The author describes the main subject of his book as thin-slicing: our ability to gauge what is really important from a very narrow period of experience. In other words, this is an idea thatspontaneous decisions are often as good as carefully planned and considered ones. Gladwell draws on examples from science, advertising, sales, medicine, and popular music to reinforce his ideas. Gladwell alsouses many examples of regular people's experiences with thin-slicing.
Gladwell explains how an expert's ability to thin slice can be corrupted by their likes and dislikes, prejudices and stereotypes(even unconscious ones), and how they can be overloaded by too much information. Two particular forms of unconscious bias Gladwell discusses are Implicit Association Tests and psychological priming.The author also tells us about our instinctive ability to mind read, which is how we can get to know what emotions a person is feeling just by looking at his or her face.
We do that by thin-slicing,using limited information to come to our conclusion. In what Gladwell contends is an age of information overload, he finds that experts often make better decisions with snap judgments than they dowith volumes of analysis.
Gladwell gives a wide range of examples of thin-slicing in contexts such as gambling, speed dating, tennis, military war games, the movies, malpractice suits, popular music,and predicting divorce.
Gladwell also mentions that sometimes having too much information can interfere with the accuracy of a judgment, or a doctor's diagnosis. This is commonly called Analysisparalysis. The challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical information to make a decision. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing to the decision maker. Collecting moreand more information, in most cases, just reinforces our judgment but does not help to make it more accurate. The collection of information is commonly interpreted as confirming a person's initial...
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