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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm Gladwell

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Genre: Finance / Business / Career / Author: Malcolm Gladwell / Paperback / 288 Pages / Book is published 2006-02-23 by Penguin Books Ltd

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      05.04.2012 19:36
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      Blink- The Power of Thinking without Thinking- Go with your instinct!

      Blink is a brilliant book that I picked up recently. Having read a lot of tedious psychology books recently, I had shallow motivations for reading this book. I was intrigued by the tagline 'the power of thinking without thinking' and the funky cover!

      The central premise of the book is that there are many situations in life where we should trust our natural instincts when it comes to making decisions. Often we can endure 'paralysis by analysis' by trying to resist our gut feelings. When we build up enough experience and knowledge in a certain field we are able to make decisions and come to conclusions rapidly without always being fully conscious of precisely how we have done it. This concept is known as thin-slicing and Gladwell uses dozens of examples to illustrate it.

      For example, in a psychological experiment, normal people given fifteen minutes to examine a student's college dorm room are able to describe the subject's personality more accurately than his or her own friends who may have known them for years. A cardiologist named Lee Goldman developed a model that evaluates the likelihood of heart attacks better than trained cardiologists in the Cook County Hospital emergency room in Chicago:

      However, think slicing isn't always for our benefit. Gladwell uses the examples of unjustified police shootings of civilians to demonstrate that our unconscious biases can sometimes have tragic consequences. He also examines how the wrong thin slice, in focus groups or in the fascinating example of the pepsi taste test, can lead businesses to come to misleading conclusions on consumer preferences

      Gladwell writes brilliantly, It's not easy to write a book in this field that is based on solid academic research yet is such a pleasure to read. There are some very funny passages and also very poignant images that are conjured up too. I read it from front to back in a day but have looked into the details of the stories he mentions in more detail. These references are very helpfully described at the end of the book and I have found them quite easy to find on the internet. I've also bored my fiance with all the fascinating anecdotes that I remembered. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with an interest in psychology, decision making and anyone who has a talent for doing something but can't explain how they do it!

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      11.02.2010 13:55
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      Overall good, easy to understand scientific read

      I picked up Blink after I read and loved Malcolm Gladwell's other book entitled Outliers.

      Blink is a scientific book for they everyday unscientific mind. Gladwell is very good at taking difficult information and making it accessable to all his readers.

      Blink is about first instincts, and trusitng your first instincts. Gladwell gives scientifc evidence to prove that what our gut tells us is usually correct even though we might not be able to explain why.

      Gladwell introduces the idea of thin-slicing- taking a small amout of information in a split second and making a decision based on this very thin slice of information. He also introduces the idea of mind reading and the things that influence our ability to mind read like stress. He shares a strory about an autistic man who does not have the ability to mind read and he compares this to situation when lots of people lose the ability to mind read.

      Overall a very good read with some interesting case studies.
      Not as good as Outliers in my opinion.

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        23.04.2009 21:52
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        Interesting book discussion the power of intuitive snap decision making

        Blink, written by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about using your intuition and making snap judgements. Sometimes these intuitive snap judgements can pay off with positive results but on other occasions it shows how you do need to be careful when making these snap decisions as sometimes the wrong conclusions can be reached with devastating consequences.

        In the book, Malcolm Gladwell gives plenty of examples, backed up by scientific research and experiments to describe these moments when a person 'knows' something without knowing why. For example, he goes into detail on how an art expert can look at a supposedly multi-million dollar sculpture and immediately spot that it's a fake when others would be fooled or when a marriage analyst knows within minutes whether or not a couple will stay together.

        The book raises issues around subconscious prejudices and how split second decisions, mixed with a variety of factors and influences can result in disasterous consequences, for example the police officers on patrol in a notoriously dodgy part of Brooklyn in New York made the wrong snap decision based on their summing up of the victim, the circumstances and their already in built beliefs.

        I found the book pretty interesting. There were a few occasions that I found some of the explanations tended to become slightly long winded and a little complex, whereas other explanations I found really interesting and has certainly made me think slightly differently about certain situations. The examples I have mentioned above such as the art expert recognising fakes or the police officers making the wrong decision are I suppose not typical examples that the majority of people can relate personally to but there are plenty of other examples provided throughout the book which most people can relate to in their every day lives and it certainly gets you thinking about how you could possibly put some of these ideas into practice a bit yourself or how already on occasions in the past you may have intuitively had that 'knowing' feeling.

        Blink is an easy enough book to read. There is a lot of detail but not so much that you get bogged down or lost in. The book is split into seven fairly even chapters, many of which split into sub-sections which helps keep the momentum going and at 254 pages in total it doesn't take too long to get through.

        Overall, I think it's a good book and certainly worth reading - i probably haven't done it enough justice in this review as it is slightly hard to get all the ideas across without basically giving away all the theories and explanations in the book!

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          30.08.2008 03:34
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          Want to understand why we make the right decision for things instantaneously without much thought, r

          I heard about this book Blink from a clairvoyant. My first impression then was- not another psychic book. Well I was so wrong.

          Blink is about trusting your intuition. Its about that first thought you have when you see an object, meet a new person or visit a new place. Malcolm Galdwell is a journalist and his observation and indepth research have led him to uncover the power of intuition.

          Blink is not a spiritual book. Malcolm Gladwell 's Blink uses scientific approach to make us realise that our intuition are often hindered or distorted by our environment, influences and beliefs.

          In one experiment, two group of people were told to knock at a door in the corridor. Before doing that, one group was given a list of words like anger, annoyance, unhappy, grumpy types of negative words. The second group were given words like happiness, laughter, love, kindness types of positive words. They were each told to knock on the closed door.

          When group one knock on the door but received no response for more than 3 minutes, they show impatience, anger and annoyance. The second group gave a positive response when the same was done to them.

          Blink is not boring, in fact it is intriguing and its scientifically proven by the several experiments recorded.

          Blink teaches me to be more aware of my intuition.

          Want to understand why we make the right decision for things instantaneously without much thought, read Blink.

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        • Product Details

          Intuition is not some magical property that arises unbidden from the depths of our mind. It is a product of long hours and intelligent design, of meaningful work environments and particular rules and principles. This book shows us how we can hone our instinctive ability to know in an instant, helping us to bring out the best in our thinking and become better decision-makers in our homes, offices and in everyday life. Just as he did with his revolutionary theory of the tipping point, Gladwell reveals how the power of blink' could fundamentally transform our relationships, the way we consume, create and communicate, how we run our businesses and even our societies.You'll never think about thinking in the same way again.