Blink - by Malcolm Gladwell

Your intuition or gut feeling is the source of an awful lot of decisions that we humans make on a day to day basis. But how sound is this system in terms of making good decisions?

This book looks at how we have a tendency to make judgements in the blink of an eye and what we need in place to be able to trust these judgements.

Given that a lot of these decisions have prejudice and preconceptions attached, how can we trust ourselves. Given thorough analysis we tend to analyse decisions to death - sometimes backing up our original gut feeling and sometimes talking ourselves out of the decision.

When to trust your intuition and when not to.

  • One decision making strategy is slow and methodical.
  • Another is a snap decision process that happens in the blink of an eye.

How can we know if the snap process is trustworthy?

  • your unconscious can rule out irrelevant information instantly
  • analysing all the little pieces of info hide the really relevant info
  • the snap judgement brain processes are great at filtering out the irrelevant stuff

A rationally compiled list of the characteristics we would want from a partner is irrelevant as you make a snap judgement when you meet someone, and that judgement dictates if you are attracted or not - you usually do not go through the list of characteristics like an interview!


We can all read emotional expressions however when stress is in play your ability to read faces and emotional responses decreases to the point of what could be similar to the autistic need for concrete information.

Reduce the stress to reduce the effect of the reduction in your ability to read faces.

We all have racial prejudice and the best way to do something about it - get out more.

To avoid bad snap judgements - ignore all irrelevant information.

When you have a great amount of experience (circa 10,000 hours) with the subject matter - trust your instinct. If you are not an expert with by experience with the subject matter then slow your intuition down and use the slower rational part of your mind.