Blink: Book Review

Blink: The
Power of Thinking without Thinking
 is about the snap
decisions and judgments we all make, often without being aware of the reason
behind them. It is about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the
blink of an eye-but actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people
brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some
people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into
error? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to
explain to others?
In the book, Malcolm Gladwell  is trying to prove the theory about what he calls “ thin-slicing” with a
series of interesting examples, research papers and in some parts of the book
with the help of psychological experiments, tests and activities.
The first
thing that I liked about the book was the way the theory was introduced with
what looked like a detective story about the discovery of a statue that
initially fooled one group of art experts for being genuine and was later shown
to be a fake by another group. The first group had exhaustively studied and
analysed the statue. Members of the second took one look —
“blinked” — and declared it suspect and ultimately a forgery. And
they were right. How did they know? Why was the first group so wrong? Such an
introduction just makes you want to read further.
The examples
and the stories range from art museums, emergency rooms, police cars,
universities, job interviews, speed dating, war games and psychology
laboratories. Individually these stories are insightful and interesting but
unfortunately the author is not able to tie these into a unified theory. Without
that unifying theory, all these stories and examples look like clever ideas but
don’t integrate into something concrete. So throughout the book I was
frantically looking for some kind of connection and by the end I was a little
disappointed with the way the material of the book was treated.
Overall I
loved reading the examples and stories in the book and if you decide to read
it, I suggest treating each chapter as an individual essay.