October 28, 2015

Book Briefs#1- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

You cannot ignore them but you can educate them, your instincts. 
-Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
How does an art dealer have a look at a fake statue and recognize at once that it is fake? How does a marriage expert get to know whether the couple are going to be together or not? It comes to them in the first two seconds. Blink is about these two seconds. Blink accomplishes two tasks- one, convincing the reader that the unconscious thought process (instantaneous thoughts) is as important and relevant as the conscious thought process (educated and logical thought) and the second task, asking the reader to educate their unconscious thought. 
The book has gained my appraisal unparalleled by any non fiction book of its genre due to its witty style as a result of the deep research. Another reason why this book has impressed me is because it has persuaded me to believe that informed decision do not have to be better which is a major misconception that I bet every non-reader must have. You might think that if you have more information, your decision would be qualitatively better. But after reading Blink, this proportionality doesn't hold true for all circumstances, instead, they hold true only when you have the luxury of time. Extra information muddles you with an already puzzling equation that you create before taking any conscious decision. It asks you to rely on instantaneous judgement. But this is one place where this book lies loose due to the simple reason that it never tells you to when to switch between instincts and conscious thinking. 

Not to disapprove of the commendable efforts put forward by the author Malcolm Gladwell, Blink presents a whole lot of ways to thin slice the required information that I believe is of paramount importance. Blink is a lot more than just talking about instincts and analyzing snap judgement. The last segment of the book also provides the readers with some ways to influence their snap judgement. This last segment impressed me the most. Let me give you an example, if I say that there is an audition going on for a singing reality show and there is some kind of a discrimination that the judges have against the female candidates. Now, at such point in time what  you might perhaps do is that you will make the judges sit, discuss things about fight against discrimination, give them a lecture on gender equality, tell them to not undermine women ability but what all of this would do is alter their conscious thinking. However, if there is some kind of a discrimination against women done by the judges, I believe that it is due to their unconscious thought process and so all the discussion, lecturing might not just help. What Blink imbibes in you is an ability to influence the unconscious. What a Blink-reader might have thought would probably have been to put a screen between the judges and the auditioner in order to prevent any unconscious discrimination. 

Therefore, Blink keeps you amazed with the wonders of psychology and is a definite page-turner. But I also think that Blink isn't an idea, it is not revolutionary. It is just an analysis. You never listed out the pros and cons before buying a product at the supermarket. What you trusted was your snap judgement! Police agencies never flood the cops with extra information but always give straightaway orders so that extra information does not confuse them. You have always been trusting your snap judgement, the first impression has always affected your opinion. The concept of instantaneous judgement and thin slicing information is already in use. The whole concept of outweighing instincts is what we have been following unconsciously. The only difference that Blink makes is it tells you what happens behind the closed doors of your mind when you make a snap judgement. It explores unconscious thought process, however it is just an analysis not an idea. Therefore, do not expect that you will have revolutionized perspective once you read Blink but whenever you rely on your instincts and trust your snap judgement, you'll remember this book-Blink! Highly recommendable.........   

Order Now - Amazon.in- Blink

October 14, 2015

Outweighing Instincts- The Art of Thin Slicing

You are a recruiter and I have applied for the job. What'd you prefer- spending a whole day with me or a five minute interview? I bet you'll chose the first one." But it is not that simple... 
Analysis- This word has been synonymous to our very sense of the word "conclusion." Paperwork done in years by Scientists to deduce theories is what is called as analysis. 

Logic- The very basis of analysis, the very fundamental of our belief and the very question that compliments every doctrine. We all strive to make more logical analysis and it also becomes one of the primary criteria of judging our mental ability. Selection for colleges and recruitment for jobs are all done on the basis of this very thing. 
Snap Judgement- You see a statue and you know it is fake. You don't know why and you don't know how but you know it is true. However, you wipe that thought off because it doesn't have a logic
Methodology- You wipe that though off because that's isn't an analytical decision and just to find out whether it is fake or not what you do is you call the best of scientists, historians and analysts, you scrape the outer layer of the statue and observe it under the microscope. You do tests and research based upon logic and curate it all with a 100 page lengthy, comprehensive, logical and analytical report ending up saying,"it is fake."

Reader by now- What a stupid guy! He spends millions of bucks and days of his productive time on that research and ends up saying what he said in a Blink. 

Logic- Instincts are baseless. They come in a Blink and it's better you remove it. They are illogical. They come from nowhere. They lead nowhere. It is a mere coincidence that the snap judgement and the researched judgement are the same and not anything more than that. And here lies the simple reason behind following certain methodology.     

It isn't as simple as that. No doubt a method and analysis rectifies the snap judgement. Logical analysis provides a unique satisfaction that doesn't come with the instincts. However that doesn't mean that instincts aren't important. Our brain works at two stages, parallel to  each other. They are called the conscious and unconscious. The conscious which makes us believe what we want to, which allows us to consider women equal to men, black to white. However, there lies an unconscious which still makes us hesitant about accepting race and gender equality. If you don't believe it, then do have an IAT (Implicit Association Test). The fact that the unconscious makes another integral part of our brain makes it all the more important. In order to understand the importance and gist of snap judgement, here lies and example-