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Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Fascinating Insight in to Impressions

Anyone looking for advanced insight into human nature will love this book. Did you realize that the first six seconds of a personal encounter 'the handshake and greeting' are 80% predictive of the outcome of the encounter? In 'Blink', Malcolm Gladwell will help you un...
Anyone looking for advanced insight into human nature will love this book. Did you realize that the first six seconds of a personal encounter 'the handshake and greeting' are 80% predictive of the outcome of the encounter? In 'Blink', Malcolm Gladwell will help you understand what happens during that first six seconds. Whether you are socially struggling or a master networker, you should check this out. Absolutely in keeping with his #1 best seller, 'The Tipping Point', now becoming a classic.

posted by Anonymous on September 14, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Good not Great

Entertaining and interesting book but not particularly useful. It talks about thin-slicing, which is how we make decisions/judgements on a small amount of data and in the blink of an eye. These judgements are usually very accurate, however trying to analyze why you ma...
Entertaining and interesting book but not particularly useful. It talks about thin-slicing, which is how we make decisions/judgements on a small amount of data and in the blink of an eye. These judgements are usually very accurate, however trying to analyze why you made the decision is often a waste of time. Rationalizing these decisions often causes you to erroneously come to a different conclusion.

posted by RobbieMA on November 11, 2009

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Stretch

    Gladwell is undoubtedly a competent writer: his charisma, seen even in his writing, and his use of seemingly unrelated examples to drive his points (no pun intended) are as consistent as they are effective, not to mention admirable. However, with this work, Gladwell treads into shaky territory, proposing his theories with his usual tone of universality within one of the most fundamentally unstable sciences of cognitive psychology -one may note that he is indeed a psychologist, but a more perceptive reader would realize that his field of study is more socially psychological, if not sociological altogether.

    Even with his charm and talent, extending empirical claims into the realm of the invisible psyche is a stretch for Gladwell. As is expected, he presents numerous samples to support his claim, but much of his research seems to lack an empirical mass that would give his abstract propositions more credible foundations; there is no doubt that Gladwell possesses the capability of formulating an intangible theory with empirical roots, but his principal error was in his attempt to do it with so few pages.....at least with such a large font he uses!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2009

    Amazing Stuff

    I've read very many books over my lifetime and only a handful of them had anything to do with analyzed introspection. Most of what I've read concerning these psychological issues has been relatively technical, yet what I love about Blink is that it makes seemingly complex reactions seem human. He puts everyone on an even playing field, and it's easy for the layman to understand his points. That's the sign of great writer, one who can express such complex concepts at such a rudimentary level. For that, I admire Gladwell. The whole concept behind Blink, the fact that we 'thin-slice' situations and subconsciously make very rapid, accurate decisions, amazes me. Yet personally, this is not an uncommon subject. I've always believed in making decisions with one's gut and I do it quite often, but as Gladwell clearly explains, our Snap Judgments masked by conscious thought, are often times skewed. Nevertheless, Gladwell is unparalleled in coming up with examples to support his main concept and idea. However, this is the main drawback to his book.
    Quite frankly, if I edited this book, I would have only left in the first three chapters and the last chapter, deleted everything else. What Gladwell does is present an idea, in this case 'thin-slicing', and then he spends the next 300 pages giving examples of this concept. OKAY, I GET IT. I really don't need 50 examples in order to believe him; just a couple would be ideal. It's obviously believable, but I just don't see the merit in 500 examples when he could have condensed everything to a few chapters. Alas, I guess this is how he makes money. Cheap isn't it? His was of elongating his books is not a characteristic uncommon to his other books; Outliers is structured in much the same way. In any case, this was definitely a good read and I would highly recommend this to anyone.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2009

    Blink

    Well another one of Malcolm Gladwell's books, this time it's Blink. It is on of those psychology books you wouldn't expect yourself to get into. This book by Gladwell is simply told by his book cover, "the power of thinking without thinking". He uses some really good examples: how we judge people based on their sex or their gender and so forth. There aren't really any complaints that I found in this book other that I had gotten lost in the Van Riper story and the very good salesman Golomb. Gladwell starts out in the first couple of pages explaining how he thinks certain couples would be able to last marriages. He even has them date different people and rate them on their appearance, how funny or interesting they are.

    Some of his were asked if they would ever go out with the person that they had a date with and some even answered yes. Moving on the IAT Test, it's basically a test for you to categorize whatever word or image appears on the screen and you have to type in the corresponding key to match it with whatever the category it belongs to. There's even a Racial IAT Test available for anyone to take; by simply going to www.implicit.harvard.edu. His book includes a couple of pages that are examples of what to expect in the IAT Test. I don't know what to expect to expect in the Racial IAT Test, but I am guessing categorize the person that appears on your screen.

    Moving on to the story that really confused me is the Van Riper. The stories in this book go from first person point of view to third person point of view, so you should expect to see a lot of "I" and "he reached for it" sentences. It begins by telling how he came about joining the military, and why he wanted to join the military service. It took me a couple of tries before I actually got what Gladwell was trying to say with the story. I really like how Gladwell has good use of examples; he had compared "the Harding Error" to what we think when see people. This is a really good book in my opinion. If you're a Gladwell fan, you should check out his other books, his previously released book The Tipping Point and, his newer book The Outliers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2014

    I thought this book was fantastic. I couldn't believe the little

    I thought this book was fantastic. I couldn't believe the little things that we as people take for granted that goes on in our thinking process. I was astonished to learn the success rate of all these cases in which a "gut" feeling played a major role in. As a race that is forever growing and learning I believe it's extremely important to recognize the importance of switching the way we (humans) think and going with it. Not only does altering the thinking process help and create new trails that were impassable beforehand, but the confidence people own that don't necessarily know it yet. When people go with their initial true feeling, the evidence lays out in front. We can all learn and take a break at the same time by reading this piece.   

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  • Posted October 15, 2014

    Being a highly optimistic person this book related greatly to me

    Being a highly optimistic person this book related greatly to me. I always think about how the mind works and how the mind functions things so quickly. In the introduction is when I was permanently drawn into this book, it was interesting how the museum was sold an almost exact specimen statue but experts thin sliced it and discovered its in authenticity. this explains how marketers make things that consumers would be drawn in to want. and how they continuously do this, I would recommend this book to anyone who wonders why and how your mind wonders.- Corde S.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Excellent.

    A definitive book on the topic, written smoothly for a wide audience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    I personally enjoyed the book very very much. Gladwell shows us

    I personally enjoyed the book very very much. Gladwell shows us how we are often not conscious of when our brain is thin slicing the world around us, how the decisions we make in the blink of eye effect important aspects of our lives such as dating, advertising, and even voting for the president. Though the book was very repetitive throughout, it was very easy to understand and made a compelling argument. 

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining review on decision making

    This is a good popular psychology review on decision making. He keeps things interesting for most of the book, but I would really recommend reading the afterwords, which put the book into a much larger context.

    Also, it does take a while to get used to his style of writing. The adjustment is required as he presents a disjointed example not related to anything that has come before. Then explains it, and then provides a counter example. Finally he weaves the example and counter example into a compelling argument. This is then repeated every chapter. Once you know what's coming it becomes easier to get through the disjoint example, and indeed even becomes exciting to start branching off with your own examples and analysis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    I usually don┬┐t like nonfiction, but this book was really intere

    I usually don’t like nonfiction, but this book was really interesting! Gladwell writes his concepts like a story which
    makes the whole book really compelling. I also enjoyed it because it dealt with a lot of psychology concepts and
     cited a few studies that I studied in my psychology class. For the concept of thin-slicing, Gladwell does an
    excellent job of elaborating on the branches of the idea and the positive and negative aspects. It definitely made
     me think differently about how I use snap judgments. A good book for expanding your knowledge!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    I personally really enjoyed reading Blink. Malcolm Gladwell disc

    I personally really enjoyed reading Blink. Malcolm Gladwell discusses the topic of thin slicing, making slit second judgments about things, and how it can be more accurate than in depth research. The book is easy to read because Gladwell's style of writing is very didactic but relaxed. Gladwell helps you understand what is going through your mind during the start of first impression. The book is mind opening and I suggest it to anyone who has an intrest in psychology.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Overall good

    Psychological analysis on the way we subconsciously process decisions

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Worth reading multiple times

    In this book, Malcolm reading gets you to think about how quickly a thought can change the outcome in a split second.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Great read

    Enjoyable and compelling

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2012

    As a high school student, I found Malcolm Gladwell's book very e

    As a high school student, I found Malcolm Gladwell's book very entertaining and insightful in many different views. His book Blink explains a lot of things when you get into it. And some things  I never would have guessed. The rapid cognition and thin-slicing theories are very interesting to read about. You would have never guessed that besides talking to a person to get to know them better, you could just look in there room or on there phone to see what kind of music they listen too. 
    In his first three chapters he explains the theory of thin slicing in very intriguing events. The "Love Lab" is a very interesting experiment to read about thats down by Gottman. Throughout his book he explains ways of thin-slicing between the "Thin cuts" or "thick cuts" we take. He also explains that the answers we are able to come up with are locked behind a "Door" in our mind. That door leads us to our sub-conscious and conscious . And that these answers we get out of here are the most accurate which is weird because we are a society based on information so why should we just rely on something we just answered so quickly? He also talks about the Warren Harding Error which I found interesting. He was only elected for his looks because everyone thought since was a nice tall and dark haired man he would be the best to run the US. Well they were wrong and he turned out to be one of the worst presidents of all.
    Most of all I encourage you to read this book to find out much more about the theories of thin slicing and rapid cognition. It will make you take a step back and look at something you thought that was just  there. It  will make you ask questions about t he answers you get when asked questions or you are going with your gut. Remember that going with your gut is better than dwindling on a answer for to long because it might turn out inaccurate. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    This is an very interesting book about making snap decisions and

    This is an very interesting book about making snap decisions and first impressions. It's about learning to trust your first instincts. MG is a terrific writer.
    I recommend this very informative book.

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  • Posted December 7, 2012

    This book was really intresting, deffenetly learned new stuff th

    This book was really intresting, deffenetly learned new stuff that i did not know about.Malcolm is a really great writter also i liked the way he wrote the book and the fact that i understood everything in it. I really also enjoyed the way he saw life because i can compare myself in some different ways to the way he sees the world


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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    Interesting insight of our brains work.

    Interesting insight of our brains work.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book gets you thinking. As a teacher..what if there is str

    This book gets you thinking. As a teacher..what if there is strength in snap decisions as well as lengthy research? What if children come into your classroom and right from the start decided if they can learn with you or not? I walked away with food for thought with a desire to learn more about priming and the science behind decisions made in the blink of an eye.
    Very much recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Interesting easy ready

    Enjoyed it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Insightful

    I ended up going through this one twice. Makes me think a lot more about my intuition and when and how I rely on it.

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