Blink

  • by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell
  • 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that 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? How do our brains really work, in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing", filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.
Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Blink changes the way you understand every decision you make. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.

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What the Critics Say



2005 Quill Award Nominee
"Entertaining and illuminating." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gladwell's groundbreaking explication of a key aspect of human nature is enlightening, provocative, and great fun to read." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting read with contradictory messages

Going into this book, I was expecting concrete answers to the questions that this book proposes to the readers: 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? How do our brains really work, in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?

Unfortunately, it does not answer these questions. The only real conclusion that the book comes to is that split-second decisions are in fact made by people, that these decisions are controlled by our subconscious (which can be highly influenced by external conditions), and that the decisions can have positive or negative results.

The first half of the book touts how powerful "thin-slicing" can be with several examples of various experts in various fields of work that are able to do this. The tone here seems to be to learn to listen to your subconscious.

Near the middle of the book is a few chapters on "mind reading", through facial expressions, which is interesting but again doesn't give you enough information to make any of it useful or practical.

The end of the book seems to say that thin-slicing is a bad thing, which causes us to make snap judgments based on race and gender biases. And that the only way you can tame this flawed decision making process is to become an expert in your field and to always realize that your subconscious is at work in your decision making process. Well, if you are an expert in your field, and you are always dissecting your decisions to look for your subconscious influences, then you are NOT making split-second decisions.

Overall it is a light read (listen) and is informative at a very high, psychology 101, level. It leaves many questions unanswered. Don't expect to take anything too practical or usable away from the material though.
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- Danny

Blink is a deception

This is a classic bait and switch. It is categorized as science and garnished with a glowing publisher's summary that indicated we would learn the mechanics of brilliant decision making. I did not expect to be lectured to about ethnic predjudice. I must say that the authur has a point but it is not why I bought the book. I did not finish the book. The first hour was interesting but the middle third was suspiciously pointing to a political agenda. I felt duped when the authur brought up Dr. King and I quit the book.
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- Kevin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-05-2005
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio