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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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Sandra Aamodt: "Welcome to Your Child's Brain."

April 15, 2012, 12:00 AM

Recent research has upended everything we think we know about praising children, says Sandra Aamodt, author of Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows From Conception to College. Framing the way you praise your child around his or her characteristics encourages a "fixed" mindset, she argues, by telegraphing the message that achievement is based only on intrinsic assets rather than on hard work and growth. 

Sure, "Oh, you're so smart!" sounds sweet, but it gives a child zero guidance about what he or she is doing well. People who were given this type of feedback as children are more likely to give up in the face of failure as an adults, assuming they simply don't have what it takes to succeed. 

Instill a growth mindset in your child by instead celebrating effort -- for example, "I love that you stuck it out and didn't quit the softball team, even when it was hard." 


Sandra Aamodt: "Welcome to ...

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