Because Blink is a work of nonfiction, there aren’t many overt symbols. One exception is the statue that Gladwell discusses in the introduction. The statue, presented as an authentic Greek “kouros” (ceremonial statue), was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. While many of the Getty employees decided that the statue was real, other noted art historians immediately and intuitively judged the statue to be a modern fake. As Gladwell argues, the statue—which probably indeed turned out to be an ingenious fake (although this is still in question even years later!)—symbolizes the power, and the danger, of rapid cognition. For the art historians who immediately “knew” that the statue was a fake, rapid cognition acted as an important observational tool. But for the Getty experts who wanted to believe that the statue was real, rapid cognition acted as a barrier to the truth—because of their biases, they wrongly judged the statue to be real.
The “Greek” statue Quotes in Blink
When [the art historians] looked at the kouros and felt an "intuitive repulsion," they were absolutely right. In the first two seconds of looking - in a single glance - they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months.