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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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15,026296129 (3.74)182
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 290 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  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. ( )
2 vote KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
This was a much better book than The Tipping Point. I liked reading about different examples of slices in time. Gladwell did a great job telling a story that is counter-intuitive and fascinating. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Edit: I don't like images or videos in reviews. So I won't add a sample image from this website. I'll make you check it out for yourself. This link might go to my favorite, or it might go to the homepage, or it might go nowhere. If it doesn't work for you, google malcolmgladwellbookgenerator. (My favorite is "Blank." What's yours?)

Original review:

Frustrating. Lots of interesting anecdotes, with analysis of each one. But no guidance on how to use what those people learned in our own lives. If we're not marriage counselors, or firefighters, or subjects of a psychology experiment, we have to go back to what we already know. Which is basically: pay attention to your hunches, but be aware of prejudices, blind spots, and other pitfalls, and figure out when to work hard to get a more thorough understanding of the subject before jumping to conclusions. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
A fascinating look at human intuition,

Long before I read this book, I read criticisms of it saying that humans cannot rely on intuition because intuition is often clouded by bias. Whoever wrote that obviously didn't read the book - that a huge part of Gladwell's argument. This book isn't really arguing for or against human intuition, but rather an expose of how humans "read" situations in a split second and how that affects us (for better or worse). ( )
  benuathanasia | Feb 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (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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