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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  360,094 Ratings  ·  12,211 Reviews
In his landmark 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 ...more
ebook, 172 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published 2005)
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 si
...more
Nina
May 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who is thinking about reading this book, I highly recommend it. However, I also recommend reading it as a series of fascinating, well-told stories. It is really nothing more and nothing less.

One of the criticisms I heard about this book before I read it is that Gladwell lays out his theory in the first chapter, and the rest of the book is just example after example supporting his theory. I agree, however it would be a serious mistake to only read the first chapter. The pleasure of rea
...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 judgeme
...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 psychol
...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 situa
...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 w
...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 th
...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 wi
...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 incid
...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 abse ...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 t ...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 h
...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.
Ana  Vlădescu
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 wron ...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 Afric
...more
SeyedMahdi Hosseini
مالکوم گلادول میآموزد که گاهی همانند ماجرای مجسمهی کورو یا شبیهسازی جنگ، باید به حس خود اعتماد داشته باشیم و تجزیه و تحلیل اضافی جز خراب کردن تصمیممان، فایدهای ندارد. (مصداق خطایی که دیگران مانند دوبلی، کانمن و نسیم طالب به عنوان خطای اطلاعات اضافی مطرح میکنند)
گاهی هم مانند قضیهی نوشابههای پپسی و ماجرای دیالو باید از ناخودآگاه پیروی نکرد و بررسی دقیقتری نمود. البته که تمرین زیاد ممکن است باعث شود متخصصانی بوجود بیایند و مهارتی کسب نمایند که ناخودآگاهشان از خودآگاهشان دقیقتر باشد.
در ماجرای کوککا
...more
Connie
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
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 i ...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 tha
...more
Otis Chandler
Oct 16, 2006 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
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
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, desp
...more
Mohammad
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
می گه تصمیم های آنی و لحظه ای که بر اساس حس و شهود خودمون و بدون بررسی دقیق می گیریم می تونه به خوبی یا بهتر از تصمیم هایی باشه که با سبک و سنگین کردن دلایل و عوامل مختلف گرفته می شه. البته همه جا این طور نیست و ممکنه در جاهایی این تصمیم های آنی خطا داشته باشن ومنجر به اشتباه های فاحشی بشن. مثلا اینکه پلیس توی یک لحظه تشخیص بده چیزی که مظنون توی دستش داره کیفه یا تفنگ می تونه برای هر دوشون گرون تموم بشه.
البته نمی گه کجاها خوبه و کجاها بد. یا چه معیاری برای این موضوع قابل استفاده است.
از طرف دیگه
...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 impress
...more
Saleh MoonWalker
جالب بود که چطور از علم برای توضیح این مساله استفاده کرده بود. البته مقداری که از علم استفاده کرده بود کمی کم بود و برای رفرانس علمی نیاز بود که کمی تحقیقات بیشتر صورت بگیره. و اینکه زیاد هم نمیشه روی این موضوع تاکید کرد که افرادی که قضاوت های لحظه ای انجام میدن افرادی هستن که دانش عمیق زیادی دارن یا تجربه یا مهرت خاصی در یک زمینه خاص دارن. خواندنش سریع بود و کمی نگاه علمی به چیزی که بهش تصمیم گیری بر اساس حس ششم میگیم، انداخت.


We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowi
...more
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 an
...more
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
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 seaso
...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 s
...more
Sheila
Jul 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book was really interesting. It discusses the way in which people can "thin-slice" a situation in a matter of seconds and make a judgement. This is where pre-conceived notions such as stereotypes can affect the way we react to something under a time constraint. It's about how our unconscious mind figures things out and affects how we feel or affects our actions before we even realize what is happening. Even if you aren't a racist, you can be programmed to act as a racist by the things you a ...more
Mahlon
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Mahlon by: Kate McAnaney
Shelves: read-2009
Malcolm Gladwell has written yet another thought-provoking book. In Blink he postulates that often our first impressions or gut instincts are more likely to lead us to the the correct decision than if we spent a long time gathering information and weighing out the pros and cons of the particular situation. In other words, you should "trust your gut" In trademark Gladwell fashion he uses many entertaining stories and case studies to illustrate his points, while at the same time cautioning against ...more
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Not worthy of being a book. 86 1133 Jul 21, 2016 07:30AM  
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Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City. He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers ...more
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“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.” 559 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.” 479 likes
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