Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
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In his landmark bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within.
Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police.
Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.
young man’s slender proportions looked a lot like those of the Tenea kouros, which is in a museum in Munich, and his stylized, beaded hair was a lot like that of the kouros in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. His feet, meanwhile, were, if anything, modern. The kouros it most resembled, it turned out, was a smaller, fragmentary statue that was found by a British art historian in Switzerland in 1990. The two statues were cut from similar marble and sculpted in quite similar ways. But the Swiss
and snap judgments. Some were successful. Some were not. But all, I think, provide us with critical lessons of how we can better understand and come to terms with the extraordinary power of thin-slicing. FOUR Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory: Creating Structure for Spontaneity Paul Van Riper is tall and lean with a gleaming bald dome and wire-rimmed glasses. He walks with his shoulders square and has a gruff, commanding voice. His friends call him Rip. Once when he and his twin brother
to 43 percent edge is a lot, particularly in a world where millions of dollars hang on a tenth of a percentage point, and it is not hard to imagine how devastating this news was to Coca-Cola management. The Coca-Cola mystique had always been based on its famous secret formula, unchanged since the earliest days of the company. But here was seemingly incontrovertible evidence that time had passed Coke by. Coca-Cola executives next did a flurry of additional market research projects. The news
of them — all white, all wearing jeans and sweatshirts and baseball caps and bulletproof vests, and all carrying police-issue 9-millimeter semiautomatic handguns. They were part of what is called the Street Crime Unit, a special division of the New York Police Department, dedicated to patrolling crime “hot spots” in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Driving the Taurus was Ken Boss. He was twenty-seven. Next to him was Sean Carroll, thirty-five, and in the backseat were Edward McMellon,
totally A.U. nine,” Ekman said. “It’s disgust, with anger there as well, and the clue to that is that when your eyebrows go down, typically your eyes are not as open as they are here. The raised upper eyelid is a component of anger, not disgust. It’s very quick.” Ekman stopped the tape and played it again, peering at the screen. “You know, he looks like a snarling dog.” Ekman showed another clip, this one from a press conference given by Harold “Kim” Philby in 1955. Philby had not yet been