Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights [NOOK Book]

Overview


Insights—like Darwin’s understanding of the way evolution actually works, and Watson and Crick’s breakthrough discoveries about the structure of DNA—can change the world. We also need insights into the everyday things that frustrate and confuse us so that we can more effectively solve problems and get things done. Yet we know very little about when, why, or how insights are formed—or what blocks them. In Seeing What Others Don’t, renowned ...
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Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

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Overview


Insights—like Darwin’s understanding of the way evolution actually works, and Watson and Crick’s breakthrough discoveries about the structure of DNA—can change the world. We also need insights into the everyday things that frustrate and confuse us so that we can more effectively solve problems and get things done. Yet we know very little about when, why, or how insights are formed—or what blocks them. In Seeing What Others Don’t, renowned cognitive psychologist Gary Klein unravels the mystery.

Klein is a keen observer of people in their natural settings—scientists, businesspeople, firefighters, police officers, soldiers, family members, friends, himself—and uses a marvelous variety of stories to illuminate his research into what insights are and how they happen. What, for example, enabled Harry Markopolos to put the finger on Bernie Madoff? How did Dr. Michael Gottlieb make the connections between different patients that allowed him to publish the first announcement of the AIDS epidemic? What did Admiral Yamamoto see (and what did the Americans miss) in a 1940 British attack on the Italian fleet that enabled him to develop the strategy of attack at Pearl Harbor? How did a “smokejumper” see that setting another fire would save his life, while those who ignored his insight perished? How did Martin Chalfie come up with a million-dollar idea (and a Nobel Prize) for a natural flashlight that enabled researchers to look inside living organisms to watch biological processes in action?

Klein also dissects impediments to insight, such as when organizations claim to value employee creativity and to encourage breakthroughs but in reality block disruptive ideas and prioritize avoidance of mistakes. Or when information technology systems are “dumb by design” and block potential discoveries.

Both scientifically sophisticated and fun to read, Seeing What Others Don’t shows that insight is not just a “eureka!” moment but a whole new way of understanding.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Experimental cognitive psychologist Klein (Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions) takes his experience in academia, the military, and private industry and offers seminars on improving employee performance, defining improvement as a combination of fewer mistakes and more insightful decisions. Here he examines stories of unusual discoveries and develops a model of "discovery triggers"—the actions innovators took as a result of their insight and the changes in understanding that they produced. He likewise investigates personal insight failures through "insight twin" stories, in which another person was presented with similar information but failed to reach the same conclusion. Decision support systems and organizational failures also come under fire for stifling creative thought and putting too much emphasis on reducing mistakes. Final chapters recommend changes to personal and organizational behavior to benefit all readers. VERDICT A valuable resource for business professionals to return to over again. For all collections.—Heidi Senior, Univ. of Portland Libs., OR
Publishers Weekly
Klein (The Power of Intuition) investigates the ways in which people can have a sudden insight that results in new inventions, revisions of accepted beliefs, or even winning fantasy baseball. After years of studying decision-making, Klein finds that insight is much harder to quantify. Creating a definition, that insight is "an unexpected shift to a better story", took him considerable time. Using examples from history, current events and his own experience, Klein developed a list of factors that contribute to insight: connections, coincidence, curiosities, contradictions, and creative desperation. These traits are blended with experience and an ability to improvise. His analysis of how Google searches and corporate culture inhibit insight is intriguing, while suggestions for improving the chances of having a breakthrough are practical and useful for many facets of life. They include: listen to what others are saying; rather than argue, ask how they arrived at their conclusion and pay attention to their thought processes; and be open to changing the way you think and perceive. While this is a fascinating preliminary report, Klein seems to know that he has only begun to research the topic; The Grand Unified Theory of insight has yet to be discovered. (July)
From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews
"Intriguing findings that should play a transformative role, not only in the field of psychology, but also in corporate boardrooms."

Library Journal
“A valuable resource for business professionals to return to over again.”

Strategy & Leadership
“Written in a breezy yet informative conversational style, Seeing What Others Don’t is a good read and helps to stimulate our own thinking about how insights occur.”

Kirkus Reviews
Experimental psychologist Klein (Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making, 2009, etc.) examines the transformative role of creative insight. The author recounts a story that a policeman told him about a routine patrol, during which his partner noticed the driver of a new BMW flicking cigarette ash on the car's upholstery and immediately realized that the vehicle was stolen. Klein decided to explore the mechanism behind such aha moments. Seeking to discover "how people come up with unexpected insights in their work," he began to search for clues by systematically collecting human interest stories. These include accounts by firefighters who survived life-threatening situations by improvising, Dr. Michael Gottlieb's realization that the epidemic killing young gay men was an immune disorder, and financial analyst Harry Markopolos' recognition that Bernie Madoff had to be a crook. Two decades earlier, Klein was one of the pioneers in the field of "naturalist decision making, which studies the way people think in natural settings," as opposed to contrived laboratory experiments. He used the same method to probe the creative process, and he shares a fascinating array of illustrative examples of creativity--e.g., Darwin's recognition of the role of natural selection and Daniel Boone's rescue of his daughter from Indian kidnappers. After painstaking analysis, Klein identified the three primary drivers: making unexpected connections (the policeman's observation), identifying contradictions (Markopolos smelled a fraud) and being driven to despair by an unresolved problem (Gottlieb's dying HIV patients). In each case, the bottom line was freedom to substitute out-of-the-box thinking for a preconceived, systematic approach and the willingness to take the risk of making errors. Intriguing findings that should play a transformative role, not only in the field of psychology, but also in corporate boardrooms.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610392754
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 201,857
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Gary Klein, PhD, a senior scientist at MacroCognition LLC, was instrumental in founding the field of naturalistic decision making. Dr. Klein received his PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969. He spent the first phase of his career in academia and the second phase working for the government as a research psychologist for the U.S. Air Force. The third phase, in private industry, started in 1978 when he founded Klein Associates, a research and development company that had grown to thirty-seven employees by the time he sold it in 2005. He is the author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions; The Power of Intuition; Working Minds: A Practitioner’s Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis (with Beth Crandall and Robert Hoffman); and Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making. Dr. Klein lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Do You See What I See? There's always new advice on how to fost

    Do You See What I See?

    There's always new advice on how to foster creative environments, and this book gives you 120 examples! Author Gary Klein provides so many studies because he has found that insights come about in many different ways. He organizes this slightly overwhelming amount of information into the categories of connections, coincidences, curiosities, contradictions, and creative desperations. Crafty, isn't he?




    After explaining how combinations of these insightful encounters develop good ideas, he moves on to describe common obstacles that interfere with insghts. This section brought immediately to mind the discoveries in group dynamics that the Synectics group made in the 60, particularly the Discount Revenge Cycle, which occurs when people are not careful in responding to another's "wacky" idea. This Practice of Creativity is one of my favorite books for its detailed approach to unifying collective intelligence into fresh ideas in a similar way to the "positive psychology" movement that Klein incorporates in his book.




    Overall, this is an interesting and well-written book that I recommend to managers and general audiences alike.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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