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What Does Spaghetti Have To Do With Happiness?

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
May 4, 2012

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Watch Malcolm Gladwell’s full TEDTalk, “Spaghetti Sauce,” on

About Malcolm Gladwell’s TEDTalk

Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce — and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

Detective of fads and emerging subcultures and chronicler of jobs-you-never-knew-existed, Gladwell’s work is toppling the popular understanding of bias, crime, food, marketing, race, consumers and intelligence.

About Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell searches for the counterintuitive in what we all take to be the mundane: cookies, sneakers, pasta sauce. A New Yorker staff writer since 1996, he visits obscure laboratories and infomercial set kitchens as often as the hangouts of freelance cool-hunters — a sort of pop-R&D gumshoe — and for that he has become a star lecturer and bestselling author.

Sparkling with curiosity, undaunted by difficult research (yet an eloquent, accessible writer), his work uncovers truths hidden in strange data. His always-delightful blog tackles topics from serial killers to steroids in sports, while provocative work in The New Yorker sheds light on the Flynn effect — the decades-spanning rise in I.Q. scores.

Gladwell has written four books. The Tipping Point, which began as a New Yorker piece, applies the principles of epidemiology to crime (and sneaker sales), while Blink examines the unconscious processes that allow the mind to “thin slice” reality — and make decisions in the blink of an eye. His third book, Outliers, questions the inevitability of success and identifies the relation of success to nature versus nurture. His newest work, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, is an anthology of his New Yorker contributions.

About Howard R. Moskowitz

Gladwell’s TEDTalk focuses on something you wouldn’t expect, tomato sauce. Using Dr. Howard R. Moskowitz’ work, Gladwell focuses on the discovery of chunky tomato sauce for Prego, a product line that generating hundreds of millions in sales.

Moskowitz is an experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics — the study of perception and its relation to physical stimuli — and inventor of world-class market research technology. He graduated Harvard University in 1969 with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.

In the four decades since receiving that degree, his visionary work in scientific and commercial subjects has received numerous awards, including a bronze medal from the prestigious Edison Awards for his development of Mind Genomics. In recent years, Moskowitz’s efforts have been focused on the humanitarian use of his technology. One project involves using Mind Genomics as a way to understand the specific issues and messaging needed to resolve inter-country conflicts, like the Palestine-Israeli issue.

Does spaghetti sauce make you happy? Tell us by leaving a comment below. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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