Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0316172324 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 4/1/2007
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 01, 2007
I picked this up at the local used bookstore.

From Amazon:
Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us "mind blind," focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to "the Warren Harding Effect" (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the "dark side of blink," he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, May 28, 2007
This book is all about your subconscious and how we make snap decisions. To be honest, I found some of the stuff to contradict other parts in the book. That could be because I didn't quite understand what Gladwell was setting out to prove until the very end of the book. Or maybe I knew at the beginning, then forgot about it until the end. Though one point he did drive home well with me was the fact that we can take actions to prevent us from making snap decisions that are bad.
There were many little points in this book that were fascinating. I would tell people at work or my family about points in the book just randomly because they were so intriguing. I thought the bit about professor ratings was very interesting. Being able to judge a professor in 2 minutes with no sound similar to someone that takes an entire course with them is quite unbelievable.
I find that with books like this, it is really important for the author to get his tone correct with the reader. You don't want to read something that is over you head, but you also don't want the author to take a condescending tone. The tone of this book was perfect. It was like someone talking to you that is excited about their findings in research and want to share all the interesting bits with you.
It's too bad that we can't unlock our subconscious to help us out more. But if anything, this book should tell you to trust your gut (or should that be subconscious?) more than you normally would.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, May 28, 2007
This book is now with me

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, June 11, 2007
I find it very difficult to review some non-fiction books as they are sort of self-explanatory. This book's sub-title is The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. That is exactly what the book is about. There are a number of very interesting examples included in the book. The part of the book which was most interesting to me was that the police if trained enough can override their instincts so that they do not kill in error. Obviously with the number of incidents sensationized in the press this needs to be implemented in more police forces. Gladwell has the ability to write to the general public's level

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, June 25, 2007
Sent off to MsJoanna as part of the non-fiction swap.

Journal Entry 6 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, July 02, 2007
This promises to be a really quick read. I'll probably take it along for a plane flight on one of my upcoming trips this month.

Journal Entry 7 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, November 03, 2008
I enjoyed reading this book and thought the author did a nice job of pulling together research. At the same time, some of the author's conclusions seemed wrong. For example, Gladwell notes that by watching a few seconds of a doctor's conversation with a patient, people can predict with reasonable accuracy the likelihood of the doctor being sued for malpractice. Then, Gladwell points out that the information given by the doctor isn't necessarily medically worse than the information given by other doctors who get sued less often. Gladwell concludes that if you have an initial feeling about the doctor, you should trust your judgment. But hasn't he actually just demonstrated that lots of people make stupid decisions about when to sue for malpractice that are unrelated to medical judgment and that all that's demonstrated in watching the video feeds or in initial reactions is that lots of people have the same biases?

The most interesting point seemed to be that we can work to change and train our initial impressions, and that we can change conditions to get better information (e.g., with the screens for musical auditions). But it does make me think that I should do some sort of training on facial expressions and body language and such to make sure that I'm conveying the right messages.

This is now on its way to yourotherleft, who won it in a Non-Fiction Swap a while back.

Journal Entry 8 by yourotherleft from Danville, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, November 08, 2008
This came in the mail yesterday with CD - thanks! It's all making me very curious... =)

Journal Entry 9 by yourotherleft at Danville, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Donated when I moved.

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