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Posted by John H on 6/16/05 at 10:03 (176939)

This may be a good time for a change of subject. I rarely recommend a book to people as we all have varied taste. I recently read a book 'Blink' which I think many of you would find very interesting. It is short,easy read, and informative and will give you something to think about for some time. It is non fiction and based on the studies of various hospitals and neuro scientist. It offers many studies and examples of its conclusions. It has much to do with your subconscious and how much you use it in your decision making.

I will give you a teaser of how the book opens. A large study was conducted with thousands of couples over a decade or more. Each couple was placed in a room and asked to just have a conversation about any subject they wanted to talk about. The conversation was to last 15 minutes and they would be filmed and observed with their consent and knowledge. After the conversation was complete a group of scientist would examine it frame by frame and assign a numerical score to a number of things each person would exhibit during the conversation Most of these things would probably be subconscious. Such things as rolling the eyes when one partner made a comment, frowning, change of voice pitch and reading between the lines of what a partner was saying. There were probably around 30 or more items they were scoring the couple on. Each of these items was assigned a different value depending on how important the scientist considered it in a relationship. Such things as humiliation or talking down were given very high values. At the end these scores would be tabulated. There were multiple observers scoring each couple.

After many years they have refined this to the point that they have more than a 90% accuracy rate in predicting how many of these couples will be divorced before 7 years. The Doctor who devised this study now can observe a couple for only 6 minutes and get the same results.

Similar studies have been conducted with Doctors and they have been able to accurately predict which Doctors will be sued. Of course the method used was somewhat different but it involved observing people sometimes not even having to listen to their conversation. Doctors who are sued once are more likely to be sued again and it more often than not does not have to do with competency or education. Doctors who are sued have been found on average to spend much less time with their patients.

The book indicates that our subconscious makes many rapid decisions which effect how we will react and make our decisions. Some people have the knack of observing a situation and quickly grasping the big picture. Generals like Napoleon or General Patton.

Have you ever heard of Fast Dating? Many groups have formed mostly of professional type people. A number of men and women meet. Each gets to have a six minute conversation with each person. After the conversations each person fills out a paper and places an X by anyone they would like to date. If two match up then a date is arranged. Rapid decision making is in progress.

You may not buy into this book but its studies in most cases have used the scientific method. You may not know it but your subconscious is making rapid decisions ever time you meet a person or engage in a situation. The book has been labeled one of the most influential books of the decade.

Happy reading.

Re: Fast Dating

Carole C in NOLA on 6/17/05 at 08:17 (176993)

Sounds like a fascinating book, John! I'll definitely look at it the next time I'm at Barnes and Noble.

I'd like to express an opinion about Fast Dating. The thing that bothers me about the Fast Dating procedure, is that in six minutes all you can get is a superficial impression of the other person. Thank goodness I didn't meet Frank through Fast Dating. We have been happily dating for years, now, and knowing him has enriched my life beyond description. Yet at first, I didn't know what to make of him. Let me describe my initial impressions of Frank....

Frank and I met through a dating website, and he scared me so much that I wouldn't give him my real name or phone number until we had met at a restaurant six times. The reason it took so long with him, is that on the surface he is obviously very, very complex, very intense, very private, and extremely unusual. He has a 'shell' around him. After six minutes, I thought the date was a bad mistake... I was seriously wondering if he was a serial killer, a hit man, or a con artist, frankly. He is none of those. By now I have met every living relative that he has, and many of his friends, and I have been his close friend for over five years. I realize that he is a kind and charming person who has lived an exciting yet difficult life. He is cautious with strangers and does more observing than 'putting himself out there', in initial encounters. That made him seem secretive at the time and a bit scary, to me anyway. Now that we know one another, he talks 'a blue streak'... and I love that, because in real life I love to listen and tend to be pretty quiet.

The point of going into all this, is to say that sure... for SOME people one can get the whole picture in six minutes. However, that's not true for ALL people.

And that's my opinion of Fast Dating. :D

Carole C

Re: Fast Dating

Kathy G on 6/17/05 at 08:34 (176996)


I just wrote the title down. It sounds fascinating. Of course, I haven't read the book for my book club next week; I'm in the middle of an excellent mystery and the library just got another book I had on hold in for me. Let's see, if I read eighteen hours a day for the next four weeks....:)

As for Fast Dating, I find it very hard to accept. I'm kind of a 'what you see is what you get' type person but I don't think anyone could tell much about me in six minutes. As Carole did, I can only personalize it and though I've known my husband my whole life, I think I can objectively say that he was much shyer and guarded when he was 'dating age' than he is now. I don't think anyone could have gotten even an inkling of what he's really like in six minutes. I know my friends couldn't understand why I was dating someone who never talked and didn't believe me when I said that he talked all the time when he was with me. Of course, some would say it was in self-defense!:D

Obviously, the system works for some people.

Re: Fast Dating

John H on 6/17/05 at 10:07 (177006)

Kathy: I think this system came about as busy professional people did not want to though the dating process of meeting someone in a bar,cafe and spend a lot of time trying to meet someone. I have seen this process on some news programs. People who are invited are checked out to meet some requirements as to education,etc. It appeared to me most were over age 25. When I was young you met girls at the drive in resturants (yes), parties, bars or clubs if you perefer. I was going through pilot training in a small southern town when I met my wife. We had a lady who was a Dispatcher on my base who I had come to know. I asked her for some advice who I might meet to go on a date. Being a small town she knew everyone (her husband was the Sherrif). She somehow had us introduced at some local event. The girls in Mary's home town had it made. We had 300-400 young men (nearly all single) going through pilot training with a new class arriving every 6 months. All were educated and in good physical condition and we all thought we were the 'Cat's Meow'.

Re: Fast Dating

John H on 6/17/05 at 10:17 (177007)

Carole: Part of the conclusions of the book are that you unconsciously make a lot of very rapid decisions you are not even aware of. People are asked to describe the person they want to marry and then marry someone very much the opposite. In the highest level of professional tennis a pro will double fault about 2-3 times out of ever 200 serves. If you were going to try and guess when someone was going to double fault your odds would be very poor. There is a famous teaching tennis pro who has found that he can predict 19 out of 20 times when a player will double default as he sits in the stands and before the player has the ball strike the racket. He has been able to do this consistently over the years. He has spent much time looking at film and trying to figure out what he might be seeing that allows him to make these uncanny predictions. He still does not know what he is seeing or how he does it. His subconscious is picking up something that he can not recognize.

Re: Fast Dating

KW on 6/17/05 at 16:26 (177026)

I'm 26 and it's very interesting to hear this conversation about fast dating and how people met their signifigant others. I would tend to agree that 6 minutes is not nearly enough time to really get to know some of the qualities in a person that would make you fall in love, but I've noticed with my generation we are all about immediacy. Everything is at our finger tips - cell phones, e-mails, IM, quick flights across the country... I think in many ways this has taken the mystery and adventure out of romance. And unfortunately, so much now is based on first impresssions. Although, I know that the relationships and partnerships that I admire have alowed time to make them in to beautiful unions. I guess fast dating just goes along with the trends of our lifestyles.

Re: Fast Dating

Kathy G on 6/18/05 at 10:34 (177057)


My daughter is 24 and my son is 31. He was right on the cusp of technology. He didn't need a computer to get through college and he finally broke down and got a cell phone about two years ago. She, on the other hand, just seven years younger, has had a cell phone since she was sixteen and we bought our first computer when she was a junior in high school. When my son went to college, there were no outlets for computers. She went to the same university and they had two computer outlets in every room and the school supplied internet access.

And yes, I notice that she is much more impatient than he is and it's not just because they have very different personalities. I also notice that her life is far more hectic than his was. On that score, I can't decide if it's the different personalities or her stage of life. Maybe a little of both.

When I compare my lifestyle at their age to theirs, the difference is amazing. You are wise to realize that relationships take time. I just wish young people would slow down a bit. Oh my gosh, I sound like an old lady at 55!

It's nice to hear from someone your age on the board! Do you have PF?