For one, Gladwell is on a sticky wicket. The techniques and reasons are too complex to explain. For another, Gladwell knows what he is talking about. And finally, everyone else knows what Gladwell is talking about.
On the spur moment decision, off the cuff remarks, gut feelings, intuition, quick thinking, customarily yield positive results, oftentimes because the person making the decisions and statements know very well what is going on and the reasons behind his or her decisions.
Anyone who has read 'Blink' may understand the author's core issue. In simple terms, he is talking about the power of perception. One finds it difficult to disagree with the notion that he or she has never been in a situation when an intuitive stand or decision yielded positive results. The situation may be as varied as the ones author has touched upon, viz. deciding whether a statue is a fake, deciding whether a surgeon is likely to get sued for malpractice, and deciding whether the inhabitant of a particular dorm room is likely to be conscientious.
In each case on which the author has elaborated the one making the decision did so with minimum information on hand, two seconds to decide, and with formidable consequences should the decision go wrong.
Dr Atul Gawande is more succinct on the issue. ...
Dr Atul Gawande is more succinct on the issue. In his book, 'The Bell Curve.' he cites examples of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Fairview University's Hospital at Minneapolis to illustrate background, the prevalent status, and the determination to turn around from mediocre to achievements, by skilled team of doctors to improve results from below average practitioners to trail blazers. They do so without any recourse to fresh medical training. They do so with determination, discipline and professional aggressiveness to ensure patients' recovery. Gawande's point of view is that it is not only professional qualification and capabilities, but practice and personal determination to succeed that drives one to achieve feats which may otherwise look impossible. [Atul Gawande].1
Correlation and Calculation
In the instances of both Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande the risk factors are overwhelming and possible solutions depend on 'thin slicing' - filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables. [Malcolm Gladwell].2
Normally everyone is taught not to make hasty decisions, look before leaping, think, look at all angles, don't go by feelings, and to make maximum efforts at information gathering and consultation before making a decision. However, not everyone is instructed on how to go about handling a life and death situation, a crisis, walking tightrope over the Niagara, or accompany a close relative on his or her last walk to the gallows. Moreover, it is natural to pass the buck in a crisis situation or as a last resort, leave difficult, dangerous, embarrassing, debilitating situations to the Almighty in prayer! The person facing the crisis is a lone ranger facing the most unfortunate situation in his or her life.