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Isn't it really neat that each chapter of this book deals with a different character? The Power of Thinking Without Thinking as a whole is comparing and analyzing the differences in neurological-biological decision making and an individual's intuition. Gladwell achieves this goal by using different characters (one per chapter) as his focus.
The introduction references a statue purchase which after thorough testing was put on display as an original work of art. However, soon after the statue was displayed, different artists begin to comment on how some of the different parts of the statue just did not appear to be authentic. Our experts at eNotes say the following:
First an Italian art historian, Federico Zeri, observed that the statue's fingernails "seemed wrong to him." He could not articulate why they looked wrong, but he had a bad feeling about the kouros. After several other art experts experienced similar doubts, the Getty initiated further investigation into the sculpture's origin and discovered that it possibly could be a reproduction.
The focus is on John Gottman who claims to be able to determine the success of a marriage with 90% accuracy.
The focus is on Vic Braden, a tennis coach. He had the ability to accurately determine before a serve when a player would double fault.
The focus is on Bob Golomb, a car salesman who treats customers consistently and fairly, assuming each customer will buy a car, rather than making assumptions about whether the customers will buy a car in regard to their race.
The focus is on a former Marine, Paul Van Riper and his use of structured intuition in war games.
The focus is on Kenna, a young girl trying to get a record deal and the results of how she is marketed.
The focus is on Amadou Diallou who is shot by police officers while reaching for his wallet and their assumption that he had shot a police officer, who in fact had only fallen down.
Thus, through these six chapters, Gladwell compares and analyzes the differences in decision making and intuition.
Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.
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