A tip for stressed parents…

Just finished blink...the much hyped Malcom Gladwell book.It runs out of steam a bit I think, and the last chapter feels...

March 21, 2006

Just finished blink…the much hyped Malcom Gladwell book.

It runs out of steam a bit I think, and the last chapter feels a bit superfluous, but his ability to tackle big issues by telling stories is wonderful.

Essentially Gladwell shows how powerful our well-trained instincts can be in making insightful snap judgements – and how dangerous that capability is when appropriate context is lacking, or when we are stressed or excited.

This ability to make snap judements turns our irrational prejudices and assumptions into dangerous actions, before we have time to filter them through our rational mind.

The examples of both irrational racial and sexual prejudice are frightening and compelling.

But the example I love is one of the power of positive context (my words)in conditioning behaviour.

Two sets of students were asked to answer trivial pursuit questions.
Half were asked to sit and think about school hooligans beforehand.
Half to think what it would mean to be a professor.

The hooligan-thinkers scored: 42.7%
The professors: 55.6%

Thoughts have a profound affect on our performance. The implications for stressed parents are obvious…

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