Large Print Reviews
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
By Malcolm Gladwell
The Power of Thinking without Thinking
By Malcolm Gladwell
Read by Malcolm Gladwell
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2005)
An Unabridged Recording on 5 Cassettes or 7 CDs
ISBN: 1-58621-761-5 (Cassettes)
ISBN: 1-58621-719-4 (CDs)
Genre: Psychology / Self-Help
Click here to read a chapter excerpt of this book.
Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - January 24, 2005
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking seems an odd title for a book - no matter what its subject. Odd though it is, it is an appropriate title for this brilliant new book by Malcolm Gladwell. This audiobook, which is read by the author, explores how humans think, and more important, how we make decisions. Gladwell is a psychologist and author of the bestseller The Tipping Point.
In this mind-opening book, Gladwell explains how the brain makes those decisions that take place in the first second or two when faced with a problem. Are these decisions based upon instinct, innate intelligence, or lightning computational skills. Gladwell calls this rapid response the adaptive unconscious. I found this to be an unexpectedly fascinating book. Gladwell's insight into the unconscious decision making process is enlightening and helps to validate a person's first instinct - that immediate gut feeling that something is wrong - or right. He also explains how some people, in some situations, override these initial impressions - to their determent.
Gladwell's thesis is intertwined with case studies and tips on how to better listen to our instinctive reactions and how to know when it should be ignored. Gladwell's writing is lively, and his reading absorbing. This audiobook may very well change your life by teaching you how to make better decisions, and even if it doesn't it will make you look at how, and why, you make snap decisions and how you act upon them. He also shows how your interpretation of your spontaneous cognition can be influenced by outside forces such as marketers and emotions, and how to learn to ignore these destructive influences.
In describing how this 'blink' of cognition affects our decision making process, Gladwell provides case examples of the use of adaptive cognition in such diverse fields as medicine, marketing, the military, in police work, and throughout our day to day life.
Is Gladwell's premise accurate? The jury is still out on that count. Is his understanding of how the mind makes instant decisions scientifically provable? The answer here is no. Nonetheless, Gladwell's explanation is credible and is based upon current neuroscience and psychology and this book does, in large measure, seem to represent the current scientific understanding on intuition. Best of all, this book is as entertaining as it is informative. Gladwell's writing style is causal and he explains the scientific principles covered in a clear and unambiguous manner. This is a thought-provoking book that will provide fodder for hours of conversation around the water cooler! Highly recommended.
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