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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Optimism: The Path to Happiness

April 24, 2011, 4:23 AM
Happy

What's the Latest Development?

As founder of the positive psychology movement, Martin Seligman recalls during his years as a clinical psychologist that he did help relieve his patients of mental suffering, but that the result was not necessarily happy people. Instead, says Seligman, people came out of therapy feeling empty. In his new book, he says that there is more than positive emotion to being happy—and perhaps here he parts ways with critics who see him as a new-age, self-help guru—relationships, meaning and a sense of accomplishment are equally important to a sense of well-being. 

What's the Big Idea?

Marting Seligman pioneered the booming field of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania when he began teaching the nation's first master's course on the subject. Dissatisfied with psychology's focus on outliers, i.e. people with negative psychological characteristics, he wanted to steer the field in a new direction—toward improving the psychology of the majority of the population. People whose psychology was not crippled by a debilitating condition should also benefit from psychology's lessons, he thought. To this end, he wanted to help amplify positive psychological characteristics rather than just tame negative ones. 

 

Optimism: The Path to Happi...

Newsletter: Share: