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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.

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

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The Best Mindset for Success

October 30, 2011, 2:00 PM
Business_woman_smile

What's the Latest Development?

Michigan State psychology professor Jason Moser purposefully gave a group of individuals an exam that was easy to screw up. He asked that they identify the middle letter in a string of letters which were sometimes the same and sometimes different (MMMMM or MMNMM). After making a mistake, participants were asked about their attitudes toward intelligence and whether they thought it was a fixed characteristic or if people could become more intelligent by correcting their errors. 

What's the Big Idea?

Individuals who thought of intelligence as a process rather than a fixed state showed brain activity which scientists correlated with a more positive attitude toward mistakes. "People who are open to improving are hardwired with an adaptive brain reaction to errors. They're more mindful of and eager to correct their mistakes." Perhaps by giving these tests, schools and companies can learn to improve achievement by discovering who is too pessimistic about their brain's own abilities. 

Businesswoman image from Shutterstock.

 

The Best Mindset for Success

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