The article by Jeff Wise states the real problem about Gladwell: not just that his "big ideas" are often exaggerated or outright wrong, (they are), but that his memes are swallowed by the media, and laws, policies, etc, are being implemented in the belief they are in fact, true (they ain't).
It was the epitome of a Gladwellian idea: counterintuitive, startling, yet immediately graspable. In other words, sticky — the supreme attribute for a successful meme. And thus it spread. Read anything about choking in the popular press these days and you'll likely get the Gladwell line. Here's Jonah Lehrer, writing in his book How We Decide: "Choking is actually triggered by a specific mental mistake: thinking too much." (Italics his.) And here's John Paul Newport, writing this February in the Wall Street Journal: "Choking... is essentially the opposite of panic.
"The only problem is that, from a neuroscientific perspective, Gladwell's "choking is the opposite of panic" doesn't make any sense. It's like saying "dogs are the opposite of cats" — a stimulating proposition, perhaps, but logically unparsable.
Okay, so who cares? If half the United States is walking around with the erroneous notion that they are in possession of a really nifty insight into the nature of choking, so be it. No harm, no foul. But some bogus memes are less innocent.