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Blink: rapid cognition

I've been looking forward to Malcom Gladwell's next book since putting down his first,The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, which was published in 2000. If you don't know Gladwell, he's a staff writer for the New Yorker (and in fact you can find a nice collection of his past articles here). The Tipping Point looked at how ideas, products and human behavior sometimes act like epidemics. It looks at how things can change so quickly and so unexpectedly, and how different personalities (such as "connectors" and "mavens") play a role in change.

On Tuesday his next book Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking will be released; the topic this time: rapid cognition - how we make the two second decisions, those instant conclusions that we all make everyday from whether we want to date someone to whether we want to consider buying a
particular house to whether or not a job candidate is going to work out. It's those emotional reactions, those gut feelings that come from the unconscious that Gladwell's interested in and that he describes as "thinking," but a different and more mysterious form of thinking. In classic Gladwell style the book builds its case using fascinating examples (from how emergency room medics make split second decisions to how the best used car salesmen work, etc.) but also describes a lot of the latest in psychological research. His aim? Have people take rapid cognition seriously in order to study it further, benefit from it and understand its downsides.

Posted by Eric Freeman on January 9, 2005 | Permalink


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