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

What Makes Your Brain Susceptible to Truthiness?

November 4, 2012, 1:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

You would be forgiven for thinking that this year's presidential election may come down to the truthiness of each party's claims, rather than their truth. Truthiness, a word inducted into the Merriam-Webster's dictionary thanks to satirist Stephen Colbert, is defined as "the quality of seeming to be true according to one’s intuition...without regard to logic [or] factual evidence." The new word coincides with psychological evidence suggesting that people often rely on their feelings to determine what is true, and that that feeling is strongly influenced by the presence of related, but irrelevant, information. 

What's the Big Idea?

In a series of psychological experiments, researchers from three Canadian universities found that the mere presence of a (speciously relevant) photograph next to a statement made it more likely that people would believe the statement. "This is especially important in the context of political campaigns, as it suggests that that the mere presence of a picture next to a candidate’s written claims could lead people to be more likely to believe them. The work is another demonstration of the ease with which our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors can be manipulated through relatively innocuous means."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com



What Makes Your Brain Susce...

Newsletter: Share: