Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review: Blink

The ability to make a spontaneous simple and accurate decision based on less information (so called “Thin Slicing”) is better? Or complex decision making based on analysis using more time and information (Thick Slicing) is more reliable?

  • In an attempt to determine if an art piece is a fraud or genuine, after scientific test and historical documentation analysis had cleared it, yet some expert still felt something is “wrong” when looking at it for the 1st time, but couldn’t tell what is wrong.
  • An experiment on how to tell whether a couple’s relationship would last or not, just by observing a conversation video between them for 3 minutes. How much do need to know about them in order to make an accurate decision, or how many factors or behaviors should be taken into account? Based on a Love Lab experiment, we only need to observe the 4 horseman: defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism and most importantly, contempt (trying to put the other person lower than you) to determine which relationship would not last.
  • How to determine which doctor are most likely to get sued? Based on their qualifications, skills and history? Doctors who spent slightly more time talking to their patients are less likely to get sued.
  • Can you learn to invest like George Soros by listening to his methods, or he had a “feeling” attached to each of his decision which could not be explained, no matter it was backed by how many analytical facts. Can you be as good as Andrea Agassi by watching him play in slow motion?
  • Priming: subconscious exposure to certain words before an even can affect our performance. Student are asked to take a word quiz with words like “patient”, “slow”, “polite”, “courteous” are found to be more patient when there ask asked to wait in the line after the word quiz compared to those exposed to negative words.
  • Speed dating: would you have more success in selecting your soul mate in 6 minutes of conversation as compared to someone which you already know for years? What qualities do you look for? Does you current partner have the same qualities? Does the qualities you are looking for are affected by your partner instead?
  • Thin Slicing Error: CEO tends to be someone taller (statistically proven), Jews are smatter, White are more superior, Teacher are women, Doctor are man, People who dress sluggish are not potential customer, it’s easier to cheat women by charging higher prices (spot the sucker) even though they are professional and etc. We might make an error in “think slicing” based on our knowledge, experience, biasness or prejudice (consciously or subconsciously).
  • War Game: If we have more information and intelligence, together with various comprehensive analytical methods with takes in various factors, we should win right? Or we need the ability to make spontaneous decisions based on tight scenario?
  • How to determine if a chest pain in serious? By reading the ECG, taking into account past history, diabetic, smoking habit, high blood pressure and a dozen more factors. Would taking into account 20 factors is more accurate than taking into just 4 factors (like the 4 horseman, to be determined based on experiment)? Is less more?
We can actually make simple and accurate decision by taking into account a few correct factors (given that we know what factors to look for), and we might not be able to make a judgment if we have more information (confusion and which factor are important, or not). Sometimes we have a “feeling” which we cannot explain, a spontaneous action which happens naturally, and we tends to be affected subconsciously by exposure to words and emotions around us. Does our brain have a natural way of digesting information better than our logic mind could explain? Do you believe in your "gut" feeling?

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