Jan 9, 2019 in Analysis

The Power of Thinking without Thinking Essay

The Power of Thinking without Thinking

Among the best-selling authors in the world today is Malcolm Gladwell. One of his best books is The Power of Thinking without Thinking that was published in 2007 by Back Bay Books Publisher. The book was first published in English and had two hundred and ninety-six pages. Later, it was translated to many other world languages, a factor that has made it one of the best well-selling books. It has an amazing ability to find cohesion in different areas of study. It discusses a study of behavioral and psychological economics on the adaptive and sensible in a trendy science structure. In other words, it outlines psychological procedures that work in a rapid and automatic way based on the little data that the brain receives. It also reflects on both the adaptive and strength of the unconscious such as skillful judgment and its traps like stereotypes. The paper will review the book to establish what readers can learn from the book, its usefulness to readers, and the realization that it offers to readers. 


Gladwell (2007) offers a broad explanation of “think-slicing” as the main theme of his book. It stands for the ability of human beings to value things that are essential after a short period of experience. It is an impression that natural decisions are often better than the ones that are considered and planned in a careful way (Gladwell, 2007). He utilizes examples from advertising, science, medicine, popular music, and sales to support his ideology. He also utilizes examples of people’s regular experiences with “think-slicing” to explain the ideology. In the book, he outlines the way the ability of an expert to think-slice can be influenced by dislikes and likes, stereotypes and prejudice and the way they can be burdened by excess information. The main forms of unconscious precaution in the book are psychological priming and implicit association test. He further focuses on the ability of human beings to instinctively mind read as a way that they can get to know emotions of an individual through observing his or her face. Every time humans apply think slicing and the little data, they have to make conclusions. He further argues that in the modern generation known as the age of information, experts come up with better decisions and better judgments when they have little information than when they are overloaded. Here, he uses a number of examples such a speed dating, military war games, gambling, tennis, movies, popular music, predicting divorce, and malpractice. 

According to Gladwell (2007), at times having detailed information about something can interfere with judgment accuracy or the diagnosis of a doctor. He refers to it as analysis paralysis. Therefore, he offers a new challenge to human beings to ignore too much information and focus on the information that is most critical while making a decision. It is because most of the information is confusing and irrelevant, thus not required when making a decision. Gathering much information in many cases is only used to enforce a judgment that people make. Nevertheless, it does not make the judgment more accurate. Data collection is in many times interpreted as a confirmation of the initial bias of a person. Gladwell (2007) further explains that execution of a judgment based on frugality and simplicity of data instead of additional common conviction that greater data about a serene is largely comparable to a better diagnosis. In the explanation, Gladwell (2007) convinces his readers that if physical information is clear enough to enable them to make a decision, it is not necessary to use a magnifying glass.

Essential features that enable human beings to make good judgments include knowledge, experience, and training. He offers an example that preconception can function at an inborn unconscious level even among people whose mindful attitude is not biased. To make the explanation clear, he uses an example of the halo-effect. It is when an individual who has an outstanding positive quality is assumed to be better than others and terms it as unrelated respect. He also utilizes the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo. It is a situation when four policemen from New York shot a man who was innocent on his doorstep forty-one times. It is an example to indicate that rapid intuitive judgment can be dangerous. 

At the beginning of the book, Gladwell (2007) presents the narrative of Getty kouros that was a startup brought to California in the Getty museum. It was demonstrated by most of the experts to be legitimate. At the first look, the experts’ agreed that something was not in order. For instance, Gorge, the head of the acropolis museum located in Athens, stated that any person who had witnessed a sculpture from the ground could predict that the thing was not real. With time, discussions regarding legitimacy of kouros stopped. Later, letters indicting the history of the sculpture were proved to be fake and have irrelevant postal codes and bank accounts existence of which could not be located. 

Gladwell (2007) outlines using an illuminating and entertaining way as the manner in which individuals make snap judgments regarding intentions of individuals, military strategies, and authenticity of an artwork. From a great study on the way human beings make instant decisions from the perspective of the psychology, the conclusion is that human beings can make smarter judgments through training their senses and mind to focus on facts that are the most relevant. Therefore, less input is more convenient than more.  

After reading the book, I have taken away a number of important virtues that are significant for my personal life, career life, and social life. Among the issues that I have taken home is the beauty of simplicity. I have realized that as the author emphasizes the theme of simplicity, it is important to take things from a simple analysis and make a decision without necessarily collecting a lot of data that can bring confusion. Concerning the theme of manipulation, the author outlines that much information can manipulate the decision or even lead to a misguided decision. Therefore, I find it important to focus on self-reliance as a theme that Malcolm Gladwell emphasizes as the critical theme in decision making. Many times, I was misled and searched for too much information before making a decision. The book has served as an eye-opener since I will utilize now basic information to generate a conclusion.  

Every person has some strengths and weaknesses. In my career, I will use essential themes that I have learned in the book to turn my weaknesses into strengths and make my strengths even stronger. I have learned that wisdom is the most important experience. It is important to apply my knowledge before making any decision. However, the book discusses the theme of knowledge versus ignorance. It discusses importance of applying knowledge and ignoring too much information that can bring confusion during decision making. I have taken an important note of factors that will make me always consider an initial instant decision in every situation. According to Gladwell (2007), there is a connection between inner and outer strength. He argues that the outer strength or in other words excessive research is only meant to confirm the initial or instant decision that he refers to as the inner strength. Here, I have learned the importance of putting into consideration the perception that I attain about a person, a thing, or a situation at the first sight. Putting into consideration this theme is a thing that will minimize my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. It will also make my strengths more outstanding and visible in my leadership and career life. 

The book is important to all learners. It is evident that every person learns to enjoy a better social life, career life, and professionalism. Understanding the power of thinking is an essential idea that can help every person. The subsequent step in life is to put in practice things that I have learned in the book and avoid influence of different issues in any situation. Gladwell (2007) uses the power of manipulation to indicate how the environment, other individuals, and circumstances influence decisions that people make. Influences make people ignore important features such as experience and training that are essential in decision making. With this knowledge, I will make independent decisions without assuming the initial perception or the initial decision. 

In conclusion, The Power of Thinking without Thinking focuses on the first idea that comes after hearing some news, seeing something, or meeting with someone. Instantly, there is a decision that one can make from the first perception. Malcolm Gladwell (2007) argues that it is the most convenient idea in decision making. It should not be ignored since detailed research or more information only comes to confirm that the first decision is correct. Initial thinking is a mental process that occurs automatically after the first sight or first reception of a piece of news. It is important to consider behavioral and psychological economics as in most cases it turns out to be the end result of many situations.


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