Inchapter one, Malcolm Gladwell introduces the concept of “thin-slicing” which itrefers to “the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations andbehavior based on very narrow slices of experience… using the adaptiveunconscious to draw conclusions from small samples of experience.” (Ch.1).
Gladwell discusses the concepts by explaining psychologists JohnGottman fifteen-minute conversation observation study between married couples.One of the examples was a conversation he recorded name Bill and Susan. Billand Susan argue over the recent puppy they got. Bill dislikes the dog and Susanadores it. The couple agreement leads to Susan not giving Bill enough creditfor taking care of the puppy, even though he dislikes the puppy and while Billwas trying to compromise with what Susan was saying, but Susan would roll hereyes at him. Gottman conducted his research over three thousand couples andrecorded the fifteen conversation between each couple. Gottman wanted to seethe difference between different couples and he studied their facialexpression, heart rate, and the amount they couple’s sweated. With thisresearch Gottman could predict with observing this couples for fifteen minutes,Gottman could predict whether or not the couple would get a divorce withinfifteen years.
Inchapter 2 was about opens with the power of the intuitive mind, Vic Braden whois a tennis coach can tell thin-slice tennis match in a split-second whether ornot a tennis player is a double fault which means to fail to make in a row.Gladwell brings another side of thin-slicing which is snap judgment andsometimes it possible to know something without why you know it. Gladwell alsointroduces the concept of “priming”, he describes an experiment where a studentgoes to a professor and asked to say words like “sky the seamless gray is” theresult of the experiment was that student left the professor office, a studentwalked slowly than before walking to the professor office. They walked slowlybecause words like “old” “gray” make people move slower than usual, Gladwellgoes on to explain priming that words affect people to be impolite or nice.Priming cannot force some to something they don’t want to do but can changebehaviors. Inchapter 3, Gladwell starts the chapter with the worst president in AmericanHistory, Warren Harding. Gladwell argues that only reason he won his presidencyhis handsome face and charm. Harry Daugherty was Harding controller and helpedlook good in the eye of the public, but Harding was not smart on the inside.
Gladwell mentions on the study Implicit Association test, where subject testedin associated words for men or careers and women or family. He also explainsthis different test like racism where subjects associated words and pictureswith African American or whit people. Subjects found stereotyping is a mentalshortcut and they come use when the categories of race and gender. Gladwellexplains people fall on stereotyping things rather than thinking with rationalminds. Gladwell also explains that people have a stronger conscious biastowards the woman and colored people. Gladwell towards the end of the chapterexplains we can train our unconscious mind to respond differently and improvejudgment to be better.Inchapter 4, talks about Paul Van Riper to explain how improvisation and snapjudgment is an import for the road to success.
Van Riper was a commander whofought in the Vietnam War. Van Riper design a “war game” to train militarysoldiers called the Millennium Challenge. Millennium Challenge militarystrategy to predict war with Iraq and soldiers were trained to fight dictators.Van Riper created teams which were Blue team’s military which representedunited states and the rational mind and the Van riper lead the red team whichrepresented dictator team and the unconscious and intuitive mind. MillenniumChallenge challenges soldiers to think intuitive decision-making way. The twoteams were given specific tasks in order to train to kill or fight dictator butfirst, they had to understand different things with psychologically also.
Forexample, the Blue team allowed information and evidence to not have a clearjudgment because they believe in making the right decision but they lostvaluable time on their prediction which was wrong but they won the game.Gladwell explains some rules are spontaneous and randomness behavior and theycan help in the proper environment in a rise in action.Inchapter 5, Gladwell explains the science of polling. Gladwell uses “new coke”as an example and says that it was a big fail in history. When Coca-Cola wastrying to be different from Pepsi. Pepsi tested normal people in a blindfold totaste whether they liked Coca-Cola or Pepsi. The majority voted to like Pepsiover Coca-Cola.
So Coca-Cola brought out a “New Coke” because of the low votes.Then Coca-Cola asked people if they liked regular Coca-Cola or the New Coke.New Coke did not respond well, so they reintroduce their regular Coca-Cola as”Classic Coke”. From then on, “Classic Coke” has been the number one soft drinkin the world. Marketing researcher, Louis Cheskin says that people don’t knowwhat they want and they have to tell by advertisement. They also did the sametype experiment will butter and margarine, in this case, good packaging wasimportant for customers to buy the product.
Inchapter 6, Gladwell opens the chapter with striking, a tragic example of snapjudgment. Gladwell explains about an immigrant named Amadou Diallo who wasstanding outside of his apartment building and killed by four officers becausethey taught Diallo looked like a reported rapist or robber. Without anyreasoning, the police officer chased Diallo to the apartment building and oneof the officers shoot him.
When Diallo reaches for his wallet they assume thathe had shot the officer who had fired but then all of the officers shoot himdead. Gladwell clarifies what had caused this officer to act out in confusionand bad intuition decision and racial hate crime. Gladwell talks about facialcues which are type of snap judgement. Gladwell says that Diallo death was thecause of bad snap decision and the officer probably mistaken of Diallo facialcues.
Gladwell talks about some people action are somewhat voluntary. Gladwellalso mentions that if the officers had learned to understand facial cues beforeopening fire, Diallo could be still alive today.I thinkof our brain is an extraordinary organ, it controls everything we do from howto speak, process languages, transfer conversation with another body apart tofunction day to day, etc.
Malcolm Gladwell book Blink: The power of thinking without thinking, connects with psychologyby touching bases in topics our thought, feeling and behavior. It connects withour thoughts by how we as humans make can make judgement and intuitive inmatter “blink of eye”. Gladwell suggests that rapid decision is usually betterthan others and the more spend time think about the decision it turns outwrong, he explains with an example with Paul Van Riper, Millennium Challengemilitary strategy “war game”. It connects feeling by Gladwell explaining theconcept of priming which is nonconscious memory concerned with words andobjects, he says that negative words can totally change our behavior and themwords can actually damage someone perception when it is express to them in apositive or negative way. Lastly it connects behavior with striking, a tragicexample of snap judgment, Gladwell clarifies this with the example of fourpolice officer not understanding facial cues and their wrongful behavior causea innocent person death.OverallI think Malcolm Gladwell book, Blink: Thepower of thinking without thinking was great literary work, he opens yourmind up to everyday thinking like decision making, split decision, etc.
Thisbook was amazing to read in my opinion, it relates not just to psychology butbusiness and economics and so many other fields. Gladwell gives so much insightof our unconscious thinking, I really enjoyed the supported example he gave ineach chapter. I was fascinated by how our unconsciously biased and our quickthinking is apart of life every day it was really eye-opening.