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So ... top THAT!

Sunday, July 22, 2007
Of course, I realize my fabulous SO is a gifted blogger and storyteller, but really? No posts in almost a month? It's starting to affect his ego, people ...

So I just finished reading BLINK. This fascinating book is about our completely inaccessible unconcious minds, and how in the first 2 seconds of an encounter that unconcious sizes up a situation, sifts through mountains of data, and reaches sometimes ESP-like conclusions. (I encourage all of you with free time -ha!- to read it.) It mentions Implicit Association Tests, done by Harvard, which enable you to get past your "concious" beliefs about race, religion, ethnicity, etc. and down to what your unconcious REALLY believes. Try it out at:


  1. OH Bee Juan said...


    That study is mirrored at UVA. I created a site for a professor that used it in conjunction with another survey. It's long.

    10:41 PM  

  2. genevieve said...

    yeah, the book mentioned UVA as one of the schools that was also doing this type of research. the Harvard IATs are pretty short and easy (although I do find all of the disclaimers and warnings about how you might not like the results pretty funny!)

    7:08 PM  

  3. icanhasyarn said...

    I haven't read "Blink", but I saw it mentioned a few months back in Newsweek, where it was reviewed alongside Jerome Groopman's "How Doctors Think" (which I have read). They were reviewed together because they essentially take completely opposing viewpoints: "Blink" apparently endorses "going with your gut", while "How Doctors Think" argues that people -- specifically doctors -- make lots of errors because they often make split-second judgments based on a cursory look, and ignore evidence that refutes their initial diagnosis. Groopman acknowledges that most times, the initial assessment is correct, but cites many examples to show that sometimes it IS a zebra and not a horse, even if horses are more common. I'd recommend giving "Doctors" a look...and I'll have to pick up "Blink".

    3:17 PM  

  4. genevieve said...

    Well, that's a bit of an oversimplification of BLINK - if you read only the first few chapters, that's what you'd think. The last half of the book focuses on how and why our initial judgements get corrupted or are just wrong, with disasterous results (there's an in-depth look at the Diallo shooting case, where police mistook an innocent unarmed black guy out in front of his apartment late at night for a bad guy and shot him to death some ungodly number of times.) It's definately fascinating reading.

    Reminds me of the story my Dad relays about a helicopter he was about to get into and fly, and something didn't seem quite right. He couldn't put his finger on it for the longest time, but he refused to fly it. Turns out after the maintenance work, they put the rotors on backwards, which would have been disasterous if it had flown. But his first two second impression was that it just didn't look right.

    8:01 PM  

  5. The Maharaja said...

    The description of the book alonse scares me. Not to mention (as I mention), the promise of brain torture whose results are coupled with a disclaimer. I can't read this book, but I think I must anyhow.

    7:17 PM  

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