Most people have heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s other book, The Tipping Point (my review here), but this one is less well known. Although it is less well known, it is no less interesting.
Like The Tipping Point, it is not a long read. However, it provides much food for thought. The author shares a mixture of real-life stories and scientific studies in a very interesting and readable way. These stories and studies all illustrate different aspects of his point.
The point of the book is about the ability of our subconcious mind to make very reliable decisions without is being aware of it. He also shows how the opposite can also be true, how we can subconciously make prejudiced decisions without being aware of it.
He illustrates that we can harness the power of our subconcious and also alter it in the case of prejudices, but that it is no easy task.
A superb read, and an eye opener in terms of how the human mind works. I’d recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in the mind and how it works.
See the book on Kalahari.net
Dax, just thought I’d let you know you can get this book (with same isbn) cheaper from http://www.loot.co.za. (currently R101 instead of R108 on Kalahari), plus you can collect for free if you happen to be passing SunValley Mall near Noordhoek.
Thanks for that Ed, I have used loot.co.za a couple of times but I find Kalahari to be the best all round for online shopping, so I tend to stick to them. Also, I can collect from Kalahari.net either in N1 City or Town which is a little closer for me than Noorhoek.
Seeing as I am posting here, there was in interesting article on news24.com about a new test they are developing for testing subconcious racial bias. They intention is to use these tests when screening applicants for jobs.
The interesting thing is that the tests they are using are the same ones Malcom Gladwell refers to in one section of ‘Blink’.
I enjoyed the book, but the issue I had is that all of the examples he gave involved experts at the top of their field (such as the art expert, or the marriage councellor), who have had years and years of experience, and the decisions they made related to their profession, not to their every day life.
Surely if someone is so highly trained, then it dilutes the concept that we all have the ability to make very accurate subconcious decisions (trusting our gut) on a day-today basis.
That said, I do believe that the subconcious is a very powerful tool when it comes to making decisions, I just think he could have put it across in a way more people could relate to.
Yes, that’s a good point. I think he was trying to illustrate that our subconcious improves with training.
Also, I think he was trying to show the other side of the coin, that our subconcious can be prejudiced without us realising it and so might not be so trustworthy.