The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Book - 2005 | 1st ed. --
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From the #1 bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia, the landmark book that has revolutionized the way we understand leadership and decision making. In his breakthrough 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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780316172325
Branch Call Number: 153.44 Gla
Characteristics: viii, 277 p.


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Discussion on April 20, 2021

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Jan 12, 2021

Very interesting book. It 'might' get me to try and understand how and why I make some decisions, or at least t be aware of what might be affecting my decisions.

Sep 30, 2020

Blink is a non-fiction book by Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell. In Blink Malcolm Gladwell analyzes split second decisions or snap judgements. He argues that in some cases, snap judgements can be more accurate than a decision that takes a long time in which we weigh all of our options. In contrast it also covers where these snap judgements can lead to mistakes. Gladwell shows these two sides by using an interesting and diverse collection of case studies. The one thing I felt this book lacked was a cohesive conclusion, in other words the evidence that is presented does not build to a particular argument. Despite this fact the case studies and the way they are presented is captivating. Overall I would give Blink four out of five stars as it’s stories are eye opening.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Sep 25, 2019

I understand that business-related non-fiction tend to stack examples to make a point, but #Blink is more tedious than most in that it moves too slowly and doesn’t give as much information as I hoped. .

In one sentence, the message of Blink is “our snap judgements are often more accurate than supposedly holistic processes because we have accumulated so much prior knowledge, but we also need to be careful with setting up the right circumstances so we are actually judging right we think we are judging!” .

That’s the amount of information I would be usually getting in a single article, and this is my take from a real one that I really liked: “Companies know that increasing your sense of ownership makes you more attached to the product, which partially explains why Ikea makes you assemble your own furniture and Starbucks writes your name on the cup.” In short, Blink is unnecessarily long and I regret buying it. Should have just burrowed it from the library.

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @RandomStuffIRead!

Jul 10, 2019

Doesn’t really help you with decision making if that’s a problem because he basically ends the book by saying sometimes quick responses are good and sometimes you really to weigh the factors, but the stories along the way are great and gives you good new perspectives on things.

Jun 05, 2019

Too much/loud background music at the beginning and end of chapters. Super annoying. Wonder why someone thought this was a good idea.

Re race and gender and car price, the author thinks the results were “stunning”. Really? I could have saved time and money to tell him the results.

The Insight Puzzle in section 3 re the husband and son in a car accident. That was an entire storyline in an All in the Family episode back in the early 70’s.

Mar 31, 2019

The first two chapters of this book are interesting and worth reading, but the rest is muddled, inconclusive, and drags on and on with unnecessary minutia to the point where I was ready to chuck it.

Jan 11, 2019

Another great book by Gladwell, shows great examples on human decision making in real time. Recommend it.

Aug 22, 2018

Overall the book is pretty interesting and there are some good stories in it. Reading about how quickly you can determine if a doctor will get sued is interesting, but reading all the small details in the stories that don't need to be there can get tiresome. Sometimes the book feels like it repeats itself, which can get a bit boring. The part about the researchers practicing moving every muscle in the face was a little much, I almost stopped reading at that point, but I am glad I carried on to finish the book. Other than that, there is a lot of interesting information, and Malcolm Gladwell does a good job at telling the stories.

Jul 11, 2018

"Blink" and "Tipping Point" provide useful, interesting information which most of us learned in high school or early college. The basic information is still relevant, but the author could make this much more interesting by updating the supporting true stories with current ones. I skipped through prolonged descriptions, as the point was already clear.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Jun 02, 2018

Blink is an extraordinary book that deals with the millisecond between you first seeing something and consciously deciding what you think about it. Reading other reviews I find that some, mostly those in this particular field of unconscious decision making, find the book overly simple. I think that largely misses the point. Gladwell does not intend to educate someone, nor to make them an expert in the field of snap-judgements. The whole purpose of the book is to make us think about something we never think about: not thinking. The book gets tied up in Gladwell's personal opinions on the subject matter, but how can it not? He's an author trying to sort through something he isn't an expert on and he makes that known. The point is to introduce us to this world, to something we've never considered, and allow us to then go through the same journey he experienced.

I have a funny story about this admittedly. I'm currently enrolled in Gladwell's MasterClass, and I signed up for it without having read any of his work. I had watched a TEDTalk video of his, but never read anything he had written. As I sorted through his books, I struggled to find one that grabbed my attention. This one seemed interesting, but the subtitle, "The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," made the book seem like one of those ridiculous self-help books. But I decided to give it a shot and read it. I'm glad I did. The reason I say that story is funny is because it is the very thing this book is about. I looked at the book, read what it was about, and my gut-reaction said that I wanted to read it. It was also after going introspective and pondering over the book, after looking at the subtitle, that I had second thoughts and reconsidered.

Thank fully the millisecond, gut-reaction won out and I picked the book up, because it was well worth the read. Is it overly simple at times? Probably although I certainly can't say for certain. But is it endlessly fascinating and filled with factoids that will have your mind racing about their possibilities? Absolutely.

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Nov 21, 2017

SFPL202 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

blue_cobra_159 Sep 15, 2013

blue_cobra_159 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 03, 2012

Indigo_Fox_1 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Bazooka_B9 Sep 27, 2011

Bazooka_B9 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Jul 30, 2012

My favorite subtitle in the book (and there were a few contenders), had to be, "A man, a woman and a lightswitch"

May 25, 2011

"the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog"


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May 25, 2011

what an incredibly interesting read!


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