1.20.2011

Book Review: Blink


Right from the beginning, this book caught my attention. In the first chapter, he talks about relationships and how a psychologist named Gottman can predict the success or failure of a couple's relationship just by listening to them for mere seconds. I found myself going down the list of reasons why he states couples fail and trying to see if my boyfriend and I have done any of the things on it.

Watching a normal conversation such as "should we get a dog or not?" he interprets the couple's facial movements during the conversation and gives them each a code. Disgust for example is a 1. He then translates EVERY second into a number, which then is translated yet again to a complex equation. His success rate is usually above 90%.

The premise of this book is that people can actually make very rational decisions in a very short amount of time. Gladwell believes that you should go with your first instinct, which he calls "thin slicing". He states that sometimes when you over think things, you can actually come up with the wrong decision more likely that you would have if you used snap judgment. 

I found this book very interesting, as even though I consider myself a rational over thinker (I am almost never spontaneous), I realize that even I too make snap decisions. I have picked a book from the shelf without knowing why (the packaging); I have decided I like Coke better than Pepsi (flavor, marketing, packaging); I have decided in the blink of the eye whether I like a new coworker (a certain facial expression, a hidden sneer). There are many things we do without even realizing it.

I would recommend this book and give it a 3 out of 5.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Intriguing! I wonder if this explains the puzzlement I have humanity! I will have to read this book! Thanks!

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  2. uh...pardon all the exclamation points in the previous remark

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  3. I loved this book; it was brimming with so much insight and information. I like the way Gladwell writes, exploring ideas and theories and substantiating them with real examples. Always nice to read a book from which you learn something. Have you read Outliers? There's a chapter in it called Cultural Legacy, the idea of which was intriguing.
    You might like it :)

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