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Points of no return; Thresholds; Trigger events; Turning points


Tipping points are moments in time signaling periods of rapid and intense change in behaviors, perceptions, actions, or conditions. Depending on the context, these points in time can mark irreversible changes (as in the natural sciences or complexity theory), or those that are so significant that they could be said to mark paradigm shifts (as in political regime change).


In the bestselling book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Malcolm Gladwell defined a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” Gladwell explored the diffusion of ideas, products, and messages, proposing that they can spread “infectiously” under three conditions: they are supported and spread through people with specific social connections (categorized as connectors, mavens, or salesmen); they use language that sticks in the memory; and the social...

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Correspondence to Ren Thomas .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Thomas, R. (2014). Tipping Points. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht.

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