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3 body paragraphs, 1 into, 1 conclusion. 5 total paragraphs.Introduction: Made up of hook, background, thesis. Body paragraph 1- Topic Sentence3 sentence summary of chapter 4.3 Sentence summary of chapter 5.3 sentence summary of chapter 6.For Body paragraph 2- include 3 main ideas or concepts you learned in chapter 4, 5, 6. For EACH idea include one quote from the text and an explanation of its importance.Body paragraph 3 – requirements are included in the attachment.Conclusion- Sum up the essay and the concepts. Add any suggestions or advice you may have.NOTE: REFER TO THE ATTACHED PDF FILE FOR THE BLINK BOOK.
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell
Blink: The Power of
Thinking Without Thinking
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Category: Art of Living
Other name: Diana C.
Website: http://motsach.info
Date: 14-October-2012
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Malcolm Gladwell
Introduction – The Statue That Didn’t Look Right
In September of 1983, an art dealer by the name of Gianfranco Becchina approached the J.
Paul Getty Museum in California. He had in his possession, he said, a marble statue dating from
the sixth century BC. It was what is known as a kouros-a sculpture of a nude male youth
standing with his left leg forward and his arms at his sides. There are only about two hundred
kouroi in existence, and most have been recovered badly damaged or in fragments from grave
sites or archeological digs. But this one was almost perfectly preserved. It stood close to seven
feet tall. It had a kind of light-colored glow that set it apart from other ancient works. It was an
extraordinary find. Becchina’s asking price was just under $10 million.
The Getty moved cautiously. It took the kouros on loan and began a thorough investigation. Was
the statue consistent with other known kouroi? The answer appeared to be yes. The style of the
sculpture seemed reminiscent of the Anavyssos kouros in the National Archaeological Museum
of Athens, meaning that it seemed to fit with a particular time and place. Where and when had
the statue been found? No one knew precisely, but Becchina gave the Getty’s legal department
a sheaf of documents relating to its more recent history. The kouros, the records stated, had
been in the private collection of a Swiss physician named Lauffenberger since the 1930s, and
he in turn had acquired it from a well-known Greek art dealer named Roussos.
A geologist from the University of California named Stanley Margolis came to the museum and
spent two days examining the surface of the statue with a high-resolution stereomicroscope. He
then removed a core sample measuring one centimeter in diameter and two centimeters in
length from just below the right knee and analyzed it using an electron microscope, electron
microprobe, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray fluorescence. The statue was made
of dolomite marble from the ancient Cape Vathy quarry on the island of Thasos, Margolis
concluded, and the surface of the statue was covered in a thin layer of calcite-which was
significant, Margolis told the Getty, because dolomite can turn into calcite only over the course
of hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In other words, the statue was old. It wasn’t some
contemporary fake.
The Getty was satisfied. Fourteen months after their investigation of the kouros began, they
agreed to buy the statue. In the fall of 1986, it went on display for the first time. The New York
Times marked the occasion with a front-page story. A few months later, the Getty’s curator of
antiquities, Marion True, wrote a long, glowing account of the museum’s acquisition for the art
journal The Burlington Magazine. “Now standing erect without external support, his closed
hands fixed firmly to his thighs, the kouros expresses the confident vitality that is characteristic
of the best of his brothers.” True concluded triumphantly, “God or man, he embodies all the
radiant energy of the adolescence of western art.”
The kouros, however, had a problem. It didn’t look right. The first to point this out was an Italian
art historian named Federico Zeri, who served on the Getty’s board of trustees. When Zeri was
taken down to the museum’s restoration studio to see the kouros in December of 1983, he
found himself staring at the sculpture’s fingernails. In a way he couldn’t immediately articulate,
they seemed wrong to him. Evelyn Harrison was next. She was one of the world’s foremost
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Malcolm Gladwell
experts on Greek sculpture, and she was in Los Angeles visiting the Getty just before the
museum finalized the deal with Becchina. “Arthur Houghton, who was then the curator, took us
down to see it,” Harrison remembers. “He just swished a cloth off the top of it and said, ‘Well, it
isn’t ours yet, but it will be in a couple of weeks.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry to hear that.’” What did
Harrison see? She didn’t know. In that very first moment, when Houghton swished off the cloth,
all Harrison had was a hunch, an instinctive sense that something was amiss. A few months
later, Houghton took Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York, down to the Getty’s conservation studio to see the
statue as well. Hoving always makes a note of the first word that goes through his head when he
sees something new, and he’ll never forget what that word was when he first saw the kouros. “It
was ‘fresh’- ‘fresh,’” Hoving recalls. And “fresh” was not the right reaction to have to a twothousand-year-old statue. Later, thinking back on that moment, Hoving realized why that
thought had popped into his mind: “I had dug in Sicily, where we found bits and pieces of these
things. They just don’t come out looking like that. The kouros looked like it had been dipped in
the very best caffè latte from Starbucks.” something new, and he’ll never forget what that word
was when he first saw the kouros. “It was ‘fresh’- ‘fresh,’” Hoving recalls. And “fresh” was not
the right reaction to have to a two-thousand-year-old statue. Later, thinking back on that
moment, Hoving realized why that thought had popped into his mind: “I had dug in Sicily,
where we found bits and pieces of these things. They just don’t come out looking like that. The
kouros looked like it had been dipped in the very best caffè latte from Starbucks.”
Hoving turned to Houghton. “Have you paid for this?”
Houghton, Hoving remembers, looked stunned.
“If you have, try to get your money back,” Hoving said. “If you haven’t, don’t.”
The Getty was getting worried, so they convened a special symposium on the kouros in Greece.
They wrapped the statue up, shipped it to Athens, and invited the country’s most senior
sculpture experts. This time the chorus of dismay was even louder.
Harrison, at one point, was standing next to a man named George Despinis, the head of the
Acropolis Museum in Athens. He took one look at the kouros and blanched. “Anyone who has
ever seen a sculpture coming out of the ground,” he said to her, “could tell that that thing has
never been in the ground.” Georgios Dontas, head of the Archeological Society in Athens, saw
the statue and immediately felt cold. “When I saw the kouros for the first time,” he said, “I felt
as though there was a glass between me and the work.” Dontas was followed in the symposium
by Angelos Delivorrias, director of the Benaki Museum in Athens. He spoke at length on the
contradiction between the style of the sculpture and the fact that the marble from which it was
carved came from Thasos. Then he got to the point. Why did he think it was a fake? Because
when he first laid eyes on it, he said, he felt a wave of “intuitive repulsion.” By the time the
symposium was over, the consensus among many of the attendees appeared to be that the
kouros was not at all what it was supposed to be. The Getty, with its lawyers and scientists and
months of painstaking investigation, had come to one conclusion, and some of the world’s
foremost experts in Greek sculpture-just by looking at the statue and sensing their own “intuitive
repulsion”-had come to another. Who was right?
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Malcolm Gladwell
For a time it wasn’t clear. The kouros was the kind of thing that art experts argued about at
conferences. But then, bit by bit, the Getty’s case began to fall apart. The letters the Getty’s
lawyers used to carefully trace the kouros back to the Swiss physician Lauffenberger, for
instance, turned out to be fakes. One of the letters dated 1952 had a postal code on it that
didn’t exist until twenty years later. Another letter dated 1955 referred to a bank account that
wasn’t opened until 1963. Originally the conclusion of long months of research was that the
Getty kouros was in the style of the Anavyssos kouros. But that, too, fell into doubt: the closer
experts in Greek sculpture looked at it, the more they began to see it as a puzzling pastiche of
several different styles from several different places and time periods. The young man’s slender
proportions looked a lot like those of the Tenea kouros, which is in a museum in Munich, and
his stylized, beaded hair was a lot like that of the kouros in the Metropolitan Museum in New
York. His feet, meanwhile, were, if anything, modern. The kouros it most resembled, it turned
out, was a smaller, fragmentary statue that was found by a British art historian in Switzerland in
1990. The two statues were cut from similar marble and sculpted in quite similar ways. But the
Swiss kouros didn’t come from ancient Greece. It came from a forger’s workshop in Rome in the
early 1980s. And what of the scientific analysis that said that the surface of the Getty kouros
could only have aged over many hundreds or thousands of years? Well, it turns out things
weren’t that cut and dried. Upon further analysis, another geologist concluded that it might be
possible to “age” the surface of a dolomite marble statue in a couple of months using potato
mold. In the Getty’s catalogue, there is a picture of the kouros, with the notation “About 530
BC, or modern forgery.”
When Federico Zeri and Evelyn Harrison and Thomas Hoving and Georgios Dontas-and all the
others- looked at the kouros and felt an “intuitive repulsion,” they were absolutely right. In the
first two seconds of looking-in a single glance-they were able to understand more about the
essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months.
Blink is a book about those first two seconds.
1. Fast and Frugal
Imagine that I were to ask you to play a very simple gambling game. In front of you are four
decks of cards- two of them red and the other two blue. Each card in those four decks either
wins you a sum of money or costs you some money, and your job is to turn over cards from any
of the decks, one at a time, in such a way that maximizes your winnings. What you don’t know
at the beginning, however, is that the red decks are a minefield. The rewards are high, but
when you lose on the red cards, you lose a lot. Actually, you can win only by taking cards from
the blue decks, which offer a nice steady diet of $50 payouts and modest penalties. The
question is how long will it take you to figure this out? two of them red and the other two blue.
Each card in those four decks either wins you a sum of money or costs you some money, and
your job is to turn over cards from any of the decks, one at a time, in such a way that maximizes
your winnings. What you don’t know at the beginning, however, is that the red decks are a
minefield. The rewards are high, but when you lose on the red cards, you lose a lot. Actually,
you can win only by taking cards from the blue decks, which offer a nice steady diet of $50
payouts and modest penalties. The question is how long will it take you to figure this out?
A group of scientists at the University of Iowa did this experiment a few years ago, and what
they found is that after we’ve turned over about fifty cards, most of us start to develop a hunch
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about what’s going on. We don’t know why we prefer the blue decks, but we’re pretty sure at
that point that they are a better bet. After turning over about eighty cards, most of us have
figured out the game and can explain exactly why the first two decks are such a bad idea. That
much is straightforward. We have some experiences. We think them through. We develop a
theory. And then finally we put two and two together. That’s the way learning works.
But the Iowa scientists did something else, and this is where the strange part of the experiment
begins. They hooked each gambler up to a machine that measured the activity of the sweat
glands below the skin in the palms of their hands. Like most of our sweat glands, those in our
palms respond to stress as well as temperature- which is why we get clammy hands when we
are nervous. What the Iowa scientists found is that gamblers started generating stress responses
to the red decks by the tenth card, forty cards before they were able to say that they had a
hunch about what was wrong with those two decks. More important, right around the time their
palms started sweating, their behavior began to change as well. They started favoring the blue
cards and taking fewer and fewer cards from the red decks. In other words, the gamblers figured
the game out before they realized they had figured the game out: they began making the
necessary adjustments long before they were consciously aware of what adjustments they were
supposed to be making.
The Iowa experiment is just that, of course, a simple card game involving a handful of subjects
and a stress detector. But it’s a very powerful illustration of the way our minds work. Here is a
situation where the stakes were high, where things were moving quickly, and where the
participants had to make sense of a lot of new and confusing information in a very short time.
What does the Iowa experiment tell us? That in those moments, our brain uses two very
different strategies to make sense of the situation. The first is the one we’re most familiar with.
It’s the conscious strategy. We think about what we’ve learned, and eventually we come up with
an answer. This strategy is logical and definitive. But it takes us eighty cards to get there. It’s
slow, and it needs a lot of information. There’s a second strategy, though. It operates a lot more
quickly. It starts to kick in after ten cards, and it’s really smart, because it picks up the problem
with the red decks almost immediately. It has the drawback, however, that it operates-at least at
first-entirely below the surface of consciousness. It sends its messages through weirdly indirect
channels, such as the sweat glands in the palms of our hands. It’s a system in which our brain
reaches conclusions without immediately telling us that it’s reaching conclusions.
The second strategy was the path taken by Evelyn Harrison and Thomas Hoving and the Greek
scholars. They didn’t weigh every conceivable strand of evidence. They considered only what
could be gathered in a glance. Their thinking was what the cognitive psychologist Gerd
Gigerenzer likes to call “fast and frugal.” They simply took a look at that statue and some part of
their brain did a series of instant calculations, and before any kind of conscious thought took
place, they felt something, just like the sudden prickling of sweat on the palms of the gamblers.
For Thomas Hoving, it was the completely inappropriate word “fresh” that suddenly popped
into his head. In the case of Angelos Delivorrias, it was a wave of “intuitive repulsion.” For
Georgios Dontas, it was the feeling that there was a glass between him and the work. Did they
know why they knew? Not at all. But they knew.
2. The Internal Computer The part of our brain that leaps to conclusions like this is called the
adaptive unconscious, and the study of this kind of decision making is one of the most important
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new fields in psychology. The adaptive unconscious is not to be confused with the unconscious
described by Sigmund Freud, which was a dark and murky place filled with desires and
memories and fantasies that were too disturbing for us to think about consciously. This new
notion of the adaptive unconscious is thought of, instead, as a kind of giant computer that
quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human
beings. When you walk out into the street and suddenly realize that a truck is bearing down on
you, do you have time to think through all your options? Of course not. The only way that
human beings could ever have survived as a species for as long as we have is that we’ve
developed another kind of decision-making apparatus that’s capable of making very quick
judgments based on very little information. As the psychologist Timothy D. Wilson writes in his
book Strangers to Ourselves: “The mind operates most efficiently by relegating a good deal of
high-level, sophisticated thinking to the unconscious, just as a modern jetliner is able to fly on
automatic pilot with little or no input from the human, ‘conscious’ pilot. The adaptive
unconscious does an excellent job of sizing up the world, warning people of danger, setting
goals, and initiating action in a sophisticated and efficient manner.” processes a lot of the data
we need in order to keep functioning as human beings. When you walk out into the street and
suddenly realize that a truck is bearing down on you, do you have time to think through all your
options? Of course not. The only way that human beings could ever have survived as a species
for as long as we have is that we’ve developed another kind of decision-making apparatus that’s
capable of making very quick judgments based on very little information. As the psychologist
Timothy D. Wilson writes in his book Strangers to Ourselves: “The mind operates most
efficiently by relegating a good deal of high-level, sophisticated thinking to the unconscious, just
as a modern jetliner is able to fly on automatic pilot with little or no input from the human,
‘conscious’ pilot. The adaptive unconscious does an excellent job of sizing up the world, warning
people of danger, setting goals, and initiating action in a sophisticated and efficient manner.”
Wilson says that we toggle back and forth between our conscious and unconscious modes of
thinking, depending on the situation. A decision to invite a co-worker over for dinner is
conscious. You think it over. You decide it will be fun. You ask him or her. The spontaneous
decision to argue with that same co-worker is made unconsciously-by a different part of the
brain and motivated by a different part of your personality.
Whenever we meet someone for the first time, whenever we interview someone for a job,
whenever we react to a new idea, whenever we’re faced with making a decision quickly and
under stress, we use that second part of our brain. How long, for example, did it take you, when
you were in college, to decide how good a teacher your professor was? A class? Two classes? A
semester? The psychologist Nalini Ambady once gave students three ten-second videotapes of a
teacher-with the sound turned off-and found they had no difficulty at all coming up with a rating
of the teacher’s effectiveness. Then Ambady cut the clips back to five seconds, and the ratings
were the same. They were remarkably consistent even when she showed the students just two
seconds of videotape. Then Ambady compared those snap judgments of teacher effectiveness
with evaluations of those same professors made by their students after a full semester of classes,
and she found that they were also essentially the same. A person watching a silent two-second
video clip of a teacher he or she has never met will reach conclusions about how good that
teacher is that are very similar to those of a student who has sat in the teacher’s class for an
entire semester. That’s the power of our adaptive unconscious.
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