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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without…

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (edition 2005)

by Malcolm Gladwell

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Title:Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2005), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sociology, psychology

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

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Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
Unlike The Tipping Point, I found some of the science referenced in Blink to be, well, bad science. Much of it was to prove a point or assist the narrative, but a study of 38 people going to a car dealership is not a scientific study into the bias of car sales. A few too many psychological studies and less real world examples. ( )
  supermanboidy | Jul 19, 2015 |
38. Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Audio) by Malcolm Gladwell, read by the author (2005, 7:44, ~210 pages in paperback, listened June 8-17)
Rating: 4 stars

Another great book from Gladwell, much more science-y than Outliers or any others that I've listened to. It's the kind of book that makes you forget the author isn't actually the expert, but presenting other people's work. He just writes brilliantly. He also reads brilliantly.

The book covers the unconscious brain that does most of our "thinking" for us in a rapid speed, giving us our instincts for various impressions and feeling that we haven't had a chance to consciously work out. He looks at how powerful this is, particularly in well trained experts, and how it gets fooled and leads to mistakes, and on how this is manipulated in advertising and politics. And he makes it fun and fascinating, bringing in great stories. The most moving is his recount of the Amadou Diallo shooting by the NYC police, the story behind Bruce Springstein's 41 Shots.

There is just something wonderfully charming the Gladwell's exaggerated simplifications. He'll tell a story and then says, "Of course he did" and, really, it's not an of course, but damn that line sticks. I'm at the moment thoroughly charmed by Gladwell. ( )
3 vote dchaikin | Jul 12, 2015 |
This is one of the many books that keeps coming in used and new at the bookstore where I work. This generally either means it's either really good, mandatory class reading...or it's just really terrible. I got curious and gave it a go and normally am all about woo-woo pseudoscience and metaphysics type junk. Sadly, no matter how much I want to like Gladwell, I just couldn't get into this. The title seems pretty misleading because much of the book considered the problems that happen when people "think without thinking." The pseudo-science was tolerable and there are a couple interesting stories within, but by the time Gladwell was proposing a theory of "temporary Autism" as justification for police brutality, I just wanted the darn book to be over. ( )
1 vote weeta | Jul 5, 2015 |
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is always a quick read-- he's a great storyteller and finds plenty of illustrations for whatever concept he's presenting.

This book is about how the brain works:

"It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, 'Blink' is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good."

He shows how all of us have the ability to "thin-slice" people or situations in the first couple of seconds. Based on an extremely small sample size we can make judgments that are just as accurate as if we'd had hours or days with the person or situation. But some people are better at this than others because they have a lot of exposure and experience, and some people make serious errors in calculation during those moments--particularly in extremely stressful situations-- because of a "temporary autism" that can occur when the body is placed in extreme stress.

Sometimes studying something systematically and empirically may lead people to wrong conclusions, conclusions that some people just automatically and correctly know are wrong in two seconds.

A lot of good scientific research presented with great examples. I encourage you to click the link above to read more about the book from Gladwell himself. I learned a lot and enjoyed it.

4.5 stars out of 5. ( )
1 vote justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
This was really good, but I don't think I'm any more clear at the end than when I started how this information will help me. I love the idea of our unconscious working at levels that our conscious mind cannot. I know I often have gut instincts I ignore because I reason them out and get confused with a case of "too much information". I was hoping by the end of this book I would be able to apply this information, but I'm still not sure I can tell the difference between a true instinct and a snap judgment originating from preconceived ideas. If it had been more clear on that, I would have given it 5 stars. ( )
3 vote KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
Beyond question, Gladwell has succeeded in his avowed aim. Though perhaps less immediately seductive than the title and theme of The Tipping Point, Blink satisfies and gratifies.
If you want to trust my snap judgment, buy this book: you'll be delighted. If you want to trust my more reflective second judgment, buy it: you'll be delighted but frustrated, troubled and left wanting more.
"Blink" brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves, ideas that you'll have a hard time getting out of your head, things you'll itch to share with all your friends.
added by stephmo | editSalon.com, Farhad Manjoo (Jan 13, 2005)
You can't judge a book by its cover. But Gladwell had me at hello — and kept me hooked to the final page.
As a researcher, Gladwell doesn't break much new ground. But he's talented at popularizing others' research. He's a clever storyteller who synthesizes and translates the work of psychologists, market researchers and criminologists.
added by stephmo | editUSA Today, Bob Minzesheimer (Jan 10, 2005)

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To my parents, Joyce and Graham Gladwell
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In September of 1983, an art dealer by the name of Gianfranco Becchina approached the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. (Introduction)
Some years ago, a young couple came to the University of Washington to visit the laboratory of a psychologist named John Gottman.
"We have come to confuse information with understanding."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316010669, Paperback)

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us "mind blind," focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to "the Warren Harding Effect" (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the "dark side of blink," he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. --Barbara Mackoff

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:19 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

How do we think without thinking, seem to make choices in an instant--in the blink of an eye--that actually aren't as simple as they seem? Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, the author reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.… (more)

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