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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost hit the mark
Gladwell's "Blink" is an easy to read book, with the promise to provide insight in to making spilt decisions. Unfortunately Gladwell falls short off this promise. Even with this apparent shortcoming the book inspires to take close look at your own way of decision making. Clear examples and a great story telling style makes it all worth reading. For me it has been helpful...
Published on 21 Feb 2007 by Jan Bo Kristensen

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125 of 130 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting enough, but an expanded article rather than a book
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...
Published on 22 Feb 2007 by Lady Fancifull


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost hit the mark, 21 Feb 2007
By 
Jan Bo Kristensen "Durazell" (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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Gladwell's "Blink" is an easy to read book, with the promise to provide insight in to making spilt decisions. Unfortunately Gladwell falls short off this promise. Even with this apparent shortcoming the book inspires to take close look at your own way of decision making. Clear examples and a great story telling style makes it all worth reading. For me it has been helpful to think deeper on how I make split ("Blink") decisions and when to double check my assumptions. The book show that fast decisions can be valid but also that implicit associations influence our ability to make valid fast decisions. The value for me in this book was to review the times I make fast decisions to make sure the decisions are based on facts and knowledge, not on implicit associations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read that entertains with everyday examples, 2 Jan 2007
By 
Tim Burness (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a journey through a vast range of human experiences (such as racism, dating, identifying genuine works of art, autism, police shooting the wrong man), exploring how our pre-programmed unconscious may be influencing us far more than we realize.

Blink is defined as "the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress". Human behaviour appears to be far more influenced by split-second decisions than large amounts of information e.g. results of scientific experiments, planning, various rules and regulations that we may know are the "right" thing. While this can be useful for seeing the truth of a situation, we may also get it completely wrong. The chapter "The Warren Harding Error" demonstrates this. We may assume that someone who is incredibly good-looking is also likely to possess qualities such as intelligence and integrity. Such an assumption can of course be completely inaccurate!

The author held my attention with some interesting and original explanations of everyday human behaviour. It's an easy and very entertaining read, but afterwards I was left feeling rather unsatisfied, as if the writing was somehow insubstantial?
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swift and thought-provoking, 20 Aug 2007
By 
Mikko Saari (Tampere, Finland) - See all my reviews
Which is better, thinking deep and hard or making snap judgements on instinct? Gladwell makes the case for quick thinking in his book of thinking without thinking. Gladwell argues that in many cases - emergency heart attack diagnosis being a good example - too much information not only doesn't help a bit, but actually makes decisions worse.

Humans are very capable of making quick, unconscious decisions - some brain damage or other disorders prove that, when that capability is lost. According to Gladwell we should pay more heed to our unconscious, as it often helps to make good decisions fast. However, it's not that simple: quick thinking without thinking leads to prejudice and trouble, if one is not careful.

Using lots of real-life examples, Gladwell makes a coherent case. The book is quite shallow, but that's what you should expect from a short bestseller like this. Blink, like Gladwell's previous success, The Tipping Point, is swiftly read. While it never delves deep or really satisfies the reader, it certainly succeeds in being thought-provoking and entertaining.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars only part of the story, 7 Aug 2009
By 
B. pusey (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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The points this book makes are valid and interesting but I felt that the message was repetitive and dumbed down to the point where it basically said "hey! don't bother thinking! trust your gut!"

Which is fine, but there was very little attempt to address the many, many time that 'gut' gets things horribly wrong.

Read this book, it's ok, but make sure you read Risk by Dan Gardiner immediately afterwards for the rest of the story.
Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blink! Great reading but not much else..., 6 April 2005
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)
Firstly this book's a bit pricey for a 250-page paperback. Secondly, you will probably read it in the time it takes to blink. And thirdly, despite the misleading comment on the cover, it does not tell you how to unlock the mysterious subconscious world from where the wonderfully meaty reading comes.
But after all, that is what the book is. A series of compelling anecdotes and socio-psychological experiments revealing how much of our perception is done behind the scenes of our subconscious, and that comprehensively prove that we are not as liberal and easy-going that we think we are.
It hasn't revolutionised my thinking quite yet, but it has helped me to trust the occasional gut-feeling and research further into the clues on people's faces. Pretty useful book, but not an end in itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thinking without thinking, but not without experience..., 6 Dec 2007
By 
Nancy Williams "tigertwo" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Although I enjoyed the many examples that Gladwell used to demonstrate the apparently amazing art of just 'knowing' something, perhaps I was expecting a little more from this book. It felt as if once he had concluded that the only effective way you can 'think without thinking' is to have a lot of experience (and therefore a measure of expertise in your field), there wasn't a huge amount more he could say. And he came to this conclusion in the first few chapters...

Nevertheless, it was an entertaining book to read on a flight, and particularly his descriptions of autism and facial movements were fascinating.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stories, no thesis, 22 Feb 2005
By 
A. J. Azhar "azeem72" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)
Gladwell tells some interesting stories in this book but they are held together by the most flimsy hypothesis. It isn't popular science nor is it cultural observation (like Tipping Point). Instead you often wonder what the point of the book is.
Most usefully it is a starting point to explore a few of the ideas he brings to view (like implicit prejudice) but you'll read the book and leave with the feeling that you've been slightly ripped off (intellectually at least).
I'd save the money if I could do it again.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as it looks, 13 Aug 2006
By 
G. Pepper (london) - See all my reviews
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the examples are interesting to begin with but then just repeat througout the book. the major concepts (thin-slicing etc.) could be dealt with effectively in a book a quarter the size - i feel most of it is just padding. no sense of great insight here, just a few good ideas that would have been better presented in magazine articles (which is apparently the authors natural habitat). mr gladwell does, however, have magnificent hair.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a coherent argument? Blink and you'll miss it., 29 Oct 2007
As with his breakthrough surprise best-seller The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell's follow up offering is stuffed stem to stern with fascinating anecdote, and presented in the same breezy manner. And while, I suppose, there's a consistent argument buried somewhere in there, I'm blowed if I know what it is.

Gladwell apparently can't make up his mind whether snap judgments are good things (as they seem to be for the purpose of spotting art forgeries and waging guerilla warfare) or bad things (as they seem to be when manifesting themselves in a form of temporary cop autism which causes innocent bystanders to get shot). What one is left with is a collection of anecdotes about the subconscious and immediate, each fascinating in its own right, make no mistake, and each of which undoubtedly carries its own situation-specific lesson, but which together sum up to precisely nothing at all. Sometimes Blink-style judgments are good; sometimes they proceed from our innate primordial racism. Great. Kind of.

The story I found most interesting though, on reflection, perhaps the least genuinely on point (assuming the point is "how snap judgments shape the world we live in"), was the importance of a physician's bedside manner in assessing his (or her) likelihood of being the subject of a medical negligence suit. Gladwell would say this has everything to do with "thin-slicing" - but it is difficult to see the similarity between this sort of thin-slicing and the thin-slicing encapsuated in cop shootings or on-the-fly military strategics. But there is definitely a lesson in there for those following the professional services calling: If your clients think you're nice, you are less likely to get sued, no matter how useless you might really be - and vice versa! That's a banker.

That observation might equally apply to this book itself: it doesn't uncover any single great insight about our mental lives, but Gladwell gets away with it because he's such an affable chap, and he writes in such an appealing way, that it seems churlish to hold this against him. We don't begrudge him what really is a fairly poorly knitted cardigan of fireside yarns - since ugly old jumpers are perfect for loafing about in on holiday, and on holiday is certainly where I read this book: as a kind of extended weekend paper feature it seemed just fine.

Olly Buxton
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, but lacks conclusion, 16 Mar 2005
This review is from: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Blink and found the research Malcolm Gladwell had done into the many different aspects of the topic he'd chosen to write about fascinating.
The research presented on interpreted what's going on in the mind from facial expressions was particularly interesting.
I felt the book built to a crescendo, creating a very strong case for there being a resource that we could all tap into that is intuition or blink type decision making or gut feel, but then didn't pull everything together at the end with a conclusion describing how readers of the book could make better use of this resource in their own lives. I eagerly read the chap titled conclusion, but it just presented more (very interesting) material on blink-type decision making. I'm left feeling that I want a bit more on this topic.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read nonetheless and will eagerly look for his next book too. His style is excellent, very readable, the kind of book that makes you want to turn the pages - relatively unusual for a non-fiction book.
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Hardcover - 18 Jan 2005)
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