Monday, November 1, 2010

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The full title of this book is Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell had also written two other books that I have read called The Tipping Point and the Outliers. His books are very easy reads and you always learn something. Usually, we find out something very interesting about us humans.

One thing you might find interesting is Chapter 6, The Delicate Art of Mind Reading. It gives the science behind the new TV show, Lie to Me. He talks about Silvan Tomkins and Paul Ekman classifying facial expressions. They also talk about what all these expression mean. These are facial expressions that cross all racial and ethnic groups. There are times when people can be very good at picking up on facial expressions and time when they are not. It is basically when we are under stress, when our adrenalin is flowing that we can be particularly bad at this. So, you can learn to be cautious about the time when you can be bad about picking up on facial expressions. Another interesting thing is that you can also learn to be better at picking up on facial expressions.

This book is also about decision making. Sometimes we are better off going with our gut instincts or our unconscious mind than putting a lot of effort into thinking about what we want or want to do. It is ironic that we are better off doing a lot of thinking about the small decisions than with the big decisions. The small things may be buying kitchen accessories. The big things may be buying furniture or deciding where to live.

Malcolm Gladwell also points out that often what people say they want and what they actually want can be very different. When people at a speed dating session were asked what they wanted in a date and asked to fill out a questionnaire on this, they had no problems in filling it out. However, who they really turned out to like was very different that what they said. Speed dating can work because people can tell very quickly if they like a person or not.

He also talks about the Pepsi challenge. Apparently, if people take a sip of a drink, they like the sweeter one. This is why Pepsi wins the Pepsi challenge. Pepsi is sweeter than Coke. The problem is people will have a different opinion about the drinks of Pepsi and Coke if they drink a whole can. This is why the new coke, which was sweeter than regular coke, failed so badly.

You can find reviews on this book on Wikipedia at You can see a discussion on this book and its topic at There is another review at

Malcolm Gladwell has his own site at On this site, he talks about his three books of The Tipping Point, Outliers, and Blink. Also on this site, he has his New Yorker magazine articles, his Blog, and his biography. Wikipedia has an article on him at and he is at TED at He is also on YouTube.

This book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Also on my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See gladwell2.

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