Blink: A Look at How We Make Decisions 

Rating: 4.5/5

Psychology has always been a favourite subject of mine. How the human mind works is truly fascinating, and even that is an understatement. Having dabbled in Malcolm Gladwell before, I appreciate his finesse for writing. So, when I had the chance to sink my teeth into Blink, I was excited.

In Blink, Gladwell tackles the rather complex concept of human decision-making. He delivers with succinct detail, thoughtful examples of scenarios where humans have used different pathways to make their decisions. He divides the paths into two: deliberate thinking accompanied by information-gathering, and subconscious ‘gut’ instincts that lead us to ‘just know’. Gladwell is able to make this very multifaceted idea a very accessible one for readers not well-versed in the psychological jargon. In the same breath, he offers even psychology aficionados insights into this very intriguing human mindset. I have a degree in psychology and I was thoroughly enthralled by his various research points and deductions.

One of the many things I genuinely appreciated about this book was the care Gladwell has taken in organizing the material. He begins with scenarios to get you thinking about various connections, and then proceeds to poke at them to break things down so he can piece together the bigger picture, so you can have your “Aha!” moment. In doing so, he conveys his very interesting information in a scaffolding fashion (my fellow teachers will smile here), thereby building on your knowledge throughout the book to create a sound understanding of this topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, evidenced by the many notes I made in margins and sticky tags on every other page, for ideas I found worth revisiting at a later date. To anyone who wants to learn more about what influences our decisions, you’ll definitely want to grab this book off a store shelf. I have also, through the reading of this book, begun to pay closer attention to my conscious and unconscious thinking and how each affects my behaviour. If nothing else, I have gained a keener sense of self-awareness, and that in itself is quite a gain.

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