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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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Can Applied Behavior Analysis 'Cure' Autism?

December 17, 2011, 10:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

With the explosion in diagnosis of autism, so has demand for applied behavior analysis (ABA) grown. It has become a thriving business, worth more than $200 million a year in California alone. Researchers have found that it can improve behavior and language but doubts remain about its effectiveness.

What's the Big Idea?

Paradoxically, ABA's popularity gets in the way of conducting studies that meet the highest scientific standards. Researchers say many parents are unwilling to have their children assigned to comparison groups, which receive less intensive treatment. If scientists understood which elements of ABA do what, they could better tailor the treatment to patients' needs and thereby serve more children.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


Can Applied Behavior Analys...

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