Cover image for Blink : the power of thinking without thinking
Title:
Blink : the power of thinking without thinking
Author:
Gladwell, Malcolm, 1963-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Co., [2005]

©2005
Physical Description:
viii, 277 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
The statue that didn't look right -- The theory of thin-slicing -- The locked door -- The Warren Harding error -- Paul Van Riper's big victory : creating structure for spontaneity -- Kenna's dilemma : the right-and wrong-way to ask people what they want -- Seven seconds in the Bronx : the delicate art of mind-reading -- Conclusion: listening with your eyes : the lessons of blink.
Reading Level:
1100 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 8.3 13.0 88713.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.8 16 Quiz: 37843 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780316172325
Format :
Book

Available:*

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BF448 .G53 2005 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library1Received on 4/29/05

Summary

Summary

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 brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.


Author Notes

In 2005, Time named Malcolm Gladwell one of its 100 most influential people. He is the author of three books, each of which reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. They are: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. His fourth book, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures was published in 2009.

He is a is a British-born Canadian journalist and author. Gladwell was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto's Trinity College in 1984.

(Publisher Provided) Malcolm Gladwell, non-fiction writer and journalist, was born in England on Sept 3, 1963. He was raised in rural Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in History.

Gladwell was previously a business and science reporter for the Washington Post and is currently a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine. He is well-known for his many New York Times bestselling books: Blink, The Tipping Point, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. His writing is often a product of sociology and psychology with implications for the social sciences and business. Gladwell became a successful public speaker after writing his bestselling books.

In 2005, Time Magazine named Gladwell one of its 100 most influential people. Gladwell's most famous quote comes from his book, Outliers; he states that "It takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert..." at any competition or task.

Gladwell was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011. Gladwell describes himself as a Christian. He was raised in the Mennonite tradition, and wandered away from his Christian roots when he moved to New York, only to rediscover his faith during the writing of David and Goliath and through his encounter with Wilma Derksen. In 2005, Gladwell commanded approximately $45,000 for his speaking fee. His books include: Outliers, Blink, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gladwell writes about subtle yet crucial behavioral phenomena with lucidity and contagious enthusiasm. His first book, The Tipping Point 0 (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 Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Best-selling author Gladwell (The Tipping Point) has a dazzling ability to find commonality in disparate fields of study. As he displays again in this entertaining and illuminating look at how we make snap judgments-about people's intentions, the authenticity of a work of art, even military strategy-he can parse for general readers the intricacies of fascinating but little-known fields like professional food tasting (why does Coke taste different from Pepsi?). Gladwell's conclusion, after studying how people make instant decisions in a wide range of fields from psychology to police work, is that we can make better instant judgments by training our mind and senses to focus on the most relevant facts-and that less input (as long as it's the right input) is better than more. Perhaps the most stunning example he gives of this counterintuitive truth is the most expensive war game ever conducted by the Pentagon, in which a wily marine officer, playing "a rogue military commander" in the Persian Gulf and unencumbered by hierarchy, bureaucracy and too much technology, humiliated American forces whose chiefs were bogged down in matrixes, systems for decision making and information overload. But if one sets aside Gladwell's dazzle, some questions and apparent inconsistencies emerge. If doctors are given an algorithm, or formula, in which only four facts are needed to determine if a patient is having a heart attack, is that really educating the doctor's decision-making ability-or is it taking the decision out of the doctor's hands altogether and handing it over to the algorithm? Still, each case study is satisfying, and Gladwell imparts his own evident pleasure in delving into a wide range of fields and seeking an underlying truth. Agent, Tina Bennett. (Jan. 13) Forecast: A 25-city tour (including several university towns) should introduce Gladwell to new readers and help sell out the 200,000-copy first printing. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

After success with The Tipping Point, this New Yorker staffer considers how we make decisions in the blink of an eye. A whopping 25-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Though it is interesting and well written, Gladwell's book on first impressions leaves the academic reader with more questions than answers. In and of itself, this is mere quibble; the problem is that Gladwell makes several significant claims but fails to support them. He offers anecdotal evidence but does not cite the experimental data in a way that allows the reader to determine the validity of his interpretations. For example, he contends that snap decisions can be either incredibly accurate or tragically wrong, but the quotations he offers in support of this idea, though fascinating, are not convincing. Further, he offers two main reasons for distortions of snap decisions: emotional arousal and time pressure. Scientific studies demonstrate that emotional arousal and, more important, events threatening to the self would lead to delayed reactions and that events related to activated need states would lead to major distortions in snap decisions. This book certainly deserves a place on The New York Times best-seller list because Gladwell raises an important question. Its usefulness in an academic setting is questionable, given all the above. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Comprehensive academic collections; public libraries. M. W. York University of New Haven