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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.

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

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World Renowned Bloggers

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

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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.

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Watch This Video, Quit Your Job, Dump Your Boyfriend

September 29, 2013, 12:00 AM
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We view ourselves as rational decision-makers, and that's our first mistake. Our second mistake is that after making a mistake we continue on the same path because we refuse to accept that we were wrong, not to mention all of the time and energy we have put into a relationship, a job, or a career choice.

In the video below, Julia Galef, president of the Center For Applied Rationality, explains why you might stick it out at a job even though you know you would probably be happier somewhere else. "You figure I’ll just stick with it because I don’t want my past ten years of effort and time and money to have been wasted," Galef says.

So what to do about it?

Awareness of the sunk cost fallacy is key, and you will start to notice how it works when it comes to decisions about small things. Let's say you're 100 pages into a book and it's a big disappointment. Do you put it down or do you "trudge through the remaining 200-300 pages?" Galef asks. 

Understanding how the sunk fallacy works in that instance might help you to think through more important decisions, such as whether to change your career or drop out of a Ph.D program. 

Watch here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

More from the Big Idea for Sunday, September 29 2013

Decision Making and Cognitive Bias

Over the past 40 years, cognitive science has discovered a series of common blind spots in human decision-making. Our reasoning and intuitions are extremely powerful and useful. But now it is know... Read More…

 

Watch This Video, Quit Your...

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