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

When Thinking Too Much Produces Negative Results

August 20, 2014, 2:00 PM
Thinking_too_much

An assumption we often make about life's choices is that the larger the choice, the more deliberation is needed to arrive at the best plan of action. This isn't always the case, however, and meticulous thinking can sometimes lead us astray. Consider a study led by psychologists Ap Dijksterhuis and Zeger van Olden in which participants were divided into three groups and asked to choose which art poster they liked best. One group deliberated on the qualities of the posters for seven minutes; another did anagrams for the same length of time and then chose their favorite; the third group was given no time to deliberate and had to choose immediately. Several weeks later when researchers checked in with participants, those who had done the anagrams were happiest with their choice. 

Researchers concluded that a unconscious system of mental processing can sometimes lead us more to choose what will make us happier. While that system of thinking is not applicable to every situation, there are some personal choices that too much deliberation can harm. Columbia University business professor Sheena Iyengar discusses how having too many options to choose from can actually blind us to what is most important:

Read more at a Brain Blogger

Photo credit: Shutterstock

 

When Thinking Too Much Prod...

Newsletter: Share: