Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The landmark book that has revolutionized the way we understand leadership and decision making - from number-one best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell.
In his landmark best seller 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.
Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Blink changes the way you understand every decision you make. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 44 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 05, 2005|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #685 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#8 in Social Psychology
#9 in Medical Social Psychology & Interactions
#9 in Business Decision Making & Problem Solving
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This is what BLINK is all about. Our ability to instantly know what is real from what is fiction. What is good from what is bad? Gladwell is telling us to go with our right (creative) brain, and for the moment to shut down our left (logical, analytical) brain, and oh he is so right.
In example after example, the author goes through diverse instances where people in just the time it takes to BLINK, can make FABULOUS decisions that turn out to be the right ones. Others using the power of their analytical minds can take days, weeks, and even months, and come to the wrong decision. There's something going on here, and Gladwell is onto it. Human beings have five million years of evolutionary history behind us, and consciousness for only the last 15,000 or 20,000 years.
Somehow, we have TURNED OFF the power of our unconscious instinctual patterns, and overridden them with our super analytical ways of logic. The result is inferior decisions to what we had before we became conscious. Hey, when a lion was chasing down our ancestors for a meal, you didn't have much time to think.
By the way, every page of this relatively short book is fascinating. You will literally not be able to put it down. Let's look at a few of the topics that Gladwell covers in depth and convincingly.
A) The J. Paul Getty Museum & the Kouros Statue
The cash-flushed Getty Museum wanted to buy a 7-foot Greek statue for $10 million. With contract in hand they call in some of the greatest experts in the world who after running exhaustive scientific tests, agree that it's the real thing and you should jump to buy it. At the same time a handful of other experts just looking at the object instantly announce it's a fake, and you should walk away. Learn who was right and why. Hint: it took 2 seconds of looking to KNOW the answer.
B) Who's a good Professor in less than 30 seconds
Remember when we went to college we would attend a lecture or two to determine if we wanted to take the entire course with a certain professor. In BLINK you will see scientific studies that prove you can come to the same decision by watching a video of the professor for 30 seconds. Who's kidding whom?
C) What if you could tell how long a potential marriage would last?
This one is mind blowing. John Gottman of the University of Washington has shown in tests that he can do this with accuracy. Watching one hour of a couple talking, and Gottman can tell with 95% accuracy if 15 years later, they will still be married. Blink goes into it in detail. Too bad, I didn't learn about this study sooner.
D) Why do some doctors get sued, and others not at all?
You would think that the risk of being sued if you are a doctor is all about making mistakes, or improper medical care. BLINK shows that its really about words like "RUSHED, IGNORED, and TREATED POORLY."
E) Can a President of the United States be elected on looks alone?
Read BLINK and you will see how an entire nation got suckered into electing Warren Warding President just for that reason, unbelievable but true. Read how and why, and be mesmerized.
F) Only 14.5% of men are six feet and over. Why are 58% of CEO's six feet, or taller?
Pretty wild when you think about it, yet true. Could there be some kind of unwritten or unconscious criteria for being a Fortune 500 CEO that involves height? There aren't enough tall people to COMPLETELY staff any one company. Why is it that the tall ones seem to rise to the TOP?
G) Blue Team versus Red Team
This is my personal favorite. The American military runs war games all the time. The good guys who are us are always the BLUE Team. The enemy is always the RED team. In preparation for the first Iraq war in the early 1990's, the government ran the exercise, and put General Paul Van Riper in charge of the bad guys, the RED team.
The bottom line is that the bad guys blew away the good guys, the Americans by using unconventional "BLINK" type thinking, while the BLUE Team relied on conventional, overwhelming force, and inside the Beltway type bureaucratic thinking. This illustrates why this book is so important. You will learn out of the box type thinking.
You will also learn when to use it, and when to go with your logical left brain type thinking. By the way in the war exercise when the bad guys, the RED Team beat the good guys the BLUE Team with ease, what did the Pentagon do? They announced that the game would be done over again, and they outlawed the techniques that the bad guys the RED Team employed.
The result, the good guys won. The problem is that nobody told the bad guys in Iraq during the second Iraq War that these techniques were outlawed, and thus our Generals as usual find themselves in some difficulty to say the least. Read BLINK, and find out how and why. This book is FASCINATING, and NOT TO BE PUT DOWN, ONCE YOU START READING IT.
Overall "Blink" provides a new sort of perception that first impressions and judgments are actually true. From childhood, we are all taught that first impressions are key. Malcolm Gadwell provides evidence of split second Decisions and judgement ranging from a retired tennis player, to Medical Doctors. Gadwell does however, explain that prejudices can impair our thoughts. Gadwell even describes how the outcome of a relationship (Divorce or Married) in 10 years, can be quantitatively measured.
The overall theme is "Thinking without Thinking," which describes that ones mind can subconsciously understand and analyze a situation before one's conscious takes place. The mind can conceive the details through a situation due to the associates made through society. Gadwell jumps between stories as a describes different topics such as priming, selective processing and expertise, but always relates back to the topic of thin slicing. His writing style leaves the reader curious as to why and how something happens, subconsciously urging them to read on till he abruptly explains the relationship.
The overall book was a pleasure to read, yet I still remain skeptical about some of the ideas and presented. He present's ideas that have many different outcomes, such as how an artists who should have made it big didn't and how a commander beat his opponents in a war-game exercise. The book hits individuals with facts and then goes on to describe the relationships found within those statements and facts. I remain skeptical about some of the ideas because they simply seem implausible and rather controversial. Since the earliest days of our birth, we are taught never to make judgments or to judge a book by its cover. Blink teaches us something different, describing how it is alright to judge a book by its cover, and how those judgments actually save us a tremendous amount of time.
Gadwell relies mainly on anecdotal evidence. Each section tells a story about someone who illustrates his theory of snap judgments. The first story presented was about a Greek statue the J. Paul Getty Museum had agreed to purchase. Just before the transaction was about to take place, two art experts immediately knew it was a fake. They had no idea why, or how they just "knew." Eventually it was found out that the statue was a fake and when a scientist tested a sample of the stuate, Gadwell explains that "In the first two seconds of looking--in a single glance--they [the critics] were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months." As the book progresses, much more of this intuitive knowledge is proven to be true.
The main problem in the book is that some of the information is presented in a falsify way. The readers are not given completely background of all the other possibilities. In one example, Gadwell explains how artist by the name of Kenna, is loved by artists, managers, and talent scouts but fails to make it in the big run because radio stations dislike him because he didn't market himself properly to them. Individual people thin sliced Kenna and realized he was good, but radio stations waited some time to make a rational judgment which in turn led them denying him. Gadwell explains that Kenna could either have been promoted, or the radio stations are wrong, but never does he touch on the fact that Kenna might have been a bad artist.
I would highly recommend this book to other readers, simply because of the way it makes you think about your judgments. I was able to finish this book within a day because of the intriguing logic Gadwell uses to prove his point. This book made me step back and think "Wow. Can that be true." It truly made me think of the decisions I make on a daily basis, and how some of those decisions are already determined. While I do remain skeptical about some of the idea's presented in the book, the overall book was a pleasure to read; keeping me entertained and curious enough to finish the entire book. I enjoyed the book enough to go and purchase Malcolm Gadwell's other book "The Tipping Point."
Overall, read it and enjoy how much it makes you think. One should not however take everything said in the book to be the truth.
Top reviews from other countries
Anyhow, i am only 50 or so pages in and notwithstanding it somewhat defeats the argument, i will not rush to judgement and will read the rest of the book
Some very interesting examples to get you thinking about the 'blink' reaction from different areas of the authors life and experiences. It has certainly made me think and I've found myself trusting my first thoughts more often without having to re-think things which alter our perceptions through over thinking. I've found myself googling many of the experients and tests he mentions in order rewatch them as many examples featured in a leadership workshop I went to.
Definitely worth a read to expand the way we think.