I think that this is the way that our unconscious works. When we leap to a decision or have a hunch, our unconscious 30
is doing what John Gottman does. It’s sifting through the situation in front of us, throwing out all that is irrelevant while we zero in on what really matters. And the truth is that our unconscious is really good at this, to the point where thin- slicing often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and exhaustive ways of thinking. 4. The Secrets of the Bedroom Imagine that you are considering me for a job. You’ve seen my résumé and think I have the necessary credentials. But you want to know whether I am the right fit for your organization. Am I a hard worker? Am I honest? Am I open to new ideas? In order to answer those questions about my personality, your boss gives you two options. The first is to meet with me twice a week for a year-to have lunch or dinner or go to a movie with me-to the point where you become one of my closest friends. (Your boss is quite demanding.) The second option is to drop by my house when I’m not there and spend half an hour or so looking around. Which would you choose? The seemingly obvious answer is that you should take the first option: the thick slice. The more time you spend with me and the more information you gather, the better off you are. Right? I hope by now that you are at least a little bit skeptical of that approach. Sure enough, as the psychologist Samuel Gosling has shown, judging people’s personalities is a really good example of how surprisingly effective thin-slicing can be. Gosling began his experiment by doing a personality workup on eighty college students. For this, he used what is called the Big Five Inventory, a highly respected, multi-item questionnaire that measures people across five dimensions: 1. Extraversion. Are you sociable or retiring? Fun-loving or 2. Agreeableness. Are you trusting or suspicious? Helpful
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