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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – Ausgezeichnet!!

July 20, 2011

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 Gladwells ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. –Barbara Mackoff

Having taken sociology as a minor in college, I personally found this book to be quite intriguing as Malcom Gladwell did an outstanding job in explaining and providing examples of how people react with one another or find themselves in certain situations from the perspective of utilizing the unconscious portion of one’s mind. Simply put, the title of his book, says it all! His scientific approach to rapid cognition, along with other studies such as the race IAT, will leave you dumbfounded as you try to attempt to either shape, confirm, or deny your own opinion of how your perceive people of different races when you associate them with different words. I have always loved learning about people, social groups, and knowing why people behave or respond they way they do with other people and/or other cultures. This book just takes it a step further by explaining how people’s rapid intuitiveness and instant judgment often provides a more accurate conclusion than what they would have otherwise spent large amounts of time thinking about only to surface with poor judgment aka the wrong answer/solution (in some cases….not all). If anything, this book will make you a bit more life smart/people smart/street smart in being more mindful and understanding of how people behave and make judgments…especially when judgments occur in the BLINK of an eye!

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell


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