By Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell writes an extremely readable book, full of fascinating stories and an interesting way of juxtaposing them. In this book, he takes a close look at the first impressions, gut reactions, and split-second decisions that we humans sometimes make in the blink of an eye, and attempts to explain them. The result is a riveting read with lots of food for thought on the things that influence us without us really being aware of them.
It turns out there is a lot to be said for trusting your initial gut reactions to things. Though sometimes such reactions, especially when they turn out to be correct, can seem to border on an ESP-like ability, the truth is probably that your mind knows things that you don’t know it knows and can communicate them to you in the blink of an eye when necessary. On the flip side however, are things like prejudices and stereotypes which can cause your gut reactions to be wrong — based on cultural or psychological programming that you weren’t aware you had.
One of the most interesting points the book makes, and perhaps one of the most useful for readers of this site, is the fact that sometimes focusing on the few things that are actually key or essential to something can lead to much greater success than trying to consider and analyze a hundred different elements of something. The example the book gives is ER doctors trying to diagnose whether or not a patient is in the middle of a heart attack. Doctors tend to want to consider all of the factors, but one ER chief discovered that mistakes were slashed by paying attention to just three questions. This is counterintuitive — we think that having more information will make us better equipped to make a decision, but the truth is that is usually just paralyzes and confuses us. (The lesson for your online business? Keep it simple, especially at first.)
All in all this is a great book to pick up if you are interested in finding out a little bit more about the human brain and how it works, especially in the heat of the moment.
Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
By: Malcolm Gladwell
Published: 2005 by Little, Brown and Company