February 9, 2009
By Anonymous

Blink the Power of Thinking without Thinking

Malcolm Gladwell's book blink has turned my entire view on gut feelings completely around. His book introduces an aspect that presents how our minds make some of the best decisions in an instant that often tend to be impossible to explain the reasoning behind it. To me the direction that Gladwell went in his book was very creative and interesting. I have to admit this was probably one of the very few books I have actually read for English. Sadly though some of his examples that he portrayed to help explain some of the points that he was stating were presented in an unorganized way. This flaw of his could potentially cause problems with readers lacking an open mind to this subject which prevents them from grasping the relativity of the analogy. In my review I will present my thoughts on the book in two different sections, the things I liked and disliked about his book.

As I have already said before I found Gladwell's book very interesting to read and opened a lot of doors and answered a lot of questions. I liked that Gladwell used many resources to present his argument and had a vast arsenal of examples to go with each example. In his first chapter he presented the idea of thin slicing by introducing the research on relationships between married couples and their likeliness to stay together performed by Dr. John Gottman. He compared the relationships of people and their comfort levels to that of Morse code in World War 2 where eventually the allied forces were able to recognize which German was sending a message to someone due to the patterns of how good they were at using Morse code. My favorite part of his book was how he took every aspect of people's perception and discussed how sometimes people misjudge what people's intentions are because of how we associate people with certain things. He took a real life of example of someone completely innocent that got shot 41 times because a group of cops thought at first that he was suspicious (when he was curious), then they thought he actually was pulling out a gun (when he was actually getting out his wallet because a friend of his got robbed a week earlier so he thought they were going to rob him) so they got into a gun fight with a man that was out on his porch soaking in the night and completely unarmed. This was the introduction to how our minds mainly judge people based on their facial expressions and how sometimes are emotions and personal experiences get in the way of our thoughts and end up making the wrong decisions.

The things that I found most disappointing in his book were some of his over repetitiveness. In the chapter describing how people perceive things based on looks and blind taste tests, Gladwell wasted about twenty pages of similar examples to display the point of the chapter. He used basically the exact same example almost four times just different brands and/or products. Like I said before I was not a fan of his lack of organization because many of my group members only saw it as random things that came to mind while he was writing. They could not see how these 'random' examples came into play with each idea within the chapter. This proved to me that although I was not affected by this 'orderly chaos' style due to my ability to have an open mind, he should have made his book a little more reader friendly because not all of his readers are going to be like that.

Although Gladwell had some flaws while writing this book, overall I found it extremely interesting and eye opening which resulted in me doing some extra things that had been presented in the book on my own. To me even though people saw his book as that produced by an A.D.D patient who didn't take his Ritalin, I saw it as an opportunity to learn something new and learn how and why we make the decisions that we make on a whim and also why we perceive the things the way we do.

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