Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. I saw a lot of negative reviews about this book from goodread, but in fact I really enjoyed reading it. The book includes stories, case studies, and arguments add up to try to understand what is judgement which is the most magical and mysterious thing.
This books is very pleasure to read because of the stories and case studies. Gladwell covered a lot of topics from art, politics, marriage, dating, consumer sales, athletes, war, police incidents, music, and etc. You won’t be bored by reading the variety of topics I can guarantee. He also compared the good and the bad regarding unconscious judgement.
The Case Study Concluded My Own Experience
One of the case studies in the book actually I have the same experience in my own life. Before I read the book, I didn’t realize that’s all because of my unconscious mind playing games with me. Now after I read the book, I know the real reason. The case study I have related experience is the dating one in this book. Psychologists found that person’s dating preferences in romantic partners are very different from what they think their preferences than the one they actually are attracted to. So people seems like very clear what they want, but actually they don’t know what they really want. There are certain human behaviors for which the explanation takes place “behind a locked door.” Instead of trying to explain everything, perhaps people should accept that there are limits to rational explanation.
The Theory of Thin Slicing
thin slice is a new methodology I learned from this book which means to observe a small selection of an interaction, usually less than 5 minutes, and be able to accurately draw to conclusions in the emotions and attitudes of the human interaction. From my reading, I make this conclusion, in order to make more accurate thin slicing or snap judgement, more experiences and knowledge will help you to make accurate judgement. For example from the art story in the book, people who can make accurate snap judgement, it is because they are experts in the area. For people like me who doesn’t know much about art, it’s impossible for me to make the accurate snap judgement at all. All fake arts or statues, looks real to me!
Stress can Mess Up Your Unconsciousness
Everyone can handle stress at different level, it all depends on the personality and experience etc. Sometimes when people in a stressful situation, they can become temporarily autistic, and they will develop a sort of tunnel vision, only focusing on the most imminent, threatening piece of information. It will lead your snap judgement to use your unconsciousness to make a wrong call.
How do we prevent this from happening to ourselves? We need to train ourselves to handle stress situation better. It must have some exercises you can train your unconscious mind. We should try to cool off as quickly as possible to reduce the stress, and make sure your tunnel vision doesn’t go into overdrive.
We do Have Prejudice From Our Unconscious Mind
We have bias from our unconscious mind for different things and situations. For example, Fortune 500 CEOs are tall white men, All Asians are good at math, and Men play instruments better than women etc. Those are our bias from our unconscious mind from our experience, background, or media.
Our decisions are usually heavily biased, because of ancient prejudices we hold. Since we learned this fact, when it comes to decision making, you should be smart to not only rely on your subconscious mind.
The following is the link for IAT test from Harvard regarding our subconscious mind, if you like to take some of the tests as well:
Those are my thoughts when I read blink by Malcolm Gladwell. If you have any other thoughts regarding the book and the topic, please let me know from below comment!
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