In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made 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? How do our brains really work, in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink 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 "thin-slicing", filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.
Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Blink changes the way you understand every decision you make. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.
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©2005 Malcolm Gladwell; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks
"Entertaining and illuminating." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gladwell's groundbreaking explication of a key aspect of human nature is enlightening, provocative, and great fun to read." (Booklist)
eye-opening, revealing, mindblowing
So many characters and stories around each hard to pick just one.
I felt as if the author was sharing with me these stories personally and wanted me to understand thin slicing.
OH YES. This was the unabridged version and I wish there was more!
What an eye-opening book. I will never look the same at things and try to catch myself thin-slicing whether good or bad.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book blink brakes down the idea of instincts and discusses their possible credibility. As is the subtitle of the book, ‘thinking without thinking,’ Gladwell leads the reader, mainly through examples and scientific findings, to the idea that we have two separate modes of coming up with a solution; the general one which we call thinking and a second one which he refers to as rapid cognition (or instinct).
In his introduction, Gladwell talk about a very expensive statue which had to be evaluated for a possible fraud before the museum made their purchase of it. He goes on to list several art experts, who at first sight of the statue either got a ‘hunch’ that something was amiss, or said that they felt cold, or even strongly suggested that the statue not be purchased. The story line follows that a 14 month investigation that the museum conducted bought them to the conclusion that the statute in fact was a fake. What took the museum 14 months to figure out, the exert ‘understood’ within the first couple of seconds. “Blink is about those first two seconds.”
Gladwell begins to build his argument by separating the two types of ways our brains can make sense of a situation: first, the common sit-down-and-think-about-it until you’ve consciously figured it out. And the second, which operate much faster than the first strategy, and generally operates completely outside our conscience. The latter method, which he compared to a giant self-operating computer, is referred to as the adaptive unconscious. He proposes that the adaptive unconscious is in place as a survival mechanism, because when we are in danger we don’t always have time to rationally think about how we can solve the urgent matter. We can see this mode in action when there is a car coming right at us, and we are also privileged to see this kind of fast thinking when we get our ‘first impression’ of someone or something.
This form of “rapid cognition” says Gladwell, might put the reader into suspicious. He expands; haven’t we always been told to ‘stop and think’ and ‘not judge a book by its cover?’ But can this be partially false, questions Gladwell? Can first impression and snap judgments be of any value? Yes, answers Gladwell as he begins to present his goals for blink.
First, that these unconscious decisions can be as good as those made with general ‘slow’ thinking. Second, when and how we can pick out times that these quick instincts can yield to false conclusions. Third, that we can educate and control out snap judgments and first impressions. And forth, Gladwell’s personal hope for the world, that once the readers begin educate and control their rapid cognition it can improve the world on an economic, political, and social.
The book is then broken down into six chapters and a conclusion. The chapters are used as different arguments to support Gladwell’s goals for the book. The chapters are broken down into sub sections in which he builds up each argument premise by premise.
Bottom Line: I enjoyed reading it once, maybe i'll go over it again sometime in the distant future.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
I read the great book Outliers last week. I was so amused with the author that I tried to find another book by him. So I read the reviews and chose Blink. The book has some good stories, and I learned a lot about subconscious mind and how it influences our everyday life, but, Blink is light years behind Outliers. If you have to choose between the two, go for Outliers. But if you enjoy Malcom Gladwell's work, go ahead, read Blink. It's a fast listen and an overall good book.
I like the first couple of chapters. The ideas and research and anecdotes were interesting. The reader gets boring after a while and the book stops saying anything new after the first couple of chapters. I don't even remember if I finished this book or not.
It's like a really nicely written 40 page summary of a lot of research that Steven Spielberg came along and decided to append another 80 or so pages to fill it in. (A.I. reference anyone?). Anyway - it was worth a credit to get the information, but I'm pretty sure I stopped listening and moved on to my next book at some point
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Gladwell's followup book to The Tipping Point may not be as good but he's tackling a subject at least as interesting. I may not agree with his conclusions, but he has certainly turned up some fascinating research on how human beings are wired and how the mind and body react in situations of extreme urgency. This is the sort of book I really wish would be revised and re-released when the author has had more time to reflect, and possibly when more research has been done on the subjects in question. Bottom line: enjoy the research, filter out the annoying parts, and take his conclusions with a grain of salt.
absolutely fascinating audiobook, the fact that Gladwell reads it to you makes it so much better than reading it yourself, or hearing it narrated by someone else. Gladwell is a unique individual who explains deeply how our second/less than second (second in terms of a time unit) experiences can lead us to some very effective decision making and make our lives better. He gives a bunch of really good examples on when and how we should use this skill every one of us has inside. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is that it's a little long in my taste, I'd like it shorter and perhaps with fewer examples, but you can also get the abridged version
no, divided to chapters pretty much, about one hour at a time
This book was OK at best. I felt like it came to too many unsubstatiated conclusions without the underlying proof and in certain cases is just plain wrong. The book Thinking Fast and Slow while a bit drier gives a much better account of the process, the flaws and strengths of "quick" thinking.
The entertaining way the author, Gladwell, weaves in his examples, speckled with bits of empirical research. It was well done.
I love the deep, crisp and clear tonal quality of Gladwell's voice. I normally think an author should not also be the reader but I could listen to Gladwell on other books also.
Overall well done. It spells out out rapid cognition works and makes that accessible for all who are interested.
I have recommended this book to several of my clinical colleagues.
Clear, concise and interesting storytelling.
An amazing perspective!
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