Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

February 10, 2009
By Samantha Tinker BRONZE, Plano, Texas
Samantha Tinker BRONZE, Plano, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Malcolm Gladwell's 'Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking,' presents an alternative approach of thinking as well as an antithetic way of evaluating decision making. Although it has commonly been specified that one should closely analyze all options before making a decision, Gladwell demonstrates through various studies and psychological experiments that the best decisions are made in the blink of an eye. The process in which we make snap judgments is called thin slicing; this is our capacity to measure what is important from a limited period of exposure. Gladwell guides readers through the world of thin slicing and causes us to reevaluate the power of our unconscious in this riveting book.
It can be deduced that Gladwell aims to make readers more careful thinkers. He tries to help us understand that snap judgments can be more accurate than close analysis. However, the assumption that split decision making is as accurate if not more accurate than careful evaluation is quite a long shot. He backs this claim with real life examples. In these examples, he helps the reader realize that our unconscious is capable of holding information that our conscious mind does not. He also shows us that a little bit of knowledge can take us a long way; even when we don't realize it. Years of experience yields a precise intuition within the specialized field that an expert may explore. However, he uses one of the United States' most infamous presidents, Warren Harding and his dashing good looks to show us that snap decisions still have limitations. Blink also provides shocking statistics that show how common prejudiced stereotypes are. However, it is not always that we consciously discriminate against minorities. Gladwell shows that a very large percentage of us are prejudiced in one way or another, but don't even realize it. Much of our prejudice lies in our unconscious from embedded stereotypes that have been built up since childhood. Gladwell explains that it is often difficult to understand why we come to certain conclusions when we have such limited time and information. He clarifies that we often, 'demand an explanation when an explanation isn't really possible,' and believes that, 'We need to accept our ignorance and say I don't know more often' (71). Although split decisions have proved to be quite accurate, they still can backfire. Gladwell makes a point to emphasize a situation in which intuition resulted in disaster. This occurred when four New York City police officers mistook Amadou Diallo as armed and aggressive and shot him forty one times when he was completely innocent.
Gladwell's 'Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking,' is an enlightening work that should be read by all who thirst for knowledge and a greater understanding of decision making. Many people believe it is necessary to closely evaluate all options before making decisions. However, what we don't realize is that the power to make accurate judgments within a very limited time is endowed within us, we just seldom realize it. Consistent readers from the age of sixteen and older as well as psychology majors will not be disappointed from the vast variety of studies and experiments done to prove Gladwell's point that split decisions can be more useful than close evaluation.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book