by Author Malcolm Gladwell, reviewed by Wiki Summaries 09-12
and Enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Accurate decisions can be made rapidly. Our initial, intuitive response to a person, object, or event — the one that transpires in the fraction of a seconds of our exposure to it — is often the one that proves to be correct.
Thin Slicing. The human mind can often examine a situation and skim all of the info that is necessary to make a correct decision and plot a course of action almost instantaneously. The most accurate “thin slices” are often those that involve our assessment of the emotional or mental states of others.
Blockages. The thin-slicing mechanisms in the brain reside almost entirely in the unconscious, rendering it impossible for us to access them deliberately. We often don’t know what our unconscious knows or how it has helped us to make a decision or choose a course of action. It seems that people often develop their own, alternate accounts of decision-making to explain away the brain’s rapid thin-slicing ability.
Our Socio-cultural context can impede our ability to benefit from the thin-slicing skill of the unconscious. Our prejudices and biases can often hijack the unconscious and disallow access to our thin-slicing, intuitive abilities.
However, once we learn the power of Rapid Cognition, we can develop and incorporate solutions that will protect our thin-slicing unconscious from the undue influence of prejudice. Short-circuit prejudices in our every day lives. In this way, we can reconnect with and benefit from the power of the blink.
Chapter 1: The Theory of Thin Slices: How A Little Bit of Knowledge Goes a Long Way
Thin Slice refers to the way that our unconscious minds can make what are in many cases highly accurate assessments in a very short amount of time, often a matter of seconds.
Chapter 2: The Locked Door: The Secret Life of Snap Decisions
One of the confounding aspects of the mind’s ability to thin slice and make accurate judgments rapidly is that our conscious minds often have little or no understanding of this process. Indeed, in many cases, our perceptions of the way we make decisions are often woefully misguided. Furthermore, we often tend to underestimate the amount of influence that outside factors exert upon our unconscious decision-making processes.
Chapter 3: The Physical Factor: Why We Fall for Tall, Dark, & Handsome Men
Most of us have a negative association with snap judgments, and for good reason: they are often incorrect. When we allow our unconscious prejudices and biases to circumvent the “blink” process, our judgments are often inaccurate. Our prejudices mislead us, usually unconsciously and despite our best intentions. When our biases hijack our thought process, the “thin slicing” layer of the unconscious, which is capable of highly accurate decision-making, is never accessed.
Chapter 4: Creating Structure for Spontaneity
Another type of problem that can hamper our ability to make accurate decisions — too much information. The consideration of too much data can sidetrack decision makers and mire them in a state of confusion. The best decisions are made by relying on only a few pieces of high-quality information.
Chapter 5: The Right — and Wrong — Way to Ask People What They Want
An important factor of the decision-making process — the context in which a judgment is made. In many situations, people will make the wrong snap judgment if they are being asked to decide something that is outside of their range of knowledge. Focus groups often fail to return accurate assessments because they both stretch the limits of the participants’ expertise and remove the product assessment decision from the normal context in which it would be made. To be effective, market research must match as closely as possible the environment in which the consumption of a product – will actually occur.
Comments: What do you think? How do you use your Intuition?