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Essay on Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking

I was sitting alone in the library preparing myself for my upcoming math test. While I was studying for it, I came across several problems that I was having difficulty on. I began doubting my ability to solve these complex questions, so I attempted to use as much resources that I could, such as the internet, my math textbook, and the notes that I took in class. However, I couldn’t comprehend any of the explained methods from my available resources. Seconds before I was about to give up, I noticed a study group across the table in front of me and it appeared that they were studying for the same test too.

Feeling desperate for an explanation, I decided to join them in hopes of finding an answer to my problems. But instead, one of the members of the group came up to me and said, “Hey! You look really smart! You’re studying for the same math midterms as us, right? Do you mind tutoring us? “. “What do you mean by that? “, I asked him kindly. “Well… “, he said, as he looked around the room,”I’ve heard that Asians are really good in math. ” Throughout today’s society, men and women have all and will be promoters and/or victims of the unremitting nature of stereotypes.

Stereotypes could often affect the perceptions of Ngo 2 an individual’s physical traits and characteristics; for example, the stereotype of Asians being better in math can encourage one to believe that this false information of one’s appearances or ethnicities are a valid information. In fact, Malcolm Gladwell the author of Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, exploits this idea by stating how humanity’s first impression on others occurs within two seconds of meeting the individual.

He explains that people “think without thinking” and indulge in “thin slicing”; a term in which he defines it as our ability to make a decision in the blink of an eye. In Gladwell’s book, he denotes that thin slicing is indeed applied to our daily lives, and it could connect to a variety forms of judgment, including stereotypes of one’s ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion, etc. However, the key to reversing this form of negative judgment on others is to assemble enough knowledge and apply it among individuals in order to avoid the side effects of thin slicing.

In a demonstrated example of knowledge and how it could prevent one’s ability to inaccurately judge others, an article entitled “Pearls before Breakfast” by The Washington Post is a prime example of explaining it. This conducted social experiment took place at the Metro Union Station in Washington D. C. Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post asked and arranged for the famous violinist, Joshua Bell, to play incognito during the busiest hour of a morning rush.

What Weingarten wanted to know from this investigation alone is to find out if true beauty has the ultimate power/ability to urge our society to take a brief moment of their time to stop and smell the roses. During this social experiment, nearly 30 people out of thousands of residents stopped to admire his work. For instance, Bell decided to begin this experiment by playing one of the most challenging musical piece called, “Chaconne”. Throughout his show, only 27 people decided to stopped to donate their money to him within three minutes of his performance.

Those who have walked away from him had their ear buds on or didn’t want to acknowledge Bell’s ability to perform such a difficult piece because the majority of the crowd immediately assumed that he was However, a half an hour later, a man named Those who paused for a split second to give him spare change developed a thin sliced affect in which they assumed that this particular man must is a very talented, street performer by only evaluating him from the location of his performance and his bility to play the violin so efficiently.

This act then led people to believe that Bell must be a very poor man with a gifted talent, in which this idea then transformed into a stereotyped based on the exaggerated informations on how people presumed street performers to be when they are seen live. These characteristics includes being penniless, surrounded by a large audience, demonstrates a lot of talent(s), and doesn’t appeared to have an adequate job of their own.

This social experiment supports Gladwell’s claim on fast and frugal thinking (thin- slicing) because our subconscious mind are easily influence through snap judgments in the form of stereotypes. In other words, each time we make one of these judgments, we are either accepting or rejecting someone or something because we have the ability to create this form of thin-slicing effect because our brains are programmed to make cognitive leaps based on one’s exaggerate belief that the roles on one’s ethnicity, sexuality or nationality plays a certain part of who we are in our lives.

As long as there are different races and cultures, stereotypes will ceased away. This is because humans fear what they do not understand and thus, must categorise behaviour in order to better understand the world around them. Stereotypes are essentially bits of knowledge, this knowledge might be positive or negative, it might be accurate or inaccurate but having knowledge itself is a neutral concept to an accurate form of snap judgment.

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