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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Hardcover – 11 January 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 8,041 ratings

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Product description Review

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us "mind blind," focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to "the Warren Harding Effect" (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the "dark side of blink," he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. --Barbara Mackoff

From Booklist

Gladwell writes about subtle yet crucial behavioral phenomena with lucidity and contagious enthusiasm. His first book, The Tipping Point (2000), became a surprise best-seller. Here he brilliantly illuminates an aspect of our mental lives that we utterly rely on yet rarely analyze, namely our ability to make snap decisions or quick judgments. Adept at bridging the gap between everyday experience and cutting-edge science, Gladwell maps the "adaptive unconscious," the facet of mind that enables us to determine things in the blink of an eye. He then cites many intriguing examples, such as art experts spontaneously recognizing forgeries; sports prodigies; and psychologist John Gottman's uncanny ability to divine the future of marriages by watching videos of couples in conversation. Such feats are based on a form of rapid cognition called "thin-slicing," during which our unconscious "draws conclusions based on very narrow 'slices' of experience." But there is a "dark side of blink," which Gladwell illuminates by analyzing the many ways in which our instincts can be thwarted, and by presenting fascinating, sometimes harrowing, accounts of skewed market research, surprising war-game results, and emergency-room diagnoses and police work gone tragically wrong. Unconscious knowledge is not the proverbial light bulb, he observes, but rather a flickering candle. Gladwell's groundbreaking explication of a key aspect of human nature is enlightening, provocative, and great fun to read. Donna Seaman
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (11 January 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316172324
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316172325
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 381 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.22 x 2.54 x 21.08 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 8,041 ratings

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Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw. Prior to joining The New Yorker, he was a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He now lives in New York.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
8,041 global ratings

Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 26 January 2023
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Frugal
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 11 July 2020
This is the 2nd book of Malcom gladwell that I've read after 'outliers'. As per the name of the book, Blink is the book about the "first two seconds".

The book is all about snap judgements, that reveals the sceret of fast and frugal judgements based on little information. Gladwell points out that snap judgements are better than the decisions where we take considerable amount of time and through our choices and options. This split second decisions are based on "adaptive unconsciousness".

But are the snap judgments derived from adaptive unconsciousness or rapid cognition always reliable??
The answer is No.
Author doesn't stop just stating the positive sides of snap judgments, he also explains negative incidents across the world.
Why does the blind test for coke turn into disaster? Why Diallo got killed by police?

But he also gives the proper approach to snap judgments. Thin-slicing, refers to ability our unconscious mind to find patterns in situations and behaviour based on narrow slicses of experiments.

Blink is an interesting and compelling read, it's very well written, engages your mind from start to end. I would like to recommend this book to anyone who's trying to learn and think better as it helps in all aspects of life. Also, those who are studying psychology must give it a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilled
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 29 March 2017
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1.0 out of 5 stars Who is convinced by this?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 26 March 2019
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Ian Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Based on wrong assumptions
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 6 September 2018
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James O' Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think a little differently
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 16 February 2018
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Daniel Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 11 June 2014
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Clark W Derbys
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmasked!!! Mans infinite capacity for self delusion.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 14 October 2019
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