54 of 56 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
64 of 68 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books ever written.,
Think about that for a minute. Was it really necessary to cite all those studies to prove that point? Like is this such a provocative idea that this book needs to be on the bestseller's list for god knows how long?
Let me share a story with you. I grew up playing NES, SNES, PS, etc. When you play a game for the first time, the controls of the game a unfamiliar, the gameplay is naturally stiff. But soon after you get used to pressing the buttons in such and such combination that will win you the game. Eventually, you get to a point where you no longer have to think about the buttons you press yet you can control the game environment. You get to a point where you can impose your will on the game. For example, timing for the combination moves for Tekken 3 is crucial. Of course at first I had trouble memorizing the buttons as well as timing. But after a while, this no longer becomes a conscious process and I can do the 10-hit King combo moves, throw my enemies around like rag dolls and win at will. Did I need Mr. Let-me-give-you-a-new-way-of-looking-at-the-world Malcolm Gladwell? I figured that out when I was 12.
You get my point. Of course the problem is all of Gladwell's books are this useless. Yet the part of the population that considers themselves 'well-read' can't get enough of him. And that is sadder than the man himself.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blink, blink, blink AD NAUSEUM,
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this book.,
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)I found the whole book very enjoyable, although chapters four and five had a little too much detail for me.
This book is a must read as it clearly presents the role that your unconscious mind plays in decision making. A role that is often discounted and replaced by detailed analytical analysis. In the blink of an eye, your unconscious mind is able to give you insights about a specific situation or object. You may not be able to articulate these insights or justify them to others. However, they are often correct. The author describes a psychologist who can predict whether a marriage will last based on a few minutes observing the couple. This analysis is based on what is called "thin slicing" - focusing on the few factors that are critical, without over analyzing. Indeed, great decision makers are often those who have perfected the art of "thin slicing".
However, the author also points out situations where your unconscious mind can lead you astray. For example when you have been culturally conditioned to believe in a certain way or where you have been conditioned to make certain associations. The author illustrates how people who are not racist, including blacks, can be unconsciously biased (slightly, but enough to make a difference) against blacks.
If you are a police officer, thinking of becoming one or know someone who is, you will find Chapter Six: The Delicate Art of Mind Reading very interesting.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give Blink More Than Just a Quick Glance.,
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)This book shared powerful information about how our unconsious mind picks up on cues in our surroundings much quicker than our conscious mind can. It has taught me how to read what my unconscious is trying to tell me when I get a "feeling" about something or someone. My unconscious registers little, quick-as-lightning nuances that may leave me with a sense of uneasiness, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
The author teaches how to get in touch with what our unconscious may have perceived, so that we can make more reliable decisions about whether to go ahead into certain situations, or whom and what to trust. He shares case studies, such that you can see that this is not some random untested theory of his, but rather, that his conclusions are based on reliable, reproducible data.
Blink has helped me to identify and trust my instincts more, freeing me from the paralysis of ever-waffling decision-making. I feel more confident in my decisions now, and find myself happier with the choices I am making.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the most fascinating books I have read.,
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)This is one of the most fascinating books I have read in some time. The book centers on the concept of how fast we really do make judgments, called "thin slicing", and how deeper analysis can sometimes provide less information than more. It is all about cognitive speed.
The concept of "thin slicing" is dissected and explained. What I found fascinating, and also common sense, is that we process information on a subconscious level, "behind the door", and process so holistically that to over analyze can actually hinder our ability to make decisions.
Several key points are applicable in business. One of the in depth studies looked at a military leader who was particularly successful. One of his more poignant observations was that a great leader needs to let the people do their work. When deciding how often to follow up "you are diverting them, now they are looking upward instead of downward. You are preventing them from resolving the situation". (Page 118) Further "allowing people to operate without having to explain themselves constantly ... enables rapid cognition" (Page 119). It seems that most micro-management actually prevents people from successful decision making.
Another strange phenomenon occurs when we try and explain how we come to some conclusions. It seems that the more we try to analyze how we come to some conclusions the less reliable they become.
The ability to absorb and detect minute changes in facial expressions allows us to essentially "read minds" if we pay attention. There are several chapters on how reliable we can be in predicting behavior with very little information.
Overall, this book is so well written that I had a hard time putting it down. My only compliant, and it is a minor one, is that the book just ends. No summary or wrap up, just "boom", it's over. However, that is more a testament to how engaging the book is I suppose. Another book worth looking at is " The Quest " by Giorgio Kostantinos. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff,
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Storytelling - Less applicable than Outliers,
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)I read this book because I enjoyed Outliers so much. Both demonstrate his exceptional ability as a journalist and storyteller. Regardless, I was disappointed that while Blink gave several examples of how experts are able to make rapid fire judgements, it had little practical information how the reader could ultimately apply the same methods successfully.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed Look at Quick Thinking,
Through fascinating studies and real life examples, Malcom Gladwell explores these concepts and much more in this book. As Gladwell states, there are three purposes to the book. First, to show that quick decisions can be just as good as decisions made after slow, careful deliberation. Second, to identify when we should trust our instincts and when we should be wary of them; and third, to persuade the reader that snap judgments and first impressions can be educated and controlled.
To demonstrate Gladwell's points, plenty of pages are devoted to studies and examples that made the book sound like a marketing textbook at times. Descriptions of the many types of facial expressions were so detailed that it became monotonous. Also, I would have liked more tips about how to control snap decisions, but the book certainly gave me a better understanding of why and how first impressions are made. Having said this, Blink is a worthwhile read, and the concepts will compel you to reevaluate those snap decisions you make in your life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, fun to read and what not,
It was an interesting book, with many fun to read "case studies" as I'd like to call them.
If you are at all into psychology or enjoy marketing, then this books is for you
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doh!,
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)I picked this book up and read it, COMPLETELY not figuring out the fact that it was by the same guy who wrote THE TIPPING POINT. Doh! No wonder I liked it so much. I'm normally one to stick with fiction, but this is great stuff. With the state the world is in today, you must read this book, along with TTP. Both are great, but BLINK is the best by far. Would also recommend the book THE WORLD IS FLAT.
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Hardcover - Jan. 11 2005)
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