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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
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Marin Mowat Blink by Malcom Gladwell takes readers on a journey deep into the inner workings of the human mind and explores the human capacity to make judgements in the blink of an eye. The nonfiction work begins by introducing the inherent human ability to use limited information from a short time period to quickly come to a conclusion; Gladwell refers to this ability as thin-slicing. In the book, Gladwell compiles a variety of captivating stories covering topics such as speed dating and military war games in order to illustrate the incredible human capacity to thin-slice. He argues that our snap-judgements are often just as good as our informed decisions. He even goes on to argue that the human mind can experience an information overload when presented with too much information, resulting in decreased judgement making skills. Gladwell then explains how our snap-judgements can be severely altered and misdirected through what he calls priming (examples of which include previous experiences, images, words, and culture). He illustrates this idea with the tragic police shooting of Amadou Diallo on the third of February in 1999. The shooting was largely affected by race, and Gladwell explains how priming and lack of experience contributed to the poorly made decisions that resulted in the death of an innocent man.
Blink is a compelling arrangement of informative stories, and its conversational tone allows Gladwell to skillfully explain the complicated inner workings of the human mind in a way that is easy to follow. Unfortunately, however, the book lacks a definitive thesis making it difficult to follow at times. At certain points in the book, Gladwell argues that snap-judgements can be just as accurate as well informed decisions. In others, he presents evidence that our ability to thin-slice can easily be impaired by priming and bias. By the end of the book, I was left wondering when it is important for us to trust our snap-judgments and when it is necessary for us to question them.
Blink explores the idea of thinking without thinking. It dives deep into the subject of how humans process information and will be a fascinating read for anyone who is curious about how the human mind functions. While the book lacked a strong argument, it offered valuable information on the subject of decision making. Gladwell skillfully brought together seemingly unrelated stories in a way that left me wanting to learn more about how the human mind works.

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