(Editor’s Note: Should Hamlet be living with us now and reading bestsellers, he might be wondering: To Blink or not to Blink? To Think or not to Think? We are pleased to present, as part of our ongoing Author Speaks Series, an article by Madeleine Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things. In it, she offers the “on the other hand” to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink argument.)
To Think or to Blink?
- By Madeleine Van Hecke, PhD
Is thoughtful reflection necessarily better than hasty judgments?
Not according to Malcolm Gladwell who argued in his best-selling book, Blink, that the decisions people make in a blink are often not only just as accurate, but MORE accurate, than the conclusions they draw after painstaking analysis.
So, should we blink, or think?
When we make judgments based on a thin slice of time a few minutes talking with someone in a speed dating situation, for example are our judgments really as accurate as when we analyze endless reams of data?