Life Etc: Mind: First impressions

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The Independent Culture
Familiar with the phrase "Look before you leap"? How about "Don't judge a book by its cover". From childhood, we're told that it's better to take the time to gather as much information as possible before reaching a conclusion. Which, according to cultural commentator Malcolm Gladwell (pictured) is wrong. In his new book, Blink, Gladwell argues that decisions made quickly can be just as good then those taken slowly. It comes down to "thin slicing", the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behaviour based on very narrow slices of experience. Taking us through case studies and scientific experiments, he shows how our ability to make snap judgements, although fallible, can be educated, controlled and ultimately relied upon. Should you buy this book? You should already know the answer to that.

`Blink' is published tomorrow by Penguin, priced pounds 16.99