A book by Malcolm Gladwell.
Two things I’ve learned from his writting are thin-slicing and snap-judgement.
Have you ever feel an odd feeling upon something or someone just like blink! and you can’t explain what was just happened?
That’s what he said about ‘thin-slicing’. Sometimes, our unconscious mind just tells us something in barely unexplained thought. This unconscious mind know the fact much earlier than our conscious mind. Like it has its own conscience about what’s going on. Basically we can call this ‘instinct‘. Every human creature, even animal, has instinct that can work beyond conscious mind.
One of the story from this book is about ‘Kouros’ ( an ancient statue of a standing nude youth that didn’t represent anyone, from Greece ). There’s founded a Kouros, which in that time many of Kouros had been damaged or even broken into pieces. For a long-term, a group of researchers observed this Kouros, did many experiment and examination to prove its genuineness. And the result, they acclaimed this Kouros was real. Months later, they invited the ex-director of Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Thomas Hoving to see this Kouros. The first thought came when Hoving saw this Kouros was “FRESH”, and he got an odd feeling, kind of ‘intuitive rejection’. Hoving told the museum about his thought. Later then, the museum was convinced that this Kouros was fake.
Just like that. Hoving would never could explain what’s going on. It’s just happened, and it came from his unconscious mind. This is what we called ‘thin-slicing’. And mostly of this ‘thin-slicing’ is always right.
How about ‘snap-judgement’?
When you saw a man for the first time, how did he impress you? Is he good? Or bad? Rich? Smart? Stupid? This is what Gladwell called ‘snap-judgement’ in this book.
Is ‘snap-judgement’ always right just like ‘thin-slicing’?
The answer is NO.
Commonly, our ‘snap-judgement’ came from our conscious mind. What we usually see in life, our own perception, knowledge, tradition, etc. We saw tears rolled down from a girl’s eyes, we concluded, “oh,she is sad”. From where did you know she’s sad? Probably she’s just crying because of the onion she chopped.
‘Snap-judgement’ and ‘thin-slicing’ usually opposite to each other. In 1980, there’s no female trombone ( a wind music instrument ) player in an orchestra. Just when that time, an orchestra team needed a trombone player. There was a woman, Abbie Conant, joined the audition and her performance was great. One of the judge, after she played, said, “She’s just what we’ve been looking for!”. And all the other participants were dismissed. This is about when ‘thin-slicing’ worked. But at that time, trombone was a masculine music instrument, and it’s impossible a woman could play it as great as man can do. This is when ‘snap-judgement’ controlled your mind. Year by year, many conflict haunted upon this woman, how the judge ( the one that chose Conant ) insisted that’s no way a woman could be a proper trombone player in this orchestra. But after all, she’s still the main player in trombone part of the orchestra team. Because, from the beginning, the judge already said “She’s just what we’ve been looking for!“
What I can learn from this book :
- ‘Thin-slicing’ is a thought coming from our unconscious mind, the basic instinct that guide us to realize what’s going on, much earlier than our conscious mind could. It is always right, and it can be managed with a lot of trainings and experiences. So start to polish your ‘thin-slicing’!
- ‘Snap-judgement’ isn’t always right! You may get the wrong impression upon others, and might accidentally do something awful. Let this ‘snap-judgement’ be a lesson, ease for a while, and let go. Trust your ‘thin-slicing’ more!
That’s all that I can share to you. It will be better if you read this book by yourself. A lot of interesting stories you can get.
“A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.”
– Albert Einstein