Arda Aghazarian's Reviews > Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
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Apr 20, 12

Read from March 15 to April 20, 2012

On page 13 of this book, Gladwell tries to convince us that having chosen to read this particular book may have been the result of our adaptive unconscious and rapid cognition, and that we must have made intuitive associations that made us curious enough to GET this book. To be honest, I thought that if this were true, then my intuition needs some work! Hah

I'm sorry to say that even though this book did bring forth some interesting concepts (my favorite being the one about the music industry, and why some musicians "make it" and others, despite being great, don't), the book will most probably blot out of my mind rapidly. If you ask me next week, heck, if you ask me tomorrow, I will tell you "I guess it's interesting to know that we have a lot of face-expressions, and that they matter, and that we make cognitive associations before we even start talking to people, but all these are things that we kind of knew already, didn't we? I'm trying to remember other things from this book... He did have a lot of examples, and cases, and arguments... Ermm, can't think of any...."

That being said, I did find myself referring to some arguments in this book while reading it; some of them being about relationships. He refers to autism, for instance, and showcases how those with autism are not able to "mind read", while most of us are able to "mind-read" (and that is a skill we should not take for granted), yet in certain situations (like not having enough time), we, too, can be mind-blind. Moreover, "arousal makes us mind-blind." This concept made me smile. Sure, falling in love must make us temporarily autistic.

Also on relationships, experts on the matter may be able to tell, through observing how couples interact with one another, which of those couples will "make it" and which of them will split in a few years. Apparently, if we were to focus on how we argue with our significant others, there are four basic "horsemen" that we should keep our eyes on: 1. Defensiveness, 2. stonewalling, 3. criticism, and 4. contempt. "You would think criticism is the worst, because it is a global condemnation of a person's character. Yet contempt is qualitatively different from criticism..." "Criticism is not very good for problem solving and interaction, but if one speaks from a superior plane, that's far more damaging, and contempt is any statement made from a higher level..." "Contempt is the single most important sign that a marriage is in trouble."

The "signs" apparently are there, but it takes a certain type of attention, eye-reading and intuition that allows us to come to better terms with our decision-making. Snap judgments may not always be the wrong thing to do. In fact, what this book suggests is that instead of "thinking" that we need time to "think things through", we might as well just make haste decisions, and learn how to trust those snap judgments. Hence, "the power of thinking...without thinking."
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