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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read... until the ending doesn't materialize
Extremely interesting book with insightful theories on why and how we make decisions. Unfortunately, you don't find out until the disappointing end that the "chapters" were independent essays. As with most books, I looked forward to finding out how the author will wrap everything up and tie the stories together in the end. Apparently, Gladwell either didn't feel...
Published on June 23 2005

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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informed Intuition Beats Analysis and Knee-Jerk Prejudices
Like The Tipping Point, Blink has a very simple point which it elaborates from a variety of perspectives. In this case, the point is that our subconscious mind can integrate small, subtle clues to very quickly make great decisions . . . as long as we have been trained to know what clues to focus on.

In developing that simple idea, Mr. Gladwell makes the case...
Published on July 15 2006 by Donald Mitchell


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3.0 out of 5 stars good, Nov. 5 2014
Good book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Aug. 24 2014
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
Good read
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated, Nov. 3 2007
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
This book is a compelling read. It is initially somewhat like a novel, full of anecdotes, and this can lend an air of superficiality. However, in an efficient and very entertaining way, Malcolm Gladwell gets to the heart of how we make those split second 'gut reactions', and tackles an important subject in very accessible way. The anecdotal examples are a very useful tool, creating memorable scenarios in which to play out the concepts which are discussed.

He explores why sometimes these 'blinks' are right and sometimes they are wrong, and more significantly, how we can train ourselves to make more reliable instinctive reactions in future, by deliberate painstaking preparation and careful training of our brains with the necessary expertise, and also being aware of the standard errors, so that 'in the moment' it can make use of this absorbed knowledge to make accurate snap decisions.

Fascinating! And very accessible to the lay reader, with no advanced psychological background needed. Although it does touch on various existing concepts regarding false-positive defense mechanisms, overriding of red-flags, projection, dissociation etc, it is all explained in straightforward language, and in a quite individual style.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting, Aug. 17 2013
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
the author describes the impact of thin slice short time period input of external stimulus on each individuals perception of of the environment around them.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as the Hype, Jan. 16 2009
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
This book says that sometimes people make good decisions, sometimes bad upon first impression. It gives examples. Little attempt is made to show us how to make the good decisions instead of the bad ones. It says that sometimes deliberate choices, sometimes spontaneous choices are better. In other words, it's common sense. I found the subtitle to be misleading. I was expecting more of an explanation exactly just how to use that "power of thinking without thinking".
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't . . . or you'll miss it!, March 20 2006
I started this book in the early morning and couldn't put it down until I had read it all. The author challenges the traditional notion that intuitive decisions are based on mounds of subconscious information. He shares his concept of "thin slicing" with compelling examples. A worthwhile read. This is somewhat unusual for me, choosing instead some bestseller such as "Da Vinci" by Brown or "Katzenjammer" by McCrae-this book is a VERY OBVIOUS departure for me!!! That said, here's what I think: We are laden with too much information and many of us have the mistaken assumption that the best way to work with all of this information is through careful, detailed, analysis. Malcom gives us a wake-up call. Our mind is a pattern machine that is capable of making quick jumps and accurate conclusions with very little information. The book's premise and assertions are its strength. The writing is engaging but the packaging a bit too commercial and in some spots faulty. If you have to make a quick decision - I say buy the book and read it - just use it as a starting point to conduct your own observations of how to make quick decisions and be more intuitive.
If you're looking for a great fiction read, try the book KATZENJAMMER by J.T. McCrae, or the novel CAT'S CRADLE by Vonnegut.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars was perfect, Feb. 4 2014
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
I loved this book the way that they described stuff in it was perfect I could see it all in my mind.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal book, Nov. 25 2008
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book. While the topic is quite scientific, the author
has been able to engage the reader easily with compelling, memorable stories. A great eye-opener!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Engaging, and Genuinely Eye opening. Typical Gladwell., Nov. 7 2011
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Paperback)
Years ago, Legendary NBA Coach (recently retired) Phil Jackson started handing out books to his players, to rectify any flaws or hone any mental aspects of the game in the offseason. If a player had a problem with his jumpshot or defense, that could be rectified in practice, but if a player had an overarching attitude problem, or consistency problem, maybe that would have to be rectified with reading, and contemplation. And so, as far back as the Chicago Bulls era, Phil was handing out what he thought were great books, each one suited for each unique player's game, personality and weaknesses.

A few years ago, I remember hearing he gave 'Blink' to Kobe Bryant. Kobe, more than anything, has been known for these insane last second buzzer beater shots. He's taken tons of them. And if you factor in all the shots he missed, frankly, his hit/miss ratio isn't even that good. As the leader and captain on the team, he keeps finding himself with the ball in his hands at the end of games, and usually, he can get a shot off. Phil knew that Kobe was under incredible pressure late in games, in moments where every millisecond counts, and that's why he gave Kobe this book. If Kobe could just stop thinking altogether, he'd know exactly what to do. What could you improve if you could switch off your mind in the clutch?

This review is going to sound like a Coda to the Steve Jobs book from last week. It just turned out that way. Steve, time and time again, relied on his intuition, laying waste to months and months of work, design, coding, budgets etc. What is our Intuition, really, and why is it so damn smart (at some things), if our senses and hunches seem, at first, so vague?

First, let's go back to early stages of Man's evolution. We know that at some point, we were moving around, we were mobile, and we probably travelled in packs and tribes. How did early Man communicate? I can only speculate that there were a lot of visual signals (pointing, imitating large animals, etc), sniffing, tasting, yelling, whimpering, and so on. In other words, even if you toss the spoken word completely, you're still left with 5 senses, and those can still be employed to communicate (as a modern analogue, pro sports works, as does Improv Theatre, as Gladwell highlights in the book). Just look at a baby: the baby doesn't know what's going on, but instinctually does certain things to get what she wants. She's communicating at primitive levels. And we humans, in the modern era, do a weird thing: We teach ourselves to talk, to read, to study. We even learn thousands of very specific words to describe the world around us. Many of us even learn multiple languages. But if you really think about it, from Shakespeare to Stephen King, writing, at its best, is attempting to describe indescribable things. Writing and speaking, are, by their very nature, bastardizations, muddled, rough, approximations of pure thought and feeling. Verbal and written communication is inherently unclear and abstracted. So where am I going with this? Body language and instinctive forms of communication are pure, and it's that 'language' we have to relearn, if we want to read systems and situations holistically. There is holistic communication going on, whether we like or not, it's just a matter of understanding the signals.

Kobe Bryant dribbling up the floor with 11 seconds on the clock, down by three, isn't thinking (we hope) logically, but watching the floor for the tiniest of gaps, perhaps even noticing which of the opposing players is breathing heavily, or limping slightly. Where is the weak point?

Why do some electronics companies spend so much time trying to design beautiful packaging, that seems to cradle the device like a precious jewel? Ultimately the packaging is going to be thrown out, right? The answer is that more companies are realizing that the whole experience of using a product contributes to the 'Customer Satisfaction Rating' and if you push up that rating high enough, you get a sense of what kind of high price you can charge. That's perceived value. Visual, auditory, olifactory (eg. New Car Smell); it's obvious that all senses contribute, but perhaps those senses about a product, about a person, about a situation, are the most important of all.

Over and over again, we chastize ourselves for 'judging' people who dress like hoodlums, or look a little rough around the edges, but ultimately, aren't we just battling our own inner intuition? When we sit down to lunch with our high school friends, and one of them is wearing a beautiful gold watch, we subconsciously attribute positive traits to him, suddenly our minds start turning: 'How did he afford that?', 'What did he say he did for a living? Something financial?' We intuitively know everything we need to know about this person in just a few seconds, as long as we ignore everything we think we know, and listen to what our senses are telling us. Yes it's tricky. It's tricky because people often lie to us to improve their outward image/appearance. Toss out the company line, read the body, and the truth is right there, staring you in the face.

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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not factually correct, July 9 2007
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Andrew S. Crooks "Andrew Sheldon" (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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I read Michael R. LeGault's book 'Think' before I read this book, so was confused by the title, though now see the relationship. I could hardly flaw Michael's analysis of the thought process, as opposed to 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell. As a critical thinker, I think the art is under-appreciated...and the fact that this book was a best seller only highlights the fact that people have no skill in the art. So to society I say, buy this book...you deserve Malcolm. For anyone of higher intellect, I still think its worth reading if you possess the skills of critical analysis...as much as I dont like bad thinkers being rewarded, you can learn from his anecdotes.
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Paperback - Dec 4 2006)
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