What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Neuroscience

The growing influence of neuroscience on society, from neurofinance to neuroeconomics to neuroesthetics to neuroethics and neurolaw

Going Mental

Exercise Improves Self-Control

Babyexercise
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? The idea of “brain training” conjures up visions of children playing educational computer games and senior citizens solving Sudoku puzzles, but a great workout for the brain requires no more equipment than shorts and a T-shirt. People of all ages who get a moderate amount of ...

Going Mental

How to Build Self Control in a Preschooler

Sandraaamodt3
over 2 years ago

Play is serious business for young children. When preschoolers stage a tea party for stuffed animals or visit the moon in a rocket ship, they’re doing more than giving their parents a moment’s peace. They’re improving their cognitive abilities, as the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky suggested ...

Going Mental

How Self-Control Develops

Dessert
over 2 years ago

As any parent of a distractible seven-year-old knows, the neural circuits involved in self-control are some of the latest-developing parts of the brain. This important set of abilities is worth the wait, though—as well as some parental effort. Parents can accelerate the development of self ...

Going Mental

Why Kids Need a Little Self-Control

Self%20control
over 2 years ago

We all know them: parents whose children run wild in public, allowed to behave in ways that make the rest of us cringe and calculate privately how we can avoid them until they're 25. (Though we probably won't like them then, either.)  This is not, of course, the same thing as the parents whose ...

Going Mental

Why Build Self-Control?

Cake%20with%20sprinkles
over 2 years ago

The discovery was one of those fortunate accidents. Walter Mischel, a psychologist at Stanford, was interested in the stability of personality traits. In the late 1960s, he decided to study individual differences in young children’s ability to delay gratification. His own daughters were ...

Going Mental

There is No Such Thing as a Divorce Gene.

Divorce_bigthink
over 2 years ago

Let me state this upfront: There is no such thing as a “divorce” gene. Not that it stopped many media outlets from reporting that such a gene had been discovered a few weeks ago after Hasse Walum, a scientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues published a paper in the journal ...

Going Mental

Dirty Minds: The Neurobiology of Love

Neurobiology%20of%20love
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? There’s a revolution going on in neuroscience, says science writer Kayt Sukel, and it’s happening on two fronts. One way the science is changing: researchers are finally beginning to include both male and female subjects in their studies. Another is epigenetics, a new way of ...

Going Mental

Brains Are Automatic, But People Are Free

Mindpull
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? Michael Gazzaniga, one of the world's leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience, describes the mystery of free will: “If you think about it this way, if you are a Martian coming by earth and looking at all these humans and then looking at how they work you wouldn’t—it ...