Emotional Leakage

Posted by Andy Gavin on Fri, 2005-12-30 23:11

I've recently been reading Blink! Malcom Gladwell's book. I read it on holiday earlier this year, it's one of those books that makes you think. The writing is very anecdotal it makes you want to read it again.

One piece near the start had me thinking about people, not that the whole book isn't full of revelations because it is--- Gladwell delves into the power of the subconscious with some startling findings. What I've been thinking about recently is that people actually leak what they are feeling slightly before they feel it. There can be visible signs of the emotions to come. These hints read well contribute to better communication.

What would seem to point to this happening, although it isn't quite the same, is an experiment that Gladwell Cites: Deciding Advantageously Before Knowing the Advantage Strategy. This paper published in Science presents an experiment which the participant is able to choose cards from red or blue decks. However one deck has presents a better return for the participant, whereas the other has some high wins, but the penalties don't make choosing from that deck worth while. Most people eventually will arrive at this conclusion and draw from the deck with the better overall results. What is startling is the subconscious knows this before the conscious mind does. The researchers attached electrodes to their skin to measure the conduction of the skin, these indicated that the participant know subconsciously before they realised the difference between the decks.

This seems fascinating to me, and I’m wondering whether there are reactions of people give an indication to how they will feel a short time later, or even the action they’ll take.

Perhaps this is how Derren Brown does it.

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Malcom Gladwell recently started blogging. It's worth a read: Malcom Gladwell's Blog. Also you can listen to one of his talks just before publication of blink Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce.

Malcom Gladwell was interviewed in IT Conversations.

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