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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Do Men Really Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds?

June 22, 2014, 4:29 PM

What's the Latest?

Thanks to modern folklore, many of us believe that men think about sex every seven seconds, amounting to 514 sexual thoughts per hour, or 7,200 each day. If that seems high to you, you're not alone. Tom Stafford, Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield, UK, decided to examine the ways that scientists measure the frequency of our thoughts. In one study conducted at Ohio State University, scientists distributed handheld counters called "clickers" and instructed volunteers to record each time they had a sexual thought. On average, the men had about 19 sexual thoughts per day; the women, about 10.

What's the Big Idea?

Because volunteers in the OSU study were given instructions to record their sexual thoughts specifically, Stafford argues that the frequency of having sexual thoughts was bound to increase (due to a phenomenon called "the white bear" problem). A different study, this time conducted by Wilhelm Hoffman in Germany, found a much lower frequency of recorded sexual thoughts. When individuals were sent text messages at random times of day and simply asked to record their thoughts (without specific reference to sexuality), sex was a less frequent subject of thought than food, sleep, coffee, personal hygiene, and television programs. 

When it comes to statistical surveys that try to get inside our head, the devil is in the details.

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock


Do Men Really Think About S...

Newsletter: Share: