Blink: the power of thinking without thinking
By Malcom Gladwell
When I pick up an extremely famous book, specially a “bestseller”, I am always a bit skeptical about what it makes it so popular. Is it simply the author’s name or his track record? Does it pertain to the book’s straightforward applicability in everyday or business life, or is it just a simple entertaining story? After reading the first four chapters of Blink, I still wonder how it reached such a prominent position. Gladwell presents the reader with the concept of “thinking without thinking” – how, in the timeframe of a simple blink of an eye, one can (unconsciously) process a whole lot of information and formulate an immediate conclusion. He stresses the fact that the best decision makers are not necessarily those who spend an awful amount of time processing and analyzing all the available information, but those who are capable of quickly filtering and hastily jumping into a conclusion. He praises the “gut-feeling”, something that can be understood as a kind of “intuition”, except that he has seemingly avoided mentioning that exact word. He describes this blinking process as being strictly stemming from rational analysis, as opposed to emotional, and takes place both: unconsciously and almost instantly. Imagine the amount of time and resources we as managers could save if we could address decision making by just blinking. It is certainly a perk we would all long to posses. But, how accurate and assertive is Gladwell in convincing his audience of this idea? I do not want to bias the position of the group before the upcoming session’s discussion, but feel forced to take a step back and challenge the way the author presents and uses his supportive evidence. His conclusion is broad and a bit ambiguous; it is easy to make your point when all the evidence presented is in your favor. The book is exclusively full with supportive evidence, which leads the reader to conclude that the author has just...
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