Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


The tagline of the book Blink reads ‘The power of thinking without thinking’. And it quite appropriately describes what the book is all about. The book starts with an anecdote of how a fake statue was identified by a group of experts. It was identified by hunches and feelings and not by data analysis when they first saw the statue. It then goes on to explain a theory referred to as ‘thin slicing’. Where the book Blink tells how we use slices of information to take information instead of crunching the whole data/ information available to us.

Blink, The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

It goes on to analyze the information that we use in the first few seconds to take a decision. It also shows how our preconceived notions and our conditionings play a big role in making those decisions.

The author has taken some very interesting examples and situations to explain his theories and drive his point. He starts with a fake statue at the museum and uses war games as an example comparing two armies. One of which uses sophisticated technology and the other uses intuition. Other examples are dating games, food tasters, and police dealing with criminals or perceived criminals.

Blink also talks about face readers, sports analysts, and patients suing the same doctor. Election of a president only because he looked like one, spontaneous actors, troubled public hospitals, perceptions about a musician. Dependability of market research with food and beverage companies, inventors of radical products, and the changing perceptions about these products.


With such a wide range of examples, the book is sure enough to attract all kinds of readers. The author has written the book well, you can connect well with most of the incidents and situations mentioned. The insight that it gives into our own conditioning and prejudices through small exercises sometimes surprises you as you always thought otherwise about yourself.

This book came sometime in January this year. I first saw it at the bookshop in Bombay airport. I was browsing books when the guy there picked up this book and said: “Ma’am, you would like this book”. When I just smiled back, he said “You do not believe me? But I see thousands of people every day coming and looking at books and I can tell who would like what kind of book”. And this is what the book talks about… I did not buy the book then, but somewhere that recommendation did hover in my mind, and the guy was not wrong, I did like the book.

You may buy the book Blink, The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell at Amazon.

Recommend you read the following reviews of the books by Malcolm Gladwell.

  1. Outliers, The Story of Success.
  2. The Tipping Point, How little things can make a big difference.

Blink, The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

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  1. Hey that’s a very interesting book…very similar to what i’ve been trying to put through in the HR training i’ve been attempting…obviously learning in the process…

    Loved the incident that occured at the book shop…its amazing!!

  2. Thinking without thinking.. hmm.. Reminds me (esp. The first example) of the Autistic Savants. Rain Man, Calling Rain Man!

  3. Hey Deepak – where did you get the Audio from? I was looking for it too – for the same reason. Am not getting as much time as i need to read all the books on my to read list.


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