Friday, June 29, 2007


Have you ever made a decision based on your 'gut' or instinct? You make a decision without really knowing why you made that decision. It just felt right (or not). When I was in grade 12 our school got a new choir director. When I first met him he immidiatly asked if I would join the choir. For some reason I said yes without hesitation. Now this is strange because I am not a singer (I had been told by people in church to sing quietly). And I had no desire to be in a choir. Yet for some reason I said yes (I still do not really know why). And being in the choir turned out to be one of the best things of grade 12.

, by Malcolm Gladwell, is about these kinds of decisions. It is about "the power of thinking without thinking." He reasons that we can make great decisions using our 'gut'.
In the first chapter Malcolm argues that we can (and do) make decisions based on very little information. He calls this "thin slicing". We can ignore the useless information and just focus on what is important. In fact he states that sometimes the more information the worse our decisions are. He tells a story about 80 college students. Their friends are asked to take a test and describe the students. A group of strangers are also given 15 minutes in the college student's room and then given the same test (so these people actually never meet the students). The strangers actually do better in describing the students. Amazing.

Malcolm is a great writer and story teller. It is an enjoyable book to read.

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