Sunday, January 28, 2007


Seth Godin's post on Jan 27, is a story about Picasso and fakes. It made me think of Malcom Gladwell's book, Blink. The premise of the book is different from Seth's blog, but both discuss art and whether the piece is real or not.

How many times have you met someone and immediately had warning bells go off inside your head, because your brain is telling you that something doesn't add up. Some call it intuition. I think it is a combination of experience and aura.

Those who are not credible, those who just want to take anything they can get, display signals that our brain is registering sub-consciously, before we ever consciously see those signals. There are the obvious ones; covering of the mouth with the hand, not making eye contact and acting jittery are just a few. But I think there are other subtle signals. I know that something is happening (it can be positive, too) when the size of the pupil of the person's eye changes. Probably the conversation hit a sensitive note at that very moment.

In Blink, Gladwell reports on the Facial Action Coding System or FACS. While this book in my opinion, is a little scattered in subject, I loved this information. Two researchers catalogued a taxonomy of facial expressions, and found that the were 43 basic expressions. Combining the basics, over 10,000 expression were found, with 3,000 being identified as essential displays of human emotion. It's those expressions that help our brain to make nano-second decisions about others.

What's your experience in making intuitive decisions about people?


Deanna Tucci Schmitt said...

Just yesterday I was looking at the website for my favorite radio show - The American Entrepreneur. Ron Morris, the host, has 75 immutable laws in doing business. The law listed on the website this week basically said, "If you think something is not right - don't do business with that person. Go with your instincts"

Leasa said...

My niece dated a guy in high school whose chin quivered whenever he lied, which was frequently. A former co-worker of mine could not take his eyes off of the ceiling (or a stray hare on top of my head?) whenever he talked about a project he felt insecure about -- especially when a deadline was imminent. Interesting.