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Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking (Book Review Sample)


Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
In the book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell gives several chapters illustrating the accurate ways through which rapid but useful decisions can be made. According to the case studies and anecdotes presented by the author, human initial and intuitive responses to objects, an event, or a person are the ones that are transpired within the first milliseconds after an exposure to the event or individual. What takes place at that instant often turns out to be the correct. This is an ability found in everybody and it is predicated by a process known as ‘thin slicing' as used by Gladwell.
According to the author, the brain of a human being can examine any situation and come up with the right decisions within milliseconds or instantly. For instance, some accurate ‘slices' often involve our own assessment of mental and emotional states shown by other people (Gladwell 2three). Apparently, the author notes that evolutionary processes known to have unfolded within the last years have given us the power to assess any motives or actions of our ‘split second' thoughts or glances. In writing the book, the author selected several sources appropriately and effectively to support the stated arguments in the book. An important source used in writing the book is Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff.
Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff
Nancy Etcoff's Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty is one of the sources used by Malcolm Gladwell to write the Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The book by Etcoff Nancy was used specifically for the third chapter of Malcolm's book. Nancy's book is readable, filled with wisdom and has well-documented reports concerning human experiences and concepts of beauty together with its utility. The main consideration is beauty and how human beings perceive (Gladwell 76). This is seen as the way we look at ourselves and others that has become increasingly valuable. One significant thing book is that shows that human evolutionary psychology is something not limited to the biological insights on evolution. This means we should view human evolution from all aspects including cultural views. Etcoff's book happens to be a wonderful example detailing the purpose of engaging broader, wiser and synergistically approaches in everything we do in life.
The element of beauty has been widely viewed and studied by many people. The concepts surrounding beauty have been explained and reviewed to apply them in explaining different cultural phenomenon. However, according to the author of this book, she persuasively argues that one's good looks give him an extra survival value. She also argues that any sensitivity added to beauty is something capable of offering biological adaptation (Gladwell 78). This is something governed by human brains and also shaped by the concepts of natural selection.
The book by Nancy finds its application in chapter three of Gladwell's book. The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall for Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men. In this chapter, the author gives farther argument for the accuracy of the ‘thin-slicing' concept and how sometimes negative decisions can be made. Most of the ‘thin-slices' tend to produce negative judgment and more often than not tend to be incorrect and inapplicable. In the third chapter of the book, Malcolm Gladwell undertakes a deeper consideration of the impact from what he refers calls ‘Warren Harding' misfortune or error. This is an error common on people's ability and accuracy to make sudden judgments (Etcoff 18). According to the author, whenever we allow prejudice generated by our minds unconsciously and biases to rule of over the ‘blink' processes, eventually inaccurate judgments will be made. Towards explaining this, the author borrows the information provided by Etcoff in her book. This makes it an outstanding source towards the writing of the book.
In the chapter, Gladwell gives an illustration of the argument by presenting the story of Warren Harding, the former American President. Harding is a person many scholars and historians claim that he emerged from a low level to achieve high political ranks and eventually assumes the presidency largely based his handsomeness and classical attractiveness. He was tall, dark and also handsome hence giving him appropriate physical appearance. According to the book, Warren Harding appeared to have no discernable skills in political arena. As well, the president had an impressive voice capable of moving masses but he did not achieve much for the country. History proves that Warren Harding did not tackle most of his responsibilities while in office (Etcoff 42). He is often seen and identified by many scholars and historians as one of presidents in the history of the country who did not perform. According to Gladwell, majority of the voters welcomed their deep-seated naivety and prejudices towards making the voting decisions. Warren's physical attractiveness saw him climb the ladder of political superiority without anything better to offer to the country.
Towards making his work applicable and meaningful, Gladwell recounts several explanations and discussions contained in Nancy's book. This makes it easy for him to give results from several other researches demonstrating how human prejudices cam mislead them towards bad decisions. Such prejudices may override human actions usually in an unconscious manner, and even despite their very best intentions (Gladwell 80). According to the author, whenever our biases hijack our thinking processes, the so called ‘thin slicing' element of our unconscious mind tends not to be examined or accessed. This leads to highly inaccurate decisions.
From what we have noted above, I totally think the author of the book Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking has chosen an effective and appropriate means of supporting his arguments. Nancy's book gives the psychological analysis of what has been discussed in the third chapter of the book (Etcoff 64). According to me, I am convinced that Nancy's book presents the necessary information towards developing the contents of the chapter. The discussion in the book is effective in establishing the applicable foundation for the book. Together with other sources, the author must have made the best choice in presenting the necessary facts and by so doing he achieves his purpose in writing the third c...
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