Friday, January 4, 2013

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

How do we make decisions--good and bad--and why are some people so much better at it than others? That's the question Malcolm Gladwell asks and answers in the follow-up to his huge bestseller, The Tipping Point. Utilizing case studies as diverse as speed dating, pop music, and the shooting of Amadou Diallo, Gladwell reveals that what we think of as decisions made in the blink of an eye are much more complicated than assumed. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, he shows how the difference between good decision-making and bad has nothing to do with how much information we can process quickly, but on the few particular details on which we focus. Leaping boldly from example to example, displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Gladwell reveals how we can become better decision makers--in our homes, our offices, and in everyday life. The result is a book that is surprising and transforming. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.

My thoughts:
You know how sometimes you just know something, but can't explain how you know it?  Well that is what this book is about.  Gladwell goes through example after example showing how the way we think you need to know as much as possible about something before you make a decision isn't really the case.  Often times knowing more and more actually leads you off in the wrong direction.  Many times we know what we need to know from a snapshot, extra information just manages to mix us up.  Marriage counselors were more accurate when they looked at a snapshot of a couple and counted how many times they were passive aggressive to each other, when the looked more at body language than the words that accompanied it.  Doctors needed to look at a certain criteria to see if a patient was ind anger of a heart attack, instead of listening to all sorts of secondary information, they needed to know a list of things and from there they were much more accurate at predicting risk.

Basically, trust your instincts.  If something feels wrong, let yourself believe it is wrong even if that thought doesn't make sense.  Snap judgements don't have to be wrong just because they are fast.  We used to need to make decisions on the fly to stay alive and those instincts are still inside of us.  Trust yourself and see how your life changes.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316010665
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Publication date: 4/3/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320

Meet the Author

Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He was formerly a business and science reporter at the Washington Post.

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