Tag Archives: Subconscious

The Blink of the Minds Eye

Our minds, complex and composite, are puzzling to figure out; yet, when reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, the mind unravels into just two straightforward halves. Having written such an eye-opening book, I dissected the book into powerful ideas, to introduce the subject for my fellow audience.

Blink, a seemingly perplex book; however, when read thoroughly, very simple. The overriding focus being the subconscious mind. By reading this book, it has made me think in a whole new perspective. When we think of the subconscious mind, we usually don’t explore much about how influential it really is. Scattered around the chapters are little quizzes, which make us realize our instincts, otherwise known as what our subconscious mind is informing us. Gladwell guides us through a series of tests surrounding gender equality; these tests are based on our instincts. Our stance in our subconscious mind plays a great deal with these tests: “Did you notice the difference? This test was quite a bit harder… It took you a little longer to put the word ‘Entrepreneur’ into the ‘Career’ category when ‘Career’ was paired with ‘Female’…” (Gladwell 80). Most of you – even if you don’t agree with what he points out – will find that it is harder, that doesn’t mean you dislike gender equality, or do not believe in it. It means that because of the era you are in, where women are stereotypically defined as “Stay At Home Mothers”, whereas men are described as the “Workers” of the family. Subconscious minds – influenced by the world around us – are proven important with snap decisions.

Staying on the topic of subconscious minds, not only does Gladwell mention snap judgments, he mentions how we can use our subconscious mind with thin slicing. Thin slicing is the act of using our snap judgment to figure something out. Gladwell gives out multiple examples of how experts use thin slicing: “Predicting divorce, like tracking Morse Code operators, is pattern recognition” (Gladwell 29). Through experimenting, and careful examination using SPAFF – the system of coding – Tarabes – one of the many scientists – using a ten minute video of the couple conversing, can figure out if a couple can survive through the next thirty years of marriage. How does this relate to our snap judgments? When carefully investigating over the video, she first uses her own snap judgments instead of going over and over the same part, and really thinking about it. The advantage of snap judgments is you don’t think twice about your opinion, if it’s hurtful, if it’s unrealistic for the two, you just think. Tarabes doesn’t find difficulty in recording her snap judgment, as it comes naturally now. After reading about using the subconscious mind and doing so much, I have found that my opinions, and my control over my own mind have enhanced. Thin slicing and snap judgments help each other out, and being able to do these acts, are a great skill. These two topics both fall under our subconscious minds; they also are the overall big idea of the text Blink.

Overall the book Blink has really opened my mind – literally – about my own mind. It speaks about “The power of thinking without thinking” (Gladwell cover). The idea of our sub consciousness being an important factor in our lives, and how we can control it, is powerful within itself. This book helped me get an in-depth understanding of what our mind is, and what our subconscious truly is.