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In the Blink of a Thought

  • Mar 26, 2005
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Rating:
+3
In "Blink," author Malcolm Gladwell explores "post-modern" decision-making. In modernism, we decided based upon logic: the analysis of factual data, as much of it as we could gather. In post-modernism, we decide based upon the synthesis of sensed experience, as small a slice as we can focus upon.

Fortunately, Gladwell does not lean exclusively toward an either/or approach. That is, he recognizes the necessity of facts, while emphasizing the way the brain works to process information.

What Gladwell writes in pithy narrative, psychologists have discussed for decades in what is known as HIPT: Human Information Processing Theory. Their model overlaps with Gladwell's main focus: to make wise decision we need the ability to think holistically-to envision seemingly disconnected puzzle pieces as a beautiful mosaic.

I've applied his thinking to areas as diverse as a fantasy baseball auction draft, to a counseling session. In fantasy baseball, I've always been the most informed participant in our group of 14 grown-men who spend a day in April acting like boys. However, Gladwell helped me to detect my "information overload." I had all the facts, ALL the facts, but not enough of the feel. Not enough of the intuitive sense that gathered the data, related it to our group, and adjusted quickly to changing scenarios.

As a professional counselor and counselor educator, I've always practiced and taught that we must add relational competence to our theoretical understanding. We must skillfully intuit what is happening in me, in my counselee, and in our relationship. In essence, this is counseling by "blink."

For those who desire more (and in some cases more accurate) information on how the brain functions and how we can discipline our minds and emotions so that we relate well and think with discernment, I would recommend Daniel Goleman's now classic work, "Emotional Intelligence." Use it hand-in-hand with "Blink" and you just might win your fantasy baseball league!

Reviewer: Dr. Bob Kellemen, author of "Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction" and "Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."

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review by . June 11, 2011
Malcolm Gladwell knows how to tell a story. He captures the little details about people and events that give them meaning and make them interesting, something he used to good advantage in The Tipping Point, and almost as well in this book, Blink.      Blink is a book about snap judgments, first impressions, and thin-slicing experiences. It challenges the conventional wisdom of distrusting our first impressions, and brings up several examples where first impressions are actually …
review by . May 24, 2010
In Blink, Malcom Gladwell discusses human instinct and gut reactions, postulating that people's subconscious snap judgments can be incredibly spot-on, even more so than carefully-considered, researched conclusions. He offers several anecdotal instances that support this theory, such as the story of an experienced tennis coach who knows whether or not a player will double fault the instant he or she begins a serve. The fact that the coach cannot explain how he knows it even though he is consistently …
Quick Tip by . July 23, 2010
Malcom Gladwell gives you a new perspective on every day things. Fads, tv shows, etc. Stuff you would have enjoyed learning in high school.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Rethinking how we think about things
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
This is great!
Quick Tip by . June 14, 2010
'blink' thinking: using already established systems of reaction (specific firing patterns) in application to different problems. 'original' thinking: modifying said systems to apply new permutations to said problems. Be wary of context before you decide which modes of thought to use. Maybe don't read this at all.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
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Quick Tip by . May 19, 2010
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review by . December 09, 2008
This is one of those really informative books.. and I'd have to say.. I'm not usually keen on reading those as I'd be bored by about the 3rd page.  Gladwell, however, really writes as if he's talking to you and trying to explain what he believes as if he was sitting in front of you.      This book really breaks down decision making and what happens within the first few seconds of being introduced to a new product/person.  It's really intriguing to read a book like …
review by . February 06, 2009
A fascinating study of how the mind works and the effects our gut reactions can have on our decisions, "Blink" hammered Gladwell's point into me in an engaging and entertaining read. The writing is easy but intelligent, and I loved the specific examples and stories, particularly one about the war games. Not only do they help support Gladwell's notion but they're enough to create enjoyable stories by themselves.      The main idea I took away? First impressions aren't everything, …
About the reviewer
Bob Kellemen ()
Ranked #421
My passion is to equip people to change lives with Christ's changeless truth through Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, culturally-informed biblical counseling and spiritual formation.   … more
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Wiki

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, is a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell which takes a look at why the mind makes decisions in split seconds.

Gladwell focuses on the idea of thin slicing - which is in essence using previous experiences, stereotypes and likes/dislikes to make a snap judgment about a new product or person.

Gladwell offers multiple examples of making quick decisions in a world where we are overwhelmed with information and stereotypes.  He also touches on the fact that these stereotypes are very embedded in our mind, which in turns plays a role in the decisions we make when we thin slice and blink.  Even with the intention to put these stereotypes aside, they've become such a huge part of society that they make a huge impact on any judgment we make.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0316172324
ISBN-13: 9780316172325
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Decision-Making & Problem Solving, Cognitive, Social Psychology & Interactions, Personal Transformation, Cognitive Psychology, Motivational, Business & Finance
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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