Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking


Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell was the first book I decided to read when I decided on my topic, decision-making. I had heard of both the author and the title, which led some weight to my selection. The inside-cover promised insight to the quick decisions we must make under pressure. The book revolved mostly around the idea of thin-slicing; our ability to view a situation, process available information, and make a decision in the blink of an eye. I found the process intriguing, more so when I realized the connection between it and insight, which I had read about in my summer non-fiction selection (Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer). However, I can’t say much for the organization of the book. Gladwell was prone to go on long expositions on concepts– while he did a good job connecting it back to his focus, decision making, I found the explanations lengthy and wished he would reinforce the main ideas in-text. As such, the book would have been better as a leisure read, not as a book for research. Nevertheless, Blink was an effective gateway into my topic, as the expositions were effective introduction.

Should You Read This Post?

Recently, I’ve found I have to make decisions. After years of riding others’ bow waves, my age and circumstances now necessitate a degree of self-reliance. And so I’ve pulled out my decision-making-skill, only to find it malnourished and stunted– a victim of neglect.

The ensuing unease has led me to wonder: how do we make decisions? It’s a process we seldom dwell on, deciding there are better things to concern ourselves with. But what is the process that enables us to take in countless amounts of data, analyze their use, and spit out what action should yield the best results, and all of this in a timely manner? How do we shift, from mapping out long-term checkpoints and finish lines, to whether we should have another over-priced colored fluid or it’s derived form, water? What can we do to increase decision-making’s efficiency and decrease its defects?

Perhaps, by investigating decision-making, I can learn how to develop my own skill. And perhaps my research will prove useful for others– but that will be for the readers to decide.