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Summary of Blink 

Short summary

Many of us experience quick judgments when making individual decisions. We sometimes make a fluke of the situation, and it turns out to be the correct guess or just a false first impression. More often than not, we lack clear explanations of how we instinctively arrived at our decisions. Packed into every snap judgment is a load of intuitive information. Is the unconscious mind uncontrollable? How can stereotypes and biases be reduced or eliminated? These questions are important to make decisions successfully, and their answers are within this summary. Malcolm Timothy Gladwell is a renowned journalist, author, and public speaker. He was a science and business reporter with The Washington Post before joining The New Yorker as a staff writer. Literary prominence came knocking after publishing his best-seller book, The Tipping Point. Outliers, a pseudo-biographical work, was also authored by Gladwell. “When should we trust our instincts, and when should we consciously think things through? Being able to act intelligently and instinctively in the moment is possible only after a long and rigorous course of education and experience.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell

Key points


Learning to pay cognizance when our instinct tells us something is amiss

Rita Spiff, an event planner from downtown New York, was on vacation in the Caribbean. A male friend invited her out to dinner, to which she conceded. Spiff met this fellow not long after arriving at the popular Caribbean resort; he was American but had resided on the Island for several years. Spiff and her friend strolled out on the agreed date on what turned out to be a breezy and surreal evening. Upon arrival at the venue, a strong reluctance to dine at the restaurant fell upon Spiff.

It was an open-air restaurant, with several other guests seated — apparently having a lovely time. That evening was not Spiff’s first time at the restaurant in question, making a strange feeling almost unfounded. Spiff’s friend would eventually notice her temporary withdrawal and urged her to chill out and have a good time.
It is often surprising how accurate a mere hunch can be in the long run.
Before long, a free-for-all broke out in the restaurant, and everyone scampered for safety. The duo hurriedly left the restaurant for safer enclaves. But Spiff could not solve the puzzle of how she knew something out-of-the-normal would happen. But her experience is not unique; experienced connoisseurs of art pieces can determine at first glance if a work of art is genuine or fake.

Psychologists and other empirical experts have conducted several relatable research and studies on how our intuition works. You don’t need an academic understanding of this concept to glean its manifold benefits. To better understand and utilize your previously marginalized cognitive abilities, endeavor to stay with this summary to the end.

The Four Horsemen of relationships are defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt

Psychologist John Gottman, Ph.D., hooked Bill and Sue to machines to measure their heart rates and perspiration while he recorded their conversation. The discussion seemed normal and reminiscent of the type that couples have, but there was more to it than the playful banter about the dog being oily. The conversation revealed a lot about the young couple.
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People can be made to behave in a certain way without being brainwashed


The election of Warren Harding is an excellent example of the pitfalls of thin slicing


Spontaneous thinking is an act of humorous improvisation governed by a set of rules


There is a right and a wrong way to ask people what they want


Humans perform at their peak when their heart rate is between 115 and 145 beats per minute


Blink teaches us to listen with our ears and heart rather than our eyes



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