AUTHOR: Malcolm Gladwell
CATEGORY: Makes Ya Think
OVERVIEW: From the bestselling author of Outliers, and The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell brings us Blink, in which he discusses the concept of “Thin-Slicing”. Thin-slicing is the human ability to make a quick snap decision based on a small amount of information and observation. Gladwell argues that often people’s first impressions of a situation and what they think of as a “gut feeling”, can be much more accurate than we assume. Gladwell focuses on situations like an unearthed Grecian statue or his observations of short conversations between couples to explain his thesis in a light-hearted and understandable way.
THOUGHTS: My mom has always told me to “go with my gut”, and I was surprised to learn that, according to Gladwell, my Mom isn’t so wrong! As a psychology major, books such as Blink tend to catch my eye. I know that psychology books aren’t generally everyone’s “go-to summer read”, but Gladwell managed to keep it light and entertaining, while integrating a ton of fascinating information about the way the human mind works. Gladwell explains how a first judgment can often be more accurate than long term analysis and discusses how people read each other’s faces. He also mentions that listening in on just a 15-minute conversation can allow a psychologist to determine the future of a relationship (this definitely freaked me out a little).
I learned about the human brain, judgment, “thin-slicing” and even started analyzing myself by the end! I really enjoyed reading Blink and would highly recommend it for anyone looking to try something new this summer. It is a perfect mix of entertaining anecdotes, scientific studies, and some fun insight into how your mind works.
Written by Guest Blogger, Gabriella G. of the University of Miami
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