Blink : the power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Penguin, 2005) greatly challenged by belief that you need lots of information to make a correct decision. I discovered that sometimes you don’t.
Blink relates many stories where a spontaneous decision is made in the blink of an eye, and it has turned out to be a very effective decision. Gladwell explains, using much research, that our brains are constantly picking up information that our conscious mind is largely unaware of. This information can be used to make a decision without going through the normal channels of gaining knowledge.
However towards the end of the book Gladwell relates times when our preconceived ideas and other factors can interfere with this process and the results can be devastating. He relates several stores where innocent people have been shot by police who genuinely believed they were acting in self-defense. This was a sobering note to bring out as the book was drawing to a close and I wondered if it could have been included earlier in the book.
Overall though I found the book to be fascinating with lots of interesting stories and theories to be considered.