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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Summary


Blink is the international bestseller by popular author and journalist, and one of my favourite authors – Malcolm Gladwell.

His book covers a similar topic to Thinking, Fast and Slow, but approaches it from a different angle. In Blink, Gladwell suggests that our snap-second judgements are often more accurate than when we take the time to analyse a situation (paralysis by analysis):

Anyone who has ever scanned the bookshelves of a new girlfriend or boyfriend- or peeked inside his or her medicine cabinet- understands this implicitly; you can learn as much – or more – from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.

Our subconscious can see patterns and connections long before we even realise  and these connections often manifest in the form of “a gut-feeling.”  Everything you experience from every sense is stored together, somewhere in the brain. However, if you’ve never been in a particular situation before, the brain can draw parallels between similar experiences that might not be right (as is discussed in Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow)

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.

Gladwell looks at psychologist, John Gottman’s work who found that he could identify, with great accuracy whether a couple would still be together in 15 years after observing them for only a few minutes.

It’s a great read which highlights both the power of our intuition and also some of the pitfalls of relying on it too much – Take a Look.


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