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. The Daily Telegraph review writes, "Rarely have such bold claims been advanced on the basis of such flimsy evidence."
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 criticizes 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.
Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow which speaks to rationality's advantages over intuition, says, "Malcolm Gladwell definitely created in the public arenas the impression that intuition is magical... That belief is false."
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.