Blink the Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Topics: Blink, Getty Center, Art museum Pages: 4 (1271 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Have you ever had to make a split second decision? Have you ever mad an impulse judgment without knowing all the facts? You probably have; its human nature. Whether its reading body language, processing facial expressions, or even having someone rub you the wrong way, your gut feeling or intuition about situations can be described in a different manner. In the book “Blink” By Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell describes his theory on thin slicing, how it works and how we can utilize this unconscious tool for our own benefit. Thin slicing is when the unconscious mind automatically identifies patterns developed from past experiences and makes what Gladwell calls snap judgments. He shows several examples of when thin slicing can be beneficial as well as a few flaws in the slicing process. One of the main points to the thin slicing process is that only small amounts of data are required so long as it’s the right data in making the proper snap judgment. This point is made in the examples that Gladwell uses with the Getty Museum, John Gottman’s marriage lab, and the millennium challenge war game. Throughout the book, Gladwell explains how thin slicing works and how we can use this to our advantage.

One of the first examples that Gladwell uses in exposing the power that snap judgments has is shown in a real situation that occurred at the Getty Museum. The Getty Museum had acquired what they believed to be an ancient Greek sculpture from a private art dealer (perhaps he posted it on craigslist) for a low asking price of $10 million. The art dealer Gianfranco Becchina had what appeared to be proper paper work and documentation showing the recent history and sale of the sculpture. The museum decided to first look in to the authenticity of the piece. The museum had their team of lawyers check out the paper work and they came back with positive reinforcement. Next, the in-house historian checked out the sculpture and also had an expert geologist check out the piece...
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