The Power Of One Movie Essay On Malcolm

The Power of One (Movie) Essay

699 WordsOct 20th, 20103 Pages

The film, “the Power of One,” followed the life of a boy named P.K. from a small child to a handsome young man. It showed all the hardship and tragedy he had to endure throughout his life. Although the movie could have focused more on the apartheid, it instead portrayed the vulgarity of those times through the eyes of an English boy. As time went on, P.K. slowly began to realize the full severity of the apartheid. It was difficult for a child to comprehend how horribly people could treat one another for no apparent reason. Despite all the obstacles he was forced to overcome in his life, P.K. was a very strong character. He continued to move forward and grew into a more motivated, caring person with each loved one he lost. Everyone who…show more content…

When Maria was wondering why the South African men were scared of them, it was clear how sheltered and brainwashed she was. It was then that she realized how unexposed she was and began to become more involved in the efforts to make a change. P.K. had to deal with being a victim of racism as well. He knew how it felt to be treated like he was worthless from when he was at boarding school and the Afrikaans blamed him for how the English military treated them. The swastika was shown on the main tormentor’s arm as a symbol of the wickedness and power of the apartheid. The Afrikaans in this movie were portrayed as the primary promoters or racism and segregation. During one of the final scenes where the Afrikaner officers were searching for P.K. and slaughtering many of the innocent people in their way, flames were shown all throughout the village. The ruthless murders were being compared to the evilness of hell. The African’s voices were once again singing in the background of this scene, conveying their innocence and strong united front. Throughout the movie, they sang in times of crisis, tragedy, and celebration. This film was very tear-jerking and inspirational. There were many hidden symbols and themes throughout and it was interesting to view it from the perspective of an English child living in a country other than his own. It didn’t focus on one particular issue, but thoughtfully portrayed all aspects of P.K.’s life,

Show More

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) is Malcolm Gladwell's second book. It presents in popular science format research from psychology and behavioral economics on the adaptive unconscious: mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information. It considers both the strengths of the adaptive unconscious, for example in expert judgment, and its pitfalls, such as stereotypes.


The author describes the main subject of his book as "thin-slicing": our ability to use limited information from a very narrow period of experience to come to a conclusion. This idea suggests that spontaneous decisions are often as good as—or even better than—carefully planned and considered ones. To reinforce his ideas, Gladwell draws from a wide range of examples from science and medicine (including malpractice suits), sales and advertising, gambling, speed dating (and predicting divorce), tennis, militarywar games, and the movies and popular music. Gladwell also uses many examples of regular people's experiences with "thin-slicing," including our instinctive ability to mind-read, which is how we can get to know a person's emotions just by looking at his or her face.

Gladwell explains how an expert's ability to "thin slice" can be corrupted by their likes and dislikes, prejudices, and stereotypes (even unconscious ones). Two particular forms of unconscious bias Gladwell discusses are implicit association tests[1] and psychological priming.

Gladwell also mentions that sometimes having too much information can interfere with the accuracy of a judgment, or a doctor's diagnosis. In what Gladwell contends is an age of information overload, he finds that experts often make better decisions with snap judgments than they do with volumes of analysis. This is commonly called "Analysis paralysis." The challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical information. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing. Collecting more information, in most cases, may reinforce our judgment but does not help make it more accurate. Gladwell explains that better judgments can be executed from simplicity and frugality of information. If the big picture is clear enough to decide, then decide from this without using a magnifying glass.

The book argues that intuitive judgment is developed by experience, training, and knowledge. For example, Gladwell claims that prejudice can operate at an intuitive unconscious level, even in individuals whose conscious attitudes are not prejudiced. An example is in the halo effect, where a person having a salient positive quality is thought to be superior in other, unrelated respects. Gladwell uses the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, where four New York policemen shot an innocent man on his doorstep 41 times, as another example of how rapid, intuitive judgment can have disastrous effects.[2]

Research and examples[edit]

The book begins with the story of the Getty kouros, which was a statue brought to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. It was thought by many experts to be legitimate, but when others first looked at it, their initial responses were skeptical. For example, George Despinis, head of the Acropolis Museum in Athens, said "Anyone who has ever seen a sculpture coming out of the ground could tell that that thing has never been in the ground". Gradually, the argument for the legitimacy of the kouros' provenance fell apart. The letters tracing its history turned out to be fakes, referencing postal codes and bank accounts that did not exist until after the letters were supposedly written. However, experts to this day are unsure whether the kouros is authentic or not. The museum notes that "anomalies of the Getty kouros may be due more to our limited knowledge of Greek sculpture in this period rather than to mistakes on the part of a forger."[3]

John Gottman is a researcher on marital relationships. His work is explored in Blink. After analyzing a normal conversation between a husband and wife for an hour, Gottman can predict whether that couple will be married in 15 years with 90% accuracy. If he analyzes them for 15 minutes, his accuracy is around 90%. But if he analyses them for only three minutes, he can still predict with high accuracy who will get divorced and who will make it. This is one example of when "thin slicing" works.[4]

The studies of Paul Ekman, a psychologist who created the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), indicates that a lot of “thin slicing” can be done within seconds by unconsciously analyzing a person’s fleeting look called a microexpression. Ekman claims that the face is a rich source of what is going on inside our mind and although many facial expressions can be made voluntarily, our faces are also dictated by an involuntary system that automatically expresses our emotions.[5]


Richard Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago and a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, argues that Gladwell in Blink fails to follow his own recommendations regarding thin-slicing, and makes a variety of unsupported assumptions and mistakes in his characterizations of the evidence for his thesis.[6]The Daily Telegraph review writes, "Rarely have such bold claims been advanced on the basis of such flimsy evidence."[7]

In Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye (Simon and Schuster, 2006), Michael LeGault argues that "Blinklike" judgements are not a substitute for critical thinking. He criticises Gladwell for propagating unscientific notions:

As naturopathic medicine taps into a deep mystical yearning to be healed by nature, Blink exploits popular new-age beliefs about the power of the subconscious, intuition, even the paranormal. Blink devotes a significant number of pages to the so-called theory of mind reading. While allowing that mind-reading can "sometimes" go wrong, the book enthusiastically celebrates the apparent success of the practice, despite hosts of scientific tests showing that claims of clairvoyance rarely beat the odds of random chance guessing.[8]

Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow which speaks to rationality's advantages over intuition, says:

"Malcolm Gladwell does not believe that intuition is magic. He really doesn't...But here his story has helped people, in a belief that they want to have, which is that intuition works magically; and that belief, is false."[9]

In an article titled "Understanding Unconscious Intelligence and Intuition: Blink and Beyond", Lois Isenman agrees with Gladwell that the unconscious mind has a surprising knack for 'thinking without thinking' but argues that its ability to integrate many pieces of information simultaneously provides a much more inclusive explanation than thin-slicing. She writes:

Gladwell often speaks of the importance of holism to unconscious intelligence, meaning that it considers the situation as a whole. At the same time, he stresses that unconscious intelligence relies on finding simple underlying patterns. However, only when a situation is overwhelmingly determined by one or a few interacting factors is holism consistent with simple underlying signatures. In many situations, holism and simple underlying signatures pull in different directions.[10]

Topics mentioned[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  1. ^Greenwald, Anthony G.; et al. (1998). "Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 74: 1464–80. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.74.6.1464. PMID 9654756. 
  2. ^Cooper, Michael (1999-02-05). "Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, And an Unarmed Man Is Killed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  3. ^"Statue of a Kouros (Getty Museum)". 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  4. ^Gladwell, Malcolm (2005-01-07). "Excerpt from 'Blink'". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  5. ^Gladwell, Malcolm (2007). Blink. Back Bay Books. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-316-01066-5. 
  6. ^Posner, Richard A. (2005-01-24). "University of Chicago Law School > News 01.17.2005: Posner Reviews ''Blink''". Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  7. ^Skidelsky, Edward (2005-02-06). "Good intuition takes years of practice". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  8. ^LeGault, Michael (2006). Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye. New York. 
  9. ^Charlie Rose Show broadcast February 28, 2012 at 27:05. USA. 2012. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  10. ^Isenman, Lois (2013). "Understanding Unconscious Intelligence and Intuition: Blink and Beyond." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 56 (1): 148–166 p. 160.
  11. ^Qamar, A (Oct 1999). "The Goldman algorithm revisited: prospective evaluation of a computer-derived algorithm versus unaided physician judgment in suspected acute myocardial infarction". American Heart Journal. 138: 705–9. doi:10.1016/s0002-8703(99)70186-9. PMID 10502217. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *