Blink - Book Review Essay

Words: 1590
Pages: 7

Xavier Labour Relations Institute

Managing Human Behaviour Assignment

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
A book review by Narendran Santhanam (G10031)

Contents Introduction 3 A brief summary 3 Evaluation 5 Conclusion 5

Introduction “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant – in the blink of an eye – that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. The book deals with the smallest components of our everyday lives—the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress.
A brief summary
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And surprisingly, we are right most of the time. But sometimes, we fail to read these signs correctly and jump to conclusions that turn out to be drastically incorrect. Gladwell says this is what happens in autism. People with this condition do not have intuitive skills and thus, are not able to infer anything, although they may be highly intelligent.
Mind-reading allows us to adjust and update our perceptions of the intentions of others. But, under high stress situations like a shootout, police officers tend to lose sight of the mind reading mechanism and switch off the signals from their unconscious. In other words, they go mind-blind. Decisions taken under such extreme situations result in dismal outcomes. Examples of how innocent citizens were killed because of the mind-blindness of police officers have been cited to emphasize the same.
We tend to have reservations against and for some people based on their gender, caste, color and the society they are from. These reservations cause our decisions to be either in favour of or against those people, which in turn affects our everyday lives. The case of the female trombone player, Abbie Conant, who was turned down by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra only because she was a woman, is a perfect example of this.
The good thing about Blink is that Gladwell has done adequate research to convince the readers about the existence of rapid cognition with some enthralling examples. Gladwell seems