Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown And Company | April 3, 2007 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is rated 3.6552 out of 5 by 29.
In his landmark 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.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: April 3, 2007

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316005045

ISBN - 13: 9780316005043

Found in: Business and Finance

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good book, very interesting 3.5 stars Malcolm Gladwell is studying first impressions and our unconscious reactions to our encounters with various people and things. I'm not sure I'm summarizing very well, but I think first impressions and unconscious reactions do mostly sum it up. I thought this was quite interesting. Some anecdotes that stuck out for me include how the New Coke came about and the reason for its downfall, how some people can just read people... I guess a lot of it is that they are trained, whether for a specific purpose (to watch married couples discuss a point of consternation or just trained in facial expression) or for a job. I also thought the info on facial expressions was fascinating! Overall, good book, very interesting.
Date published: 2012-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Going on instinct Most of my successes have come from acting on my instincts. Blink has given me some insights as to why. Whether it's a museum curator examining a Greek statue, a military general monitoring a battle field or a tennis coach watching a match, the best ones always have some intangible way of seeing more than the rest of us. It is almost as though they have a sixth sense for what comes next. In Blink, Gladwell takes us through the process of finding out what makes these people as good as they are. By talking to military men, tennis coaches, neurologists and pyschologists, he finds out that each of us operate mentally at 2 levels: one conscious, the other not. It is this unconscious level that seems to separate people at the core. This unconscious thought tells us when to talk to a stranger and when to keep to ourselves. It allows me to read a room at a business meeting and know when to offer a joke or stay serious. And I believe it helps me to suss out the best kernels of information during a market research session...it's not what the subjects say verbatim but what they say unconsciously--through a combination of words, tone, body language and facial tics--that really matters. That's when you find out what they really think (or more importantly, how they really feel) about your product or service. A consistent aggravation I have with Gladwell, however, is that while he resets the bar to a new level, he doesn't typically offer solutions as to how to get to that new ideal: in this case, the ability to harness the unconscious thought process to improve your performance in life. Perhaps in just making us aware of these processes, he is helping. It has definitely made me re-examine my environment when intuition checks in and tells me something is about to change."
Date published: 2011-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting read with real life applications The first Malcolm Gladwell book I read, The Tipping Point, was full of interesting facts and evidence about human behaviour that one could take away and apply to real life situations. Blink is no different. Once again Gladwell inspires new schools of thought, this time it's about how to make good decisions. Gladwell astounds readers understanding of how the mind works. He delves into how our mind sifts through the endless bombardment of our senses, how our subconscious affects our thinking, and how our intuition is usually right. I have used some of the lessons learned from this book to improve my decision making. If you want to do the same or is simply curious how the mind works, this is a must-read!
Date published: 2011-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gladwell does it again! Another great read by Gladwell which forces you to contemplate. He writes in manner that is easy to understand and keeps you interested.
Date published: 2010-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Unexpected Pleasure I read this book as part of my book club reading list. I was pleasantly surprised. Firstly, it is an engaging book filled with stories and antedotes that make the "points" easy to understand and apply. Secondly, and to me, more importantly, this is not an author who gets on his soapbox and promotes his thesis while ignoring any and all counterpoints. He clearly explains when to trust your first instinct and when to question it. This book made me think and question some of the quick judgements I tend to make. Whether you choose to agree or not with his principles, reading this book will certainly cause you to reconsider.
Date published: 2009-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Realization Interesting and hard to put down. This is not a novel! It's format is more fact based and is meant to educate. The underlying concept and every day activity explained by Gladwell really makes you think twice about what is going on around you.
Date published: 2009-06-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as good as everyone said I bought "Blink" after a friend recommended it to me. I read a couple chapters each day but I never really had the feeling of "I can't put this book down!" I got about halfway through it and gave up. The book is very repetitive and gets boring. Some of the stories are good though, about certain people who have made quick decisions/judgements and were successful. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it.
Date published: 2009-04-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a Fairly Good Read The writer has accumulated a lot of interesting psychology experiments to explain to us how our subconscious brain makes decisions in split seconds. how ever some times it does feel like the writer is repeating him self where as he goes so deep into explaining the minutest of details for which repetition becomes important. the book is surely worth reading.
Date published: 2008-10-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok..... Truthfully when I began the book I found it facinating but throughout reading the ramainder I found I had to force myself to read it. The book is half common sense and half speculation. Some of the tests and studies can be proven false and highly speculative. I do agree that the subconscious plays a great deal on our decisions and how we interact with others but if you know yourself it is easy to identify why you feel or act the way you do.
Date published: 2008-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read Gladwell himself defined this book as an "intellectual adventure". This is the perfect description of the book. In the nutshell, this is the book about how and why we can make best-informed (!) decisions in two seconds - before any additional information overwhelms us. However, the book is much more than that . Gladwell also tries to answer another part of the question: when can we trust our immediate judgement, and when the traditional "think about it" approach is more effcient. Even though the subject is very serious, the book is real fun to read - I have learned about war games developed by Pentagon, reading facial expressions in two seconds and predicting the future of marriages after listening to couple's two-minutes conversation... As an added bonus, I eventually understood why me, being long-time fan of Coke, always preferred Pepsi in sip-tests... Do you know why? Because in real world nobody sips Cola. If this still doesn't make sense to you, read the book - and you'll find out!
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointment I expected to be intrigued and entertained by Blink, and for about the first four pages, I was. Then I realized how repetitive, disorganized, and shallow it is. I was hoping for a science book; what I got was an extended magazine article. Who cares if a researcher has a moustache or not? If I'm planning to date him, maybe, but not if I want to know the conclusions of his research.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quite interesting! This book is all about your subconscious and how we make snap decisions. To be honest, I found some of the stuff to contradict other parts in the book. That could be because I didn't quite understand what Gladwell was setting out to prove until the very end of the book. Or maybe I knew at the beginning, then forgot about it until the end. Though one point he did drive home well with me was the fact that we can take actions to prevent us from making snap decisions that are bad. There were many little points in this book that were fascinating. I would tell people at work or my family about points in the book just randomly because they were so intriguing. I thought the bit about professor ratings was very interesting. Being able to judge a professor in 2 minutes with no sound similar to someone that takes an entire course with them is quite unbelievable. I find that with books like this, it is really important for the author to get his tone correct with the reader. You don't want to read something that is over you head, but you also don't want the author to take a condescending tone. The tone of this book was perfect. It was like someone talking to you that is excited about their findings in research and want to share all the interesting bits with you. It's too bad that we can't unlock our subconscious to help us out more. But if anything, this book should tell you to trust your gut (or should that be subconscious?) more than you normally would.
Date published: 2007-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from At last! a twist to the old marketing idea (and other human topics)! Wow! Finally I get to read a book that shows the other side of this coin. M. Gladwell makes a superb work at giving a different idea of how we make judgements and therefore, how we can manage under certain circumstances those belly messages (according to his book, perhaps, only perhaps, we should give more credit to them than we do...). Each reader can make his / her own interpretation of the cases presented and then, understand and apply to every particular experience. Every case presented in this book is (to say the least) fascinating... one of those books you can't stop reading once you opened it!
Date published: 2007-12-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Blink is brutal It isn't anything that we don't already know. If you want to read about stats and controlled experiments than this is a book for you. However, it falls short on any practical ways to apply his technique. It is nothing more than a story of one man's life and the experiments he conducted or witnessed, and a dull story at that. I have bought many books and this is the first one I have ever returned.
Date published: 2007-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner Reading this book was a very mind opening experience. A must read for anyone wanting to help improve the world that we live in.
Date published: 2007-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An excellent read This author is a very interesting person. He put on a different perspective, and achieved something that we all knew, just didn't look at it in the same way. He began dissecting his ideas, and using stories, clever wording, and his overall personality, do distinguish himself as not just-another-author, but a person with a intellectual presence. The book itself is excellent. It's a good read, which won't take too long to read, and if you like different perspectives of the world, this is the book for you. It examines the Pepsi Challenge, and shows how quick decision making, is better than slow, thoughtful examination. Sounds crazy, but it just works.
Date published: 2007-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting concept My first book for this author and I must say I was impressed. Recommended this book to many friends and even purchased the Tipping Point. I did not find the Tipping Point as good as this book. Noting that is book is fully of social observations more many anything - it was still a good read.
Date published: 2006-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One sharp book! Loved this book. Quick read as the author has a fluid and direct writing style. Just by scanning the first page you can tell if you are going to like this book or not in the blink of an eye.
Date published: 2006-07-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good, quick, read. Interesting analysis and observations on the strange workings of the human subconscience. I wouldn't quite call it reolutionary. True to its thene you really pick up the point of the whole book in the first few pages.
Date published: 2006-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking As someone who likes to take her time making decisions, I first thought this book was laughable as it seemed to suggest that taking any significant length of time to make a decision was unnecessary given our instincts. In the end, I found the book highlighted certain indicators that already exist when looking for an answer, and though it doesn't provide scientifically proven examples for every situation, it served as a reminder for me that you need to look at all the little things and often the answer becomes that much clearer. A refreshing, interesting read.
Date published: 2006-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fulfilling and enjoyable! Once I started to read The Tipping Point by the same author, I was hooked! Immediately I couldn't get enough so I went out and bought Blink. Both books live up to what I expected. I couldn't put either book down! Should Malcolm Gladwell write another book, I wouldn't hesitate to buy that one either. Each novel was impressing with how much research has been put forth. It is refreshing to see an author who can prove that he knows what he is talking about and not just stating his opinion!
Date published: 2006-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Human Behaviour...Simplified. In the chapter, the theory of thin slices under the subtitle of marriage and morse code there is enough information to save most marriages. There is nothing new here, but this book puts the spotlight on how we really behave and think. It may make you uncomfortable at first, but it grabs your attention and you will read this book more than once. First impressions are very powerfull in the context of relationships.
Date published: 2006-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's worth reading I really enjoyed the book. The concepts presented are targeted towards general population, so if you're looking for very deep thoughts and extensive research on the subject, look elsewhere. Otherwise the book is an easy read and Gladwell is excellent at proving his points.
Date published: 2006-02-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from collection of short stories Blink initially started to draw me in but lost its magnetism as I approached the end of the first half. I expected it to somewhat educate me on what's going on behind the scenes in the world of rapid cognition (at least at a very very basic level). However, all I found was a collection of short stories that remind me of testimonials used to proove pseudo-scientific statements.
Date published: 2005-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting but simplistic As a psychology graduate, I found the content of the book interesting but a bit simplistic. I had already read most of the original studies that were discussed in the book. Gladwell makes them much less complex so that anyone could understand them. However I feel that a lot of what he says is also common knowledge. Essentially it was a good review of a lot I learned in university. Its a bit pricey given its size though. Those who enjoy this book may like Freakonomics by Steven Levitt. Although not as interesting until the latter chapters, it does offer some pretty interesting ideas. Anyways Ive purchased the Tipping Point, but it wont be an immediate read..
Date published: 2005-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Blink? Mr.Gladwell wrote up other peoples experiments and theories quite tastefully. However, his ideas were almost common sense. I did prefer reading the tipping point i think.
Date published: 2005-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was absolutely amazing to read. The way in which his ideas are brought forward is so engaging and interesting.
Date published: 2005-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Could not set it down I loved this book. The whole thing was addictive and i cound not put the book down. The characters were great.
Date published: 2005-06-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overpriced at $37.95 - not a good buy. This book is an interesting compilation of articles - does not warrant being issued as a full length book.
Date published: 2005-06-01

– More About This Product –

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: April 3, 2007

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316005045

ISBN - 13: 9780316005043

From the Publisher

In his landmark 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.

About the Author

In 2005, Time named Malcolm Gladwell one of its 100 most influential people. He is the author of three books, each of which reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. They are: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He is a is a British-born Canadian journalist and author. Gladwell was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto's Trinity College in 1984.
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