free essays
Free essays

Snap Judgements versus Lengthy Decisions Thesis

SnapJudgements versus Lengthy Decisions


Snapjudgements are explained as the decisions people make on immediatebasis and without taking lengthy critical thoughts. In his secondbook, “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell argues that Snap Judgements havean instant effect and are better than lengthy critical decisions.After reading the book, it is imperative to note that MalcolmGladwell had observed a phenomenon in life that is interesting asnoted by his blink effect. The argument is that a human being makesbetter decisions when taken in response to immediate circumstancescompared to analytical responses. As presented by Malcolm Gladwell,the analysis in this paper will illustrate that snap judgements arebetter decisions than lengthy decisions.


Thebook presents a deliberate and rational way of thinking in regard tothe approaches a person takes in the decision making process. In thebook, Malcolm Gladwell focuses his arguments on the human ability togauge circumstances in life and evaluate what is important within theshortest time possible. This makes a person a fast thinker and amaker of spontaneous decisions that are better than carefully plannedjudgments, such as players of a card game (Gladwell5).To Malcolm Gladwell, this is the best way of setting the mind to makedecisions, based on importance of the items, just like when planningon a shopping list. In presenting this stand, Malcolm Gladwell usesrepresentative examples where quick decisions were the mostappropriate and reliable compares to lengthy analytical decisions.These cases are included by Gladwell to illustrate this thesis on thedecision making process.

ARepresentative Example

Gladwellgives an example of a decision making process to judge the legitimacyof the Getty kourosstatue. This is a historical statue of over-sized life form that waspresented in the form of an archaic Greek kouros. One expert lookedat it and instantly made a judgment that the statue was not genuine.However, other experts took initial view that there was somethingwrong with the statue, but changed with further analysis anindication that they had not made a decision (Gladwell2).Even an expert, head of a museum proved that anyone who has everwitnessed a statue from the ground should be able to tell theposition of the statue presented (Gladwell2).However, as they analyzed the statue, their view divided apart. Thefinal decision after expert analysis proved that the statue was notgenuine. This indicates the correctness of the instant decision madeby the sole expert who makes a “snap decision” that the statuewas not genuine.

Whenreading this book, I also attempted to use the snap judgment skill byapplying it to evaluate new students in our school. I realized thatthose students I judged as friendly on the first minute ofinteraction, ended to be my friends for the month. Thisshows that Gladwell’s argument of snap judgment a ration and cansubstantially be applied in normal day life to make decisions.

Inpresenting the decision making mode of the snap judgments, Gladwellindicates that the rational and lengthy procedures are more wastefulthan beneficial. Other than making the decision making processlonger, the procedures also make the judgment wrong or biased. Thisis because, according to Gladwell, the judgment is based less on thecircumstances and more on analysis. However, Gladwell does notdiscredit the use of critical thinking and rational considerations. He instead acknowledges their importance in making right decisionsand understanding the situation more deeply.

Snapdecision making process is a learnt process whose skills are gainedover time and not just a practice of one day. Gladwell argues thatthis has to take time to learn so as to understand the value ofplacing importance or priorities in decision making. Gladwell furtherargues that the main secret towards making snap judgments is to learnhow to evaluate information and realize what to keep and what todiscard (Gladwell10).For example, a person with a limited amount of time instantly decideson keeping studies and discarding watching movies since studying isimportant than entertainment. This shows that human brain can seizemore obvious way of decision making that are correct in terms ofprediction of the next curse of action.

Gladwellindicates that the use of snap judgments reflects on the individual’sability to place objective facts in the frontline compared toprevious knowledge that is based on biasness (Gladwell8).Gladwell indicates that a person is able to evaluate circumstancesfor a decision by avoiding unconscious biases that have negativeconsequences especially when the biases are not genuine. Forinstance, Gladwell illustrates the effect of race and gender on thestrategies that car dealers use to make sales.


Gladwellsucceeds in arguing out that decisions that are made with an instanteffect are good and even as better than those that take long criticalanalysis and rational considerations. In his book, Gladwell succeedsin proving this thesis by using illustrations and representativeexamples that illustrates the value of using the most importantinformation of a situation to make a decision other than personalanalysis.


Gladwell,Malcolm (2007). Blink:ThePower ofThinkingWithout Thinking.Web.Accessed,

April28, 2014.&lthttp://www.lequydonhanoi.edu.vn/upload_images/S%C3%A1ch%20ngo%E1%BA%A1i%20ng%E1%BB%AF/Blink-%20The%20Power%20of%20Thinking%20Without%20Thinking.pdf&gt