- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 43 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 5, 2005
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00097DWY0
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
This book covers that state of mind in a fun and thorough fashion with examples of how we can act under various scenarios and also be satisfied with what we did when we look back on an event.
However, the trick to be able to operate that way comes from much deeper - you have to have the right personality - or develop one - that is calm, self-reliant and self-trusting. Being the type that is 'sorry' for this and that, or complaining about anything at all, is not one that can generate good 'blink speed' decisions.
Listening to Blink, has helped me replay a variety of past situations where I read a person correctly, read a person incorrectly in a blink of an eye.
The more you spend time in your chosen field of work, or with people, our ability to blink read becomes better.
I highly recommend listening to this book.
Investor | Author | Entrepreneur
The book begins with a vignette, focusing on the Getty Museum being offered the chance to purchase a particular work. The Museum used scientific methods to try to determine if the object was legit--or a phony. They decided that it was good and purchased it. However, a handful of experts, after just a quick glance at the object, concluded that it was a fraud. Later research agreed with those snap decisions.
This illustrates a key point made by Gladwell: Sometimes quick and dirty decision making is actually better in terms of outcomes than agonizing efforts at rational analysis. He points out that this is what evolutionary cognitive expert Gerd Gigerenzer calls "fast and frugal" decision making.
A number of examples are used to illustrate how well "thin slice" decision-making can work. In a war game, one side (the Red Team) used "out of the box" thinking against the other side (The Blue Team), which represented the United States. The latter team used rational decision making efforts, did after action analysis at each step, and tried, in short, to use "best practices." The leader of the Red Team worked more by "feel," allowing his subordinates to take initiative on their own. End result? The United States was defeated! Gladwell's conclusion is that thin slice, fast and frugal decision making was more effective.
He adduces any number of examples as to why quick decision making works better than rational analysis. This is firmly in the tradition of Gigerenzer and his collaborators, extolling the virtues of fast and frugal heuristics (decision making shortcuts).
However, Gladwell understands that there is also a darker side to this thin slice decision making. Stereotypes can end up guiding decision making. He wonders if this explains the disproportionate number of African-Americans who are imprisoned, if this explains why some people get better deals in negotiation with auto dealers than others, if this is why Amadou Diallo dies in a hail of gunfire from police in the Bronx. And this is the side of decision making shortcuts that Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and their colleagues address (see the volume earlier mentioned edited by Gilovich et al).
The final chapter is Gladwell's effort to somehow encourage the positive payoffs of the use of these quick and dirty decision making processes while minimizing the negative consequences. Convincing? I'm not so sure, but the author surely makes us think about these issues. A very well done book.
The individual stories lack scientific rigor, and the book lacks an overall conclusion (what is given is just another story). Yes yes, this book is classified as "popular science," but that does not excuse the fact that no attempt is made to construct a cogent and complete argument, including acknowledging competing ideas. The burden of proof is on he who makes the claim- while Gladwell may think he is being "deeply intellectual" and forcing the message of his book upon the readers by not having a solid conclusion, thus forcing us to blink for ourselves, instead he left the roof off of the house he just built, and I'm clearly not alone in this opinion. Another thing noticeably lacking is advice on how to do the fast thinking for yourself- Gladwell never explicitly says it, but the key it seems, is to study your field for years and years- and by then, you will have built in your brain the equivalent of muscle memory for thought processes, and you will be able to trust your gut a lot more....go figure.
I'm ambivalent about recommending this one. This is possibly the worst place to start if you want to learn in depth the science of human thought and decision making, but it is a wonderful place to start if you know nothing on the topic and would like to get a feel for what it is all about. Either way, if you read "Blink" for entertainment value, you won't be too disappointed (though as I said, the stories do drag on a bit).
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