In no more than 15 minutes of observation, Gottman can predict with 90 per cent accuracy whether a couple will be together in 15 years.Or consider how an art expert thin-sliced a 2500 year-old Greek statue in the blink of an eye and was able to tell it was a fake.Evolution has honed our social intelligence, allowing us read people accurately based on fleeting first impressions – which is why speed dating and chatroulette might actually be a good idea.We don’t even need to meet our potential future partners in the flesh: just a quick webcam peek of their bedrooms is enough to accurately guess their key personality traits.Blink introduces us to the power of thin-slicing by way of example.Take the “Love Lab” at the University of Washington, where psychologist John Gottman has been thin-slicing the way couples interact since the early 1980s.Trees produce approximately 20% of the oxygen on Earth. They bother no one, contribute more to their environment than they take, and adapt to their surroundings, often thriving in the most hostile environments.A grown tree produces seeds which are then spread by squirrels, birds, humans, the wind, rivers, oceans, any number of things.
In the summer when it sheds its leaves, it looks like the roots are on the top of the tree.
Our conscious mind is the tip of the cognitive iceberg, and what we feel as intuition is really the result of unconscious rapid cognition, fast and frugal information processing that goes on subliminally.
Thin-slicing harnesses this powerful adaptive unconsciousness, allowing us to make smart decisions based on minimal information and minimal deliberation.
Neuro-marketing notwithstanding, the thin-slicing IAT is the closest you’ll get to plugging yourself directly into the mind of the consumer.
Head over to the Project Implicit site, and take a test to find out just how – behind the veil of political correctness – racist, sexist or ageist you really are – and then talk to your research agency about using the IAT for concept testing and attitude measurement.