It is the act of taking an activity and breaking it down into micro segments, which then get coded and analyzed for trends.
For instance, when you are driving, your mind captures input from a variety of sources including your car’s instrument cluster, the rear- and side-view mirrors, your peripheral vision, the sounds around you, and of course, your view out the windshield.
He began with an hour of videotaped interaction and coded each second of video by tagging it with one of 20 enumerated emotions that were present in each of the participants’ facial expressions.
The enumerated emotions were then summed and added to additional biofeedback data producing a ratio of positive to negative.
Individuals looking for a date sit at separated tables and do a five-minute interview with their first potential date.
Then a bell goes off, and each of the potential dates get up and rotate to another five-minute interview, until they’ve interviewed everyone who has interested them.
In presenting the research of psychologist John Gottman, Gladwell explains how thin slicing videotaped interaction between two married individuals allows Gottman and those trained by him to predict with 95% accuracy how likely the marriage is to last.
Traditional interviews continue even though no one enjoys them!
After years of study, he discovered that the observation period could be cut to 15 minutes with a negligible impact on predictive accuracy and to three minutes if an 80% accuracy rating is tolerable.
Today, Gottman only looks for four signs: defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt, the last being the most telling sign of failure.
There is little argument that traditional interviews are time-consuming for all parties involved, often repetitive, and highly subjective.
If you include the time it takes to write up notes and to debrief the interview team with time actually spent interviewing candidates and multiply that by the number of candidates considered, you would quickly realize what a serious “time drain” interviews are on corporate resources.
It was designed because many individuals found that the traditional approach to dating just wasn’t working for them.