Blink Book Summary – How to Stop Snap Judgements?

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Short Summary
Blink (2005) Book Summary will tell you about gut feelings or snap judgments and how important it is to listen to them in some situations and neglect them in others. The book tells us that it’s not always a good idea to make decisions on the basis of gut feelings.
blink book summary

Detailed Summary

The book is written by Malcolm Gladwell, who is a psychotherapist. The book has highlighted the process of decision-making. It guides us on how to make a decision effectively in any situation. Moreover, the book explains the importance of intuition.

While making decisions, we always have options and choices. Sometimes, we make decisions instantly, whereas sometimes, we think too much while making any decisions, and we start overanalyzing a situation. But we all have the ability to read minds, and it lies within ourselves.

Do you believe in the first impression is the last impression? Well, this book is all about how intuitive feelings and snap judgments are sometimes accurate and on point. But at the same time, these subconscious situations lead you to the wrong path.

Your conscious can be Wrong Sometimes

According to the author, it’s not always a good idea to listen to your gut feelings every time. This is because your conscience can be wrong as well.

When we are making decisions in any situation, we have choices. Either we analyze the situation, consider the pros and cons, and then we jump to any conclusion. Whereas on the other hand, we make decisions on the basis of our gut feelings. This is a much faster way, and we do it unconsciously.

“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”
― Malcolm Gladwell

40 70 Rule

A 40-70 rule should be considered while making decisions. It says you should make decisions only when you know at least 40% of the essential information but never when you have more than 70%. Moreover, it explains the optimal balance between time and information, ensuring that you move quickly but not rashly and that you don’t put off making a decision until it’s too late.

Besides this, the author says that it becomes impossible to make a solid decision once you over-analyze every aspect. Fortunately for you, your unconscious is the world’s best and fastest information filtering system.

When presented with new information, it sifts through it all, tossing out the less significant aspects in a split second, judging the few major ones in a split second, and presenting you with a solution.

Stress causes our Gut to make Incorrect decisions

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”
― Malcolm Gladwell

Our ability to process information declines when we are under stress. When you’re in a stressful situation, it’s possible that you’ll become autistic for a short time, and you’ll acquire tunnel vision, focusing exclusively on the most immediate, hazardous information. This will frequently cause your gut to make the incorrect decision; thus, it should be avoided whenever feasible.

If you’re in a stressful position, strive to de-stress as rapidly as feasible. To keep your tunnel vision from going into overdrive, go for a walk, hide and breathe for a few minutes, or continue the conversation at a later time.

In a high-stress situation, for example, your ability to read other people’s facial emotions rapidly deteriorates. You might wind up striking your boss in the face when he loses it, turns into a huge, obese redhead, and yells at the top of his lungs at you. Just because you’re afraid of a physical attack because of his emotional state.

Let’s take an example. A police officer may also shoot an unarmed man simply because he carries a black leather wallet. Autistic persons are notorious for their inability to comprehend nonverbal clues. They can’t tell a person’s intentions or emotional condition just by looking at their gestures, facial expressions, or behavior. As a result, people must rely on the information that is communicated.

Use screens to filter Irrelevant Information

Aside from unpleasant situations, our brains can sometimes form so many associations that turning them off is difficult. Even if we are aware that they are incorrect. You would expect all Asians to be strong at arithmetic, Fortune 500 CEOs to be tall white males, and good vocalists to be attractive.

Last but not least, there’s the music industry. They artificially promote a singer’s visual image during performances, on album covers, and in music videos. Until we begin to believe that all vocalists are attractive.

But if you’re a record label’s agent, that’s a problem. Models aren’t what you’re looking for; you’re looking for the best singers. It’s best to make your own screens and filters in this instance. That’s how you prevent irrelevant information (in this case, appearance) from ever reaching your brain.

You might also like to read the book Personality Isn’t Permanent Summary.

The Blink Book summary is recommended to all those who overthink and over-analyze any situation while making decisions. Besides this, anyone who likes to think without thinking should also give it a read.

Blink Book Summary - February 2022

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