Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” as Want to Read:
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  440,599 ratings  ·  14,019 reviews
An art expert instantly spots a fake. A cop decides whether to shoot. A psychologist accurately predicts a couple's future in minutes. This book is about those moments when we 'know' something without knowing why. It shows that honing your instincts could change the way you think about thinking forever.

'Trust my snap judgement, buy this book: you'll be delighted' David
...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published February 23rd 2006 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 11th 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blink, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Navi Singh Bhati It's long because he tried to compile facts not fiction. The research part is what makes it a bit heavy read. It does require a lot of patience but in…moreIt's long because he tried to compile facts not fiction. The research part is what makes it a bit heavy read. It does require a lot of patience but in the end, it's worth it.(less)
Nuno I wouldn't say it's boring, but a bit repetitive. Like a lot of "business / non-fiction" type books I read, I think the book could be distilled to…moreI wouldn't say it's boring, but a bit repetitive. Like a lot of "business / non-fiction" type books I read, I think the book could be distilled to half, if not more than it's size. I.e., you get the point the author is trying to make by then end of chapter 2 or 3. I actually didn't finish reading because I didn't think I would get a lot more from it.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  440,599 ratings  ·  14,019 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Matt Kosinski
Here's Blink in a nutshell:

Split decisions can be good; better than decisions where we take a lot of time to carefully weigh our options and use scientific evidence.

Except when they're not.

Rapid cognition is an exciting and powerful way to use your brain's quick, intuitive capabilities to make stunningly accurate decisions, and can even lead you to have better success in sports, business and politics.

Except when it won't.

We should learn to trust our snap judgments, even in seemingly complex
...more
Doc Opp
Apr 29, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As an empirical psychologist by training, I get very annoyed at journalists who simplify things to the point that its no longer even remotely accurate. Such is the case for Blink. This is especially annoying to me, because the book describes my area of research specialization. If you're interested in a fun read, Gladwell is certainly an engaging author. If you're looking for something that accurately describes the research, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

For example, Scott Plous's "the
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Blink is- what all the stories, case studies, and arguments add up to- an attempt to understand the magical and mysterious thing called Judgement. Its basic premise is: split second decisions (snap judgements); how they can be good and bad.

Gladwell suggests split-seconds decisions are better than the decisions where we take considerable time to weigh our choices and options. He points out that our mind figure things, people, et al. in a blink of an eye. And it is often that these snap
...more
Margaret Ross
I think this book wins my prize for Most Easily Misinterpreted to Serve Personal Agendas. Gladwell gets so into the interesting details of the case he's building, he really doesn't emphasize the final conclusions of the book at all, leaving people to think that the interesting details are the whole point, which is unfortunate. But then again, I'm not 100% sure I got the whole point.

Most of the folks I know think that this book is about how a person's gut instincts can be a better read of a
...more
Ashley
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I would put this book in the category of "Freakonomics" and "The Tipping Point." By the same author as the latter title, Malcolm Gladwell, the purpose of this book is to weigh the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the power of the mind's ability to unconsciously leap to conclusions based on what is seen in the proverbial blink of an eye.

While I have read some negative reviews of Gladwell's book, mostly citing that he fails to inform the reader how to know when to go with your gut and
...more
Diane
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O, to have the writing career of Malcolm Gladwell. The man pulls interesting case studies from academic research and news headlines, spins it into a book under a general theme, and blammo! He has a bestseller. This formula worked for him with The Tipping Point and then Blink.

Blink is a compelling read, despite its weak overall theme, which is that sometimes split-second decisions are good and sometimes they're bad, and we need to learn when to trust our first impressions and when to discount
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell
The author describes the main subject of his book as "thin-slicing": our ability to use limited information from a very narrow period of experience to come to a conclusion. The book begins with the story of the Getty Kouros (Archaic Greek sculptors reduced human anatomy and musculature in these statues to decorative patterning on the surface of the marble.), which was a statue brought to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. It was
...more
Will Byrnes
This was a big best-seller for Gladwell. He posits that much of the time we make decisions, reach conclusions in a sort of pre-conscious manner that he calls “thin-slicing.” That means taking a very small sample, a thin slice, and making a decision immediately based on that information. However, it is the case that the ability to evaluate that slice is fed by a lifetime of experience. It is not simply, as some, including President Bush the second, might believe, that using one’s gut, in the ...more
seak
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2013
Much like the reason behind my majoring in Economics, I like Gladwell because he opens my mind to new ideas and new ways to think. Much like Economics, I believe he's far from perfect, but I really enjoy viewing the world through his lens.

In just about anything, when people start acting as if there is only one way to do something, I stop listening to them. This goes for many things, but especially politics. If you DO, however, find someone who is omniscient and knows exactly how every policy
...more
Kemper
I generally distrust anyone who says that they ‘go-with-their-gut’. But when the company I work for announced a major decision a few years back, I instantly said, “This is going to be a huge mistake.” Smart people had examined the deal backwards and forwards for months and thought it was a great idea. I had a bad feeling about it that I could only later explain, and I was far from the only one. And we were right. The entire thing turned out to be a huge disaster.

I kept thinking about that
...more
MacKenzie
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bored travelers and people who think WAY too much.
so i bought this book in boston's logan airport about 10 minutes before i had to board a flight to seattle. the bookstore was limited; i didn't want to have to work to get interested. and the first 100 pages or so did the trick... until i realized that gladwell wasn't so much building an argument as telling stories about a certain topic. don't get me wrong, i finished the book. later. back in boston, on the T. and it did cover some interesting studies, or i wouldn't have done so. but i suspect ...more
Ashlie
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perception
I reread this after realizing I couldn't remember enough to compare with Kahneman`s book. They are mostly aligning, only Kahneman suggests against making snap judgements and relying more on evidence whereas Gladwell gives views from both sides and stays impartial.

Blink is about unconscious decision making. Our unconscious side is fascinating, because it seems to be the one that holds the strings most of the time; making very fast decisions, watching out for any threat to our existence. However
...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Probably the best among Gladwell's books. He still stands true to his success mantra - "Gladwell - The Power of Inductive Reasoning." But, it was still a well researched and informative book. Blink.
Trevor
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elsewhere, in one of my other recent reviews, a GoodReads friend (Richard) told me that he had become less infatuated with this book after reading a review by a specialist in the field who gave it a drubbing. I was worried that knowing this might ruin this book for me – but it has not. I really enjoyed this one too. This is the third of Gladwell’s books I’ve read in quick succession and this contained lots of information about things that have made me think and sparked my interest to learn more. ...more
Ed
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pop Psychology Fans
I didn't learn much from this book that I did not already know. I am beginning to suspect that Malcolm Gladwell is not writing books that uncover valuable facts that we should know, but rather is writing books that restate facts we already know but in an interesting way.

I like his anecdotal stories very much which is why I finished the book - hoping for more stories. When he lays out the facts, though, his writing is no more interesting than any other scientific author.

So, in summary, what we
...more
Ms.pegasus
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in an entertaining book about psychology
Gladwell continues his exploration of counter-intuitive ideas about decision-making in BLINK! He opens with a 1983 incident at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Museum acquired a rare statue from the Greek archaic period. To this day, the Museum maintains that the authenticity of the statue is uncertain. At the time, however, the Museum was certain enough to acquire the piece for just under $10 million. Documentation, and scientific analysis had been relied on as support. However, numerous experts ...more
Ana
A really great study on how important the first few seconds of anything can be, in any particular situation. Be it that you're an art expert who instantly knows an object is fake, or a police man who thinks that the victim is pulling a gun out of their pocket rather than a wallet, it's very clear that human beings do have this constant auto-pilot running, an unconscious "survival mode" that gives us most of the clues we might need in the "blink" of an eye, and sometimes those clues might be ...more
Connie G
Malcolm Gladwell engagingly writes about how decisions made in a blink--snap judgments--can be very good. A series of entertaining anecdotes and psychological studies show that first impressions can be good in some cases, especially in areas where people have experience. He also writes about experts who analyze facial expressions, and how autistic people have trouble making certain types of judgment calls.

But then he goes on to show how our unconscious mind can also be very prejudiced. Tall men
...more
Otis Chandler
Oct 16, 2006 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, business
A must read - really interesting stories about how people process things unconsciously.
- for instance, you can't hide your feeling about race from your unconscious - take the Race Test (http://www.understandingprejudice.org...). It said I (and 13% of test-takers) have a 'moderate automatic preference for European American compared to African American'. It also said 48% of test-takers have a "Strong automatic preference for White people" - crazy!
- I loved the bit about President Warren Harding
...more
Carolyn
Equally as fascinating as Gladwell's other book The Tipping Point. Really makes you think, consider your decisions differently.

Quotes:
But in the end it comes down to a matter of respect, and the simplest way that respect is communicated is through tone of voice.

Of the tens of millions of American men below five foot six, a grand total of ten in my sample have reached the level of CEO, which says that being short is probably as much of a handicap to corporate success as being a woman or an
...more
Greg
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really expecting more from this book. I've heard mostly good things about Gladwell, and he had a pretty interesting TED talk, and I enjoy almost anything to do with the brain, so...why not?

The book certainly brought up a lot of interesting ideas and did a good job of discussing the different elements that go into the snap decisions that we make every day. And it's probably worth a read for many of the stories and experiments related. But for the most part this book really failed to
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I find this book to say very little in the end, at least, little that is useful or that I can apply. We make split-second judgements. Some people more accurately than others. This does not always mean what we think it means.

Okay....

I guess when the subtitle of a book has the words "power" and "thinking" in it ("The Power of Thinking Without Thinking"), I expect to gain something from it. Instead I feel like the author explains all the reasons why we should not be relying on snap judgements,
...more
Snezan
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in human interaction
This work is worth a read, if not more than one. I hesitate to say too much, since I believe the conclusions it reaches are explored in the very beginning and will immediately inform the reader of its relevance. I don't know why that came out so long winded, the reader will find out how interested they are by the first or second chapter.

I found the book fascinating for its close look into social interactions, particularly between two people, and for explaining why i sometimes I think the way
...more
Tasnim Dewan  Orin
From any psychologist's point of view, this book is full of contradicting psychological facts. Even as a general reader, I find this book says a lot of things but does not actually tell you what it actually wants to address.
But I love this book for totally different reasons. Firstly, I love case studies with interesting results written by someone who can write in a way you will find the whole experience exhilarating. Secondly, this guy deserves a five star because he is making less known but
...more
Rohit Enghakat
Blink is an interesting read. The book is about making decisions in the blink of an eye, to be precise. The author says that decisions which are made instantly are far more fruitful than those made with long drawn research and logical thinking. He cites many examples which are also interesting to read. For example, the description of the Amadou Diallo incident where police officers shot an unarmed black immigrant in New York with forty-one bullets was stunning. Equally interesting was the last ...more
Zinta
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where does it all go, after you are done experiencing the experience, thinking the thought, feeling the feeling? Nothing is ever lost. The subconscious is like a vast warehouse, limitless, in fact, and as Malcolm Gladwell illustrates in Blink, we access all that is stored in that warehouse with every blinking and waking moment.

Usually, we call this instant access - gut instinct. Or, the inner voice of wisdom. Instinct, however, is nothing magical or mysterious. It is simply our accumulated and
...more
Zeinahuballah
Total Waste Of Timee,BorBorBoringgg!!
Hannah
Feb 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 Star - Horrible book.

Against my better judgement I gave another one of Malcolm Gladwell's books a try. Oh, what precious reading time I wasted on this book! My feelings on this book are quite similar to how I felt about The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (my review) so I'll keep this review short.

My first thought after finishing this was: did I really just read 200+ pages on what is essentially the good and bad of gut reactions? There was nothing new for me here
...more
Mike
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blink is an elegant 5 Star piece of science writing, dealing with how we think and chose in an instant. We make snap decisions based on experience or some other basis. Sometimes that is good and sometimes not. There are many good reviews so I am not going to spend more time on a review. What I will point out are two examples of how this book remains relevant today.

First example is the recent campaign by Coca-Cola to sell specially colored white/silver cans of Coke over the 2011-2012 winter
...more
Hirdesh
3.5 stars.
Review to come.
It wasn;t upto the mark as I had expected.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Final Verdict – Does Nomad Power System Worth The Investment? 1 5 Aug 08, 2019 11:17PM  
Nonfiction Naviga...: Psychology 1 4 Feb 04, 2019 09:50AM  
Psychology 1 10 Feb 04, 2019 09:48AM  
Blink 2 26 Aug 07, 2018 02:51PM  
2018 Beyond the C...: Book Review #5 1 3 Jun 06, 2018 10:14AM  
Hume-Fogg Readers: Blink 1 1 May 18, 2018 04:41AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
  • Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  • Who Moved My Cheese?
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • Man's Search for Meaning
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
See similar books…
19,910 followers
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview ...more
“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” 640 likes
“We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for.” 555 likes
More quotes…