Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Review for Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Book Content:

This book examines instantaneous judgments we make daily, both personally and professionally. It explores the curiosity that, though years of experience, individuals can hone their instincts for those judgments, whether it be in judging the authenticity of ancient sculpture, understanding the odds in a new gambling game, articulating what would improve the taste of a new snack food, or reading the intent of an individual facing off with the police.

Sometimes those instincts are powerfully correct, but research (discussed in detail in the book) has shown that unless we spend the time to become aware and understand how and why we make such judgments, when we try to articulate the reasoning for our choices,

1) we describe reasons that would lead to different judgments than the ones we actually made, and

2) afterward our instinct becomes less accurate, following the "reasons" for choices that we articulated, rather than the (apparently more accurate) standards we had previously used.

My Opinion:

Individuals truly interested in being without racial prejudice should read chapter 3, The Warren Harding Error. It describes the measurement of our subconscious negative preconceptions, sometimes against our own race or gender, and the extraordinary effect of positive cultural role models upon those judgments. I loved learning these lessons from this book, and I am trying to have it impact the way I parent my children and the cultural influences I intentionally expose them to.

Additionally, Mr. Gladwell uses the conclusion of the book to describe how we can circumvent our own instantaneous judgments when they hinder us from the best decisions.

If you have sufficient inclination, read the entire book; otherwise just read chapter 3 and the conclusion. They are well worth your time.

-Karla H.

No comments: