Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink Malcolm Gladwell book review - small business marketing

Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking

Malcolm Gladwell

Category: Psychology

Rating: 8/10

Malcolm Gladwell is one of the greatest minds of our time, redefining the way we understand the world around us. In this book, he takes a look at the world within us. This book evaluates the power of first impressions and trusting your gut, the power of ‘thinking without thinking’ and the choices we make in the blink of an eye. These instant reactions and subconscious decisions seem like the most simple things in the world but there is more to them than meets the eye.

Gladwell begins the book with a tale about the great deception of the Getty Museum which cost the institution just under $10 million. After 14 months of research and multiple professional opinions, the Getty still got it wrong, purchasing pieces for millions. Once they opened, a few individuals knew that the art was in fact, a fake, in a couple of seconds.

In all of our brains, Gladwell argues, there is a mighty backstage process, which works subconsciously. Through this process, we all have the capacity to sift through vast amounts of information, blend data, isolate telling details and come to astonishingly rapid conclusions, even in the first two seconds of seeing something. ” ‘Blink’ is a book about those first two seconds,” Gladwell writes.

Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made his book, The Tipping Point, a classic, Blink changes the way you’ll understand every decision you make. Gladwell dives into critical thinking around why some people are brilliant decision-makers while others remain consistently inept. Why some people, by following their instincts, are winners and others stumble. He examines how our brains work in all circumstances, places and areas of our lives and why our best decisions are often on gut feel and are impossible to explain to anyone else.

Blink was a fascinating collection of stories that fully illustrate the principles of thinking without thinking and split-second decision-making. The stories ranged from accounts of psychiatrists and marketers to police shootings and army sergeants. The diverse range of exciting encounters made quite an in-depth topic easy and interesting to understand. 

What made it that much better was that Gladwell touches on experiments and research by one of my favourite psychiatrists, John Gottman.

My favourite quote from Blink

“Our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way…We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.”

― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Who should read Blink?

This book is for anyone interested in psychology who wants to understand a bit more about why humans behave the way we do.

Gladwell writes in a way that makes complex topics interesting and easy to understand. 

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