Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
is a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell
. It presents in popular science
format research from psychology
and behavioral economics
on the adaptive unconscious
; mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information. It considers both the strengths of the adaptive unconscious, for example in expert judgment
, and its pitfalls such as stereotypes
The author describes the main subject of his book as "thin-slicing
": our ability to gauge what is really important from a very narrow period of experience. In other words, this is an idea that spontaneous decisions are often as good as—or even better than—carefully planned and considered ones. Gladwell draws on examples from science
, and popular music
to reinforce his ideas. Gladwell also uses many examples of regular people's experiences with "thin-slicing."
Gladwell explains how an expert's ability to "thin slice" can be corrupted by their likes and dislikes, prejudices and stereotypes (even unconscious ones), and how they can be overloaded by too much information. Two particular forms of unconscious bias Gladwell discusses are Implicit Association Tests
and psychological priming
. Gladwell also tells us about our instinctive ability to mind read, which is how we can get to know what emotions a person is feeling just by looking at his or her face.
We do that by "thin-slicing,"... Read More