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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking [Paperback]

Malcolm Gladwell
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 Feb 2006

From the author of The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell's international bestseller Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is a revolution in the understanding of the mind.

An art expert sees a ten-million-dollar sculpture and instantly spots it's a fake. A marriage analyst knows within minutes whether a couple will stay together. A fire-fighter suddenly senses he has to get out of a blazing building. A speed dater clicks with the right person...

This book is all about those moments when we 'know' something without knowing why. Here Malcolm Gladwell explores the phenomenon of 'blink', showing how a snap judgement can be far more effective than a cautious decision. By trusting your instincts, he reveals, you'll never think about thinking in the same way again.

'Trust my snap judgement, buy this book: you'll be delighted'
  The New York Times

'Compelling, fiendishly clever'
  Evening Standard

'Brilliant ... the implications for business, let alone love, are vast'
  Observer

'Superb ... this wonderful book should be compulsory reading'
  New Statesman

'Blink might just change your life'
  Esquire

'Should you buy this book? You already know the answer to that'
  Independent on Sunday

Author, journalist, cultural commentator and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. His first book The Tipping Point captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects. His other international bestselling books are Outliers, which looks at the stories of exceptional individuals and reveals the secrets of their success, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and What The Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.


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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking + The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference + Outliers: The Story of Success
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (23 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014593
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) and most recently, Outliers (2008) all three of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

Product Description

Amazon Review

: For Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, author of the bestselling The Tipping Point explores the extraordinarily perceptive and deceptive power of the sub-conscious mind. Gladwell’s major claim is that decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as a decision made cautiously and deliberately. What we are actually doing is what Gladwell calls ‘thin-slicing’. When we leap to a decision or have a hunch our unconscious is sifting through the situation in front of us looking for a pattern, throwing out the irrelevant information and zeroing in on what really matters. Our unconscious mind is so good at this that it often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and protracted ways of thinking. Much of this is utterly mysterious but some of the most astonishing and useful examples of thin-slicing can be learned.

 

Gladwell hopes to convince us that our snap judgements and first impressions can be educated and controlled so instead of merely praising the mysterious process of instinct and intuition he is interested in those moments when our instincts betray us, the situations where our powers of rapid cognition can go awry, where we fail to read the signs. Most disturbing of all is the degree to which culturally determined preconceptions and prejudices control us. Without reducing matters to racism and sexism Gladwell shows us that there are facts about people’s appearance—their size or shape or color or sex—that can trigger a very similar set of powerful associations which explains why utter mediocrities (such as U.S. President Warren Harding) can sometimes end up in positions of enormous responsibility; or why tall people earn substantially more than their shorter colleagues; or why car salesmen unconsciously charge prices according to race and gender.

 

Gladwell’s conversational prose style is concise, informative, accessible and entertaining. The stories, scientific findings and psychological tests are consistently surprising whether he is dealing with speed-dating, record promotions, police shoot-outs, the human face, or the reasons doctors get sued. --Larry Brown END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Compelling (EVENING STANDARD )

Astonishing (DAILY MAIL )

Brilliant (OBSERVER )

For Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, author of the bestselling The Tipping Point explores the extraordinarily perceptive and deceptive power of the sub-conscious mind. Gladwell's major claim is that decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as a decis (Gladwell hopes to convince us that our snap judgements and first impressions can be educated and controlled so instead of merely praising the mysterious process of instinct and intuition he is interested in those moments when our instincts betray us, the ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Some years ago, a young couple came to the University of Washington to visit the laboratory of a psychologist named John Gottman. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 133 people found the following review helpful
By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Gladwell certainly writes well and entertainingly about an interesting subject - but as each new chapter started I began by thinking 'right, NOW we are going to have some advances, NOW the arguments are going to be explored and developed,' and basically, they never were. The book said what it had to say really within the first couple of chapters, with examples of where 'thin-slicing' worked, and examples of where it didn't.

In the end, what it came down to was 'well here are situations whereby 'intuition' or a snap response as opposed to an overload of information wins out' - and whoops, 'here we have situations where people have made some very serious errors of judgement because they have worked from gut feelings that are actually prejudiced, and their 'unconcious biases' have been lethal.' And here are some more examples of these situations. And here are even more examples. And - well here are a few more.

But the book as a whole didn't really go anywhere.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book seems unfinished 14 Feb 2005
Format:Hardcover
I am slightly disappointed with this book. As a reader who really enjoyed Gladwell's previous book 'The Tipping Point' I had looked forward to his new book. In some respects the book is like I hoped it would be: the topic choice is very interesting, the writing style is smooth and entertaining, the many anecdotes are very enjoyable and there are some interesting descriptions of experiments. Anyone should be able to pick up some interesting stories, points, facts and views from this book.
What disappoints me though is that the book does not really deliver what it promises. In the introduction chapter the author promises to answer three questions: 1) Can Blink-descisions be as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately, 2) When should we trust our instincts and when should we be wary of them?, 3) (how) can our snap judgments and first impressions be educated and controlled? Although the many stories in the book certainly imply many clues to answers to these questions, explicit answers to these three questions are not clearly given. In fact, when I finished reading I felt like the author had forgotten to include an concluding and integrating chapter in which he would explicitly answer these questions and summarize and conclude. But that chapter is really missing. Due to that the book really lacks clarity.
Although this book is disappointing I won't stop following Gladwell's writings. His previous book was better than this one and I'll bethis next one will be better too.
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
By Nelkin
Format:Paperback
Blink is well-written with a fluent, enjoyable style, and is full of amusing vignettes to catch your interest. By the end, though, I was a little confused as to when it's okay to 'thin-slice', and when the author thinks we shouldn't. Gladwell introduces us to experts who can marshal their knowledge and experience of their subject to make reliable snap judgements in the blink of an eye. Then we meet other experts whose immense knowledge actually becomes clutter that gets in the way of reliable quick decision-making. And then we have anti-experts whose disdain for academic and theoretical knowledge enables them to come out tops in the thin-slicing stakes. And then we have the complete know-nothings of our world who, not surprisingly, guess wrongly about more or less everything.

And so the roundabout turns, all through the book. If you're seeing a pattern in all of it, then you're doing better than me.

I was particularly irritated by a section in chapter six where Gladwell toys with a concept he calls "temporary autism." He is examining the question of why, in extreme life-threatening situations, sometimes 'thin-slicing' works and sometimes it has disastrous consequences. Sometimes a police officer fires a gun at an armed criminal and saves the lives of innocent people; other times they shoot an innocent person and end up in court on a murder charge. In such fight-or-flight situations, an increase in heart-rate sends our bodies into a kind of survival mode -- that is, our nervous systems basically close down anything that isn't essential to dealing with the immediate crisis.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blink - and you'll miss it. 8 Mar 2005
By I. Curry VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I suppose it all depends on the requirements of the audience. As a piece of science/psychology writing for the uninitiated it makes for some interesting reading. It is well written, grippingly interspersed with anecdotes and stories. Any one who enjoys popular science will find interest in the book.
Anyone who is looking for a more coherent and developed scientific statement may be disappointed. The various stories and experiences do not seem to mesh into an overly convincing thesis. The whole is not made any more convincing by the sprinkling of academic findings.
But it remains an interesting work, potentially much more groundbreaking, but needing a more comprehensive and unified theory at the heart.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blink and you'll miss it 20 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover
I don't exaggerate when I tell you that there's a ground-breaking two-page essay in there struggling to get out. Some day a book will be really written about this topic, and will cover such ideas as what fast cognition is, how it relates to thought, how to do it, how to make it conscious, how to recognize when you're doing it wrong, with practical lessons. Unfortunately, this 200-page pile of belaboured anecdotes is not that book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant book ! A must read!
Published 6 days ago by Barbs
5.0 out of 5 stars The human unconscious, a powerful tool in snap decision making
I found this book a revelation. It is a brilliant study of the ability of the human unconscious to become a powerful tool if trained in the right way. Read more
Published 11 days ago by S. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quality product with excellent customer service
Published 15 days ago by Mr. M. J. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really good read and good service
Published 16 days ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Malcolm Gladwell is insightful and attains the perfect belnd between...
a manual for the brain ...knowing what it does on its own can help you make more informed choices ... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Lin Willows
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and entertaining read, but would have been better as an...
This was the first book I have read from Malcolm Gladwell.

While it is an interesting and entertaining book, by the end of it I could not help but think it would have... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Onuseit
5.0 out of 5 stars The Auto Pilot in your head, explained
Looking at things from a different angle and explaining why we should in a very conciece way. A good well put together read.
Published 2 months ago by Jack K
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful book
I bought the ebook version and found this book full of insightful experiences by the author to demonstrate how we should not be thinking things through to much. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Blink is another great Malcolm Gladwell book
Blink is another great Malcolm Gladwell book. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking. It looks at the choices we seem to be made in an instant but how in fact they are... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher J. Cowen
5.0 out of 5 stars Gladwell is a genius
Really interesting read. I keep re reading it. There is so much in there and so much you can apply to your own life. Malcolm Gladwell is a genius
Published 2 months ago by Annabel
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