Tag Archives: blink

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell: This book uses a lot of words to say very little. Basically, snap judgements and gut reactions are the result of very quick processing of information by our subconscious mind, and if we try to think hard about why we feel the way we do, we’ll come up empty because that information isn’t accessible by our conscious minds. So we should trust our intuition…except that we shouldn’t, because our gut reaction can also reveal our inner racist and cause us to elect people like Warren Harding. So we shouldn’t trust it…except that many major decisions can and should be made using a very small amount of information, because too much will hinder your decision-making process…but you can’t know which information is critical without a lengthy and detailed study of all possible factors. So…trust your gut only if you’re highly trained and not under very much stress. I guess. I was tempted to put down this book several times, but the writing style is actually quite engaging, and I had faith that the author would somehow tie up all his suppositions into some kind of generalized theory. He doesn’t. He shares a lot of marginally interesting anecdotes, but I was definitely unimpressed. So if you enjoy arbitrary and often conflicting psychological conclusions supported by loads and loads of case studies from a large variety of fields (from New Coke to marriages to police brutality), you will like this book. If you’re looking for a cohesive explanation or even a concrete argument one way or another, you will be left wanting.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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