||Social commentator Malcolm Gladwell once again takes the pulse of contemporary experience and, in BLINK, comes up with this enlightening exploration of the role of rapid thinking in everyday life. Gladwell shows how what we call snap judgments, first impressions, or instinct are often right on target and get to the core truths. He reveals that experts call this process "thin-slicing"--the ability to dive for truth the way a basketball player grabs a loose ball on the court, cutting through layers and levels of knowledge that resist tortured analysis. He reports on current research in the fields of science and psychology, and their applications in marketing. Gladwell writes of the marriage therapist who can discern, by listening to three minutes of the parties talking to each other, whether their marriage will last, and how thin-slicing operates in a job interview or when an insurance company wants to identify which doctors are candidates for lawsuits. It might be a sense of structures and patterns, or a Sherlock Holmesian sensitivity to the messages we send out, or just the ability to filter out bad signals and bad information. Gladwell draws examples from the home, office, and school, and proceeds with care and caution through his material; his exposition is as engaging as it was in his previous book, THE TIPPING POINT. After reading Gladwell you will more likely trust your first impressions, but wonder what others are thinking, too.
||Some years ago, a young couple came to the University of Washington to visit the laboratory of a psychologist named John Gottman. They were in their twenties, blond and blue-eyed with stylishly tousled haircuts and funky glasses. Later, some of the people who worked in the lab would say they were the kind of couple that is easy to like--intelligent and attractive and funny, in a droll, ironic kind of way--and that much is immediately obvious from the videotape Gottman made of their visit.