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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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Just Enough Adversity Breeds Resilience

December 18, 2011, 11:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

A meta-analysis of studies of how traumatic events affect mental health found that the number of adverse experiences may determine whether we become better able to handle what life throws at us. Those who underwent no or few hardships, or many adversities, generally had worse coping skills than those who had some bad times, but not too many.

What's the Big Idea?

Why do those with low to moderate levels of hardships have more resilience to handle major or minor difficulties? Study author Mark Seery of the University at Buffalo in New York thinks there could be various factors at work, including having a sense of mastering past hurdles, feeling in control, building social support networks and stimulating cell growth in areas of the brain that relate to coping.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


Just Enough Adversity Breed...

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