It’s one of the most illuminating works I have ever read. He proposes that our “thin-slicing” – the ability to identify and process only the most essential aspects of a situation object, or person in milliseconds, without any conscious knowledge of doing so, is responsible for much of our behaviour. However, he has also shown that this kind of intuition can be wrong – there are many times when snap judgments go wrong when people are not at all what they seem to be. He showed that all of us are prejudiced, not only racially, but also sexually.His concept of “thin-slicing” could be best explained with grocery store shoppers choosing the jam; when buying jam, consumers are more likely to make the snap purchase if there are only six jams to chosen from, rather than a dozen. The more choices they are given, the more difficult the decision and the consumer suffer from analysis paralysis.
It’s this thin slicing of information that enables snap decisions, which happens when the mind collates (adaptive unconscious) all the past experience and then thin slice it into the key information that is needed to make the decision. His theory in the book suggests that our unconscious mind is very powerful and that split decision or gut feelings can be valid and can help in finding the positives and negatives of a situation.He contends that snap decisions can be either incredibly accurate or tragically wrong, but the quotations he offers in support of this idea, though fascinating, are not convincing. Further, he offers two main reasons for distortions of snap decisions: emotional arousal and time pressure.I believe we need to place more trust on our “thin-slicer” to make instant judgments, but we also need to sharpen its edge more keenly with experience and education. Intuitive decision making is neither good nor bad – but what is bad is using one of them in an inappropriate circumstance.The author’s great strength lies in his stories, and he has crafted a number of engaging ones in his book.