Friedman and Rosenman were able to happen lone 80 men—municipal clerks and embalmers— “in all San Francisco” who. unlike Type A sick persons. did non experience that they were under any clip 122

restraints ( 10 ) . The research workers labeled these work forces as holding the Type B personality. Gleick implies that this designation by default of a little. unsymbolic sample is farther grounds of the researchers’ unscientific patterns. As the “shadowy opposites” of Type A’s. Type B’s. harmonizing to Gleick. “do notwear out their fingers pluging the lift button. They do non let a slow auto in the fast lane to drive their Black Marias to fatal distraction ; in fact. they are at the wheel of the slow car” ( 10 ) . In kernel. Gleick implies that scientists’ vague. formless definition of Type B reinforces the doubtful scientific cogency of Type A.

5. mintage ( 1 ) : an invented word or phrase harrying ( 2 ) : harassing. raging canonical ( 2 ) : important. officially approved circuitously ( 2 ) : indirectly self-righteously ( 4 ) : hypocritically righteous overt ( 5 ) : unfastened. discernible. non concealed incipient ( 5 ) : get downing to be or look sedentary ( 6 ) : inactive hypervigilance ( 7 ) : inordinate wakefulness correlativity ( 8 ) : common relation of two or more things strident ( 9 ) : loud. harsh. grating. or shriek staccato ( 9 ) : disjointed. disconnected foil ( 10 ) : opposite totem ( 12 ) : venerated emblem or symbol