Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I've been reading Malcom GladwelI's book "Blink; The Power of Thinking without Thinking" recently. In it, he talks about "The theory of thin slices: how a little bit of knowledge goes a long way". It's what you and I might also call intuition although Mr. Gladwell does not like that word, feeling it describes a less rational, emotional reaction. He prefers to say that the book is about rapid cognition, a very fast thinking process in which we "thin slice" sensory input and rapidly reach a conclusion. Thin slices of observed knowledge, gained in the blink of an eye, can reveal the truth about people and situations, which can be every bit as accurate as the most studied analysis. That Blink moment describes well the decision point in buying a home, where some people decide to spend millions of dollars, after stepping inside for just a few moments and examining an apartment in less time than they might spend having lunch.