Where is the summary of Chapter 4 of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell?

Expert Answers
chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you follow the link below, you’ll find a brief summary for each chapter of Blink.

Chapter Four is titled “Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory: Creating Structure for Spontaneity.” Here Gladwell uses examples from the U.S. military, fire fighters, emergency room personnel, and even a comedy improvisation troupe to analyze how people in stressful situations make successful spur-of-the-moment or spontaneous decisions. Each one of these groups straddles a line between needing as much information as possible, and acting as quickly as feasible. The studies that Gladwell presents show that having more information at one’s fingertips can actually mean less success. Yes, a high degree of past practice is involved, and yes, using instincts that draw on that experience are key factors. But people have no time to scrutinize every piece of information on the spot. This is particularly noticeable in the examples of the military war game in the Middle East and the Cook County Hospital emergency room in Chicago. They have to go with brief details based on the whole picture. Gladwell summarizes it this way:

There are, I think, two important lessons here. The first is that truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking. … The second lesson is that in good decision making, frugality matters.

In other words, less can be more.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question