Via It's, like, Ben's Blog I find that Slate has concocted an online dialogue format throughout this week between highly-acclaimed authors Malcolm Gladwell of Blink (also of Tipping Point fame) and Jim Surowiecki of The Wisdom of Crowds. The dialogue format thus...
...weaves together the concepts of rapid cognition gut-based decision making with deliberate decision making as well as the value of one expert's decision versus a group of average people's decisions.
Check it out. This was a particularly intriguing section where Gladwell discusses where the two authors agree - and that is in challenging the "standard model" of decision-making:
[Y]ou are explicitly challenging what might be called the Standard Model of decision-making. We have an awful lot invested, as a culture, in the notion that the best results in complex environments come from centralizing authority in the hands of a single, highly expert, and deliberative individual. But that, you would argue, is wrong. We're actually better off decentralizing decision-making into the hands of the many—even if they are relatively nonexpert and even if their decision-making process is much less deliberate.
This is where, I think, you and I are on the same page, because Blink is also a critique of the Standard Model. One of the key arguments in my book is that human beings think in two very different ways. Sometimes we consciously and carefully gather all facts, trationally sort through them, and draw what we take to be a rational conclusion (the Standard Model). And sometimes we reach conclusions unconsciously—our mind quickly and silently sorts through the available information and draws an immediate judgment, which may be done so quickly and so far below the level of awareness that we may have no understanding of where our conclusions came from. I call this Rapid Cognition. I think the Rapid Cognition Model needs to be taken far more seriously—that it's smarter and more sophisticated and certainly more influential than we generally give it credit it for. So, like you, I'm arguing for a broadening of our understanding of what good decision-making looks like.