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

When Not Trusting Your Gut Can Lead to Bad Decisions

June 9, 2013, 10:42 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Putting your feelings into words, versus simply acting on how you feel, can change your course of action, say researchers at the University of Virginia--sometimes for the worse. In an experiment, college students were asked to select between two kinds of dorm room posters. One featured an Impressionist painting, the other displayed a comical, but trivial, situation such as a picture of a cat with a funny caption. Students not asked to justify their feelings toward the posters overwhelming chose the Impressionist painting. When asked to give specific reasons for their choice, more students chose the cat poster.

What's the Big Idea?

When researchers followed up on the experiment, they found that many of the students who had chosen the cat poster, despite liking it in more explicit terms, had not put it on their wall and were generally dissatisfied with their choice. Researchers hypothesize that (1) a more complex set of emotions accompanies the appreciation of a masterful work of art and that (2) the more complex the emotion, the more difficult it is to put into words. As a result, we are given to taking courses of action that do not coincide with our feelings, particularly when we are asked to justify them.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC Future


When Not Trusting Your Gut ...

Newsletter: Share: