Free «How Thinking without Thinking May Be Beneficial» UK Essay Paper
Table of Contents
In his book “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell attempts to thoroughly review a mysterious area of human life, which is thinking and subconscious perception of the world. Gladwell proves that despite the presence of critical thinking, which is so highly valued in the society, people still tend to make a judgment of the situation on the whole in a blink of an eye, and this first impression is then used for further decision-making in a conscious way. By incorporating research, analysis, questions, case studies, and numerous rhetorical devices, Gladwell effectively informs his readers about the power of subconscious thinking and its effect on conscious thinking, as well as about the impact of such factors as attitude, emotions, judgements, time, and information, which have implications for many spheres of life, including shopping experience.
What the Message Is
Malcolm Gladwell investigates a topic that is rarely referred to in the literature, which is a subconscious way of thinking and a snap perception of the whole situation before critical evaluation is performed. He convinces the audience that subconscious thinking is the process that occurs each time when some information is obtained from the external environment and, in many cases, such way of thinking makes the decision-making process more effective (Adhiya). The message that Gladwell delivers in his book “Blink” is important for two reasons. Firstly, it provides a new perspective on the sphere of life that has not been studied thoroughly yet. Secondly, it may make the reader much more efficient in his or her critical thinking and decision-making because of the awareness of the principles of brain work and human behavior.
Principal Lines of Reasoning Used to Convey the Message
Malcolm Gladwell uses diverse lines of reasoning to convey the message he originally included in his book. The list is extensive and consists of life anecdotes, research, analysis, questions, and case studies. The purpose of selecting these specific kinds of arguments is to both establish a more direct contact with the reader and improve credibility since the topic under discussion is somewhat sophisticated and needs clear evidence.
Case studies and life anecdotes are a part of every chapter in the book. For instance, in the introductory chapter, it is the story of an art dealer Gianfranco Becchina (Gladwell 3), a young couple is described in Chapter 1 (Gladwell 18), a tennis coach in Vic Braden (Gladwell 48) is mentioned in Chapter 2, while other personalities are referred to in subsequent chapters. They are used to show how people of different backgrounds are similar in their way of perceiving the world around them in snaps and making decisions subconsciously.
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Another essential argument Gladwell makes is that there are substantial differences between who people are and who they claim to be. This vision is also shown through a case study and a life story of Bill and Sue (Gladwell 20). The author effectively fits his message to the audience by demonstrating it through a lens of a story from life and engaging the reader by asking questions and providing a scientific research and analysis to connect the story with the central idea of the book.
Lastly, Gladwell indicates that thin-slicing is more powerful than critical and logical thinking and that it is more beneficial than conscious thought. The author proves his argument through a case study and life anecdotes of a tennis coach, the use of questions, and the reference to scientific experiments such as that conducted on Iowa gamblers (Gladwell 50). The author also manages to convey his message to the intended reader effectively because he provides the audience with various means of perceiving arguments and information that is complicated. The efficiency is ensured by the convenience of the way information is provided, which is the central idea of innovations in the modern world. For instance, Sarah Halzack suggests that the marketing and retail industry continues growing due to the focus on convenience, while Heesun Wee indicates that people are more willing to shop if they have facilitating software on their mobile devices. At the same time, Sapna Maheshwari states that all the recent changes in marketing and retail are driven by changes in people’s behavior. In other words, the success of Gladwell’s approach is partially based on the principles of marketing because he strives to provide different types of readers with exactly what they seek in the book: either facts or anecdotes that are easy to understand. Besides, as the behavior of the audience is rather dynamic since people are interested in perceiving information quickly, Gladwell incorporates the understanding of this fact into the book and provides facts and their examples in real life to produce a compelling mix of information for different readers. Finally, in his another book Gladwell acknowledges that his book is related to marketing as the principles of subconscious thinking are widely applicable to the way people shop (Gladwell “The Science of Shopping”). Therefore, the structure of “Blink” and the arguments used in it were selected in order to increase its effectiveness.
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Gladwell’s manner of communication reveals some facts about the culture, values, or customs of intended readers. First of all, the author uses both life anecdotes and scientific evidence to prove his arguments and, what is important, the anecdotes always come first. It suggests that Gladwell focuses on readers with different educational backgrounds and interests and his goal appears to be to attract less science-focused people first and then to meet interests of the more science-oriented ones. Besides, the second part of any chapter in the book is also written in a manner that allows people who do not have a particularly scientific background to understand the arguments. The manner of Gladwell’s communication suggests that he wants his readers to have diverse interests in their lives, which is evident from the case studies he includes in the book.
Rhetorical Devices Used
Malcolm Gladwell uses a variety of rhetorical devices in his book. Firstly, the most frequently used one is an allusion. In fact, all the case studies and life anecdotes may be considered as allusions because the author makes references to literary events and persons to prove his credibility. Secondly, Gladwell uses amplification because phrases like “thinking without thinking” and “thin-slicing” are used throughout the whole book as the reference to the central idea of the work. Thirdly, “Blink” is full of antanagoge as the author connects negative and positive descriptions to lessen the impact because the statement that people make subconscious decisions may not necessarily be perceived positively by the advocates of rational thinking. For instance, when talking about gambling, Gladwell acknowledges that a person may lose a lot although he balances this negative perception by saying that potential rewards are also high (Gladwell 8). Fourthly, the author uses appositives to inform the audience better of the characteristics of persons or items he describes like in the case with a tennis coach (Gladwell 48). Finally, even the central idea is a rhetorical device as the phrase “thinking without thinking” is an oxymoron since it is a paradox. Therefore, the text of the book is rich is rhetorical devices.
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Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book that it is natural for people to make unconscious decisions even before their consciousness starts acting. Besides, he proves that such choices are often beneficial to the person. Ideas expressed in “Blink” appear to be intended for a diverse audience because there are life anecdotes, which are easy to perceive, as well as more complicated information, which seems to be focused on more educated and sophisticated readers. Gladwell effectively fits his message to the audience by using mixed approaches in every chapter and relying on the facts from marketing that interests of consumers need to be met and behavioral changes have to be considered. Finally, the author effectively uses rhetorical devices to prove his credibility and persuade readers to perceive the information from his standpoint.
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