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

The Myriad Benefits of Mind-Wandering

October 14, 2012, 4:18 PM

What's the Latest Development?

A string of studies published in scientific journals this year suggest that letting ourselves daydream, in the midst of our fast-paced culture obsessed with achievement, can positively affect our lives. In a psychological test of creativity commonly known as UUT, which asks for creative uses of everyday objects, individuals who daydreamed before taking the test arrived at more creative ideas. That daydreaming allows us to arrive at unexpected solutions to our problems is known as the "Eureka effect" and supports the claim that allowing an idea to incubate is an important step in the creative process. 

What's the Big Idea?

An air traffic controller, or any highway motorist, would know that daydreaming is not always an attractive option. Still, moments when the brain loses its concentration are useful to research scientists attempting to determine how focus works in our brain to help us achieve our goals. In education, for example, peace and quiet that encourages reflection rather than daydreaming may be important to learning. Further studies suggest that daydreaming may reveal our hidden priorities to us, i.e. seeing what topics the mind naturally drifts to may more accurately indicate what our true priorities are. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com



The Myriad Benefits of Mind...

Newsletter: Share: