From the #1 bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia, the landmark book that has revolutionized the way we understand leadership and decision making. In his breakthrough bestseller 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
According to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, snap judgments aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, sometimes they’re more trustworthy than a long, detailed analysis. The trick is in knowing when to trust your instincts—and Gladwell offers pointers by walking us through the brain’s ability to make predictions and pick up patterns from small slivers of evidence. He uses provocative and entertaining examples from political history, sports, psychology, and even speed dating to reveal how uncanny quick judgments can be—and how dangerous they are in the wrong circumstances. As always, Gladwell hits the sweet spot between hard science and easy reading. We felt like we were learning without being lectured.
Best-selling author Gladwell (The Tipping Point) has a dazzling ability to find commonality in disparate fields of study. As he displays again in this entertaining and illuminating look at how we make snap judgments about people's intentions, the authenticity of a work of art, even military strategy he can parse for general readers the intricacies of fascinating but little-known fields like professional food tasting (why does Coke taste different from Pepsi?). Gladwell's conclusion, after studying how people make instant decisions in a wide range of fields from psychology to police work, is that we can make better instant judgments by training our mind and senses to focus on the most relevant facts and that less input (as long as it's the right input) is better than more. Perhaps the most stunning example he gives of this counterintuitive truth is the most expensive war game ever conducted by the Pentagon, in which a wily marine officer, playing "a rogue military commander" in the Persian Gulf and unencumbered by hierarchy, bureaucracy and too much technology, humiliated American forces whose chiefs were bogged down in matrixes, systems for decision making and information overload. But if one sets aside Gladwell's dazzle, some questions and apparent inconsistencies emerge. If doctors are given an algorithm, or formula, in which only four facts are needed to determine if a patient is having a heart attack, is that really educating the doctor's decision-making ability or is it taking the decision out of the doctor's hands altogether and handing it over to the algorithm? Still, each case study is satisfying, and Gladwell imparts his own evident pleasure in delving into a wide range of fields and seeking an underlying truth. should introduce Gladwell to new readers and help sell out the 200,000-copy first printing.
Throughout the entirety of Blink you end up seeing how counterintuitive our first impressions to so many things are. From taste tests, to wartime strategy, and most importantly to how we interpret other people. To start to accept this idea you first have to accept a series of rules.
The first is that snap judgments are natural and seem accurate enough for many scenarios. The second is that we can’t play an active part in that snap judgment. The next and probably biggest understanding is knowing which snap decisions to trust and which to actively work against.
In his book, “Talking to Strangers,” Gladwell does a great job of explaining that third part, the filter. The filter being CONTEXT of course. In Blink he lays out how we quickly judge, and in the other he dives into how butcher context. For that reason you should absolutely read Blink first, followed closely by “Talking to Strangers.”
All of this is done in Gladwell’s well established style. That trademark elaborate journey layered with anecdotes, tests, and expert insights that all combine to demonstrate powerful patterns. It’s how you wish we learned most everything. At least in an exploratory sense. Seeding the curiosity, watering it, and waiting for that lightbulb like bloom that represents the “aha” moment.
Interesting and easy to read book.
Outdated references to neuroscience literature
The author draws on research such as the IAT which has a test-retest factor of only -.35, if being generous. There are still some sound factors of reactive decision making proposed and that is valuable.