Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Evie bought me this at the school's second hand book stall (I couldn't go myself due to scheduling issues, which made me sad). But it was a very good choice. Malcolm Gladwell's Blink falls into a category I'm calling chatty non-fiction -- full of anecdotes, engaging interviews, laced together and sprinkled with enough scientific or historical or psychological theory so that it feels educational even if it's mostly entertaining.

Blink is concerned with the phenomenon of snap judgments, and this fairly loose topic enables Gladwell to cover a diverse range of human experience -- falling in love, assessing the authenticity of art works, war games, the pitfalls of market research, the psychology of police shootings (this felt particularly pertinent at the moment). Did you know that after screened auditions were introduced, the number of female musicians playing in US orchestras rose by 55%? Or that there is a psychologist who can watch a three minute snippet of a married couple's conversation, and predict with more than ninety percent accuracy whether they'll still be married in fifteen years?

This was a really interesting read and just what I was in the mood for. Malcolm Gladwell also has an excellent podcast called Revisionist History -- one of his first topics was the prime ministership of Julia Gillard. Well worth checking that out, too.

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