Blink Essay

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Marko Ceki
Mrs. Reed
AP Lang 3A
15 November 2012
Blink
Blink is a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. From this book I learned many things for example that our brain is like a big computer that contains and processes lots of data. This book showed me that there are many studies and experiments that show why people think the way they do and also why people do the things that they do. I learned about thin slicing and about people like John Bargh that did many Priming experiments. I learned about thin slicing in my AP psychology class but I did not not fully understand it and therefore didn’t know that it is used in everyday life. The term thin-slicing means making very quick decisions with small amounts of information. Gladwell posits that thin-slicing can have its uses or can be a mistake. If someone takes a small amount of information to generalize or make decisions in whole then decisions may be made that really are incorrect. However, sometimes a small amount of relevant information is all that is required to make decisions and act. A person can thin slice without even knowing that they are thin slicing. An example of thin slicing can be if you walk into someones room and see that it is really messy and has a bad odor then you get the feeling that that person is a very disorganized, messy, and rude person. In this book I learned about a study where people were asked to put together sentences from lists of words and their behavior unconsciously changed by “seeding” the list with words. Lists with words like, worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray, bingo, wrinkled. Made people walk away from the test slowly, like an old person. And there was a test for people to put together a sentence with certain words...
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