How is ethos used in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ethos involves convincing the audience of the authority or credibility of the person making an argument. Gladwell uses a great number of authorities to buttress his arguments. For example, in the "Introduction," he writes about the psychologist Timothy D. Wilson, author of the book Strangers to Ourselves. Gladwell uses Wilson as an authority about how much information the mind collects in the unconscious, which is one of the premises of Gladwell's book. Gladwell cites Wilson's training as a psychologist and the title of Wilson's book to make Wilson more credible and to appeal to the reader's sense of ethos. In Chapter One, Gladwell cites the research of John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington, to again build a sense of credibility--in this case, about the ability of researchers to understand a marriage by looking at a short videotape of the married couple interacting. Throughout his book, Gladwell cites authorities in different fields to buttress his argument.

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