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.
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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.
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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.
What's the Latest Development?
Using eye-tracking technology, researchers at the University of Freiburg observed test subjects as they watched videos of speakers discussing certain political issues. They found that the longer the viewers focused on the speaker's eyes, particularly if the speaker was looking directly into the camera, the less convinced they were of the argument. Those who disagreed with the speaker's argument, or who had no opinion on the topic, were left even more unconvinced than those who agreed.
What's the Big Idea?
The importance of direct eye contact in business and personal interactions has been stressed for decades. The study findings, published in Psychological Science, suggest that in some cases, it's not always a good idea. The reason may have to do with evolution: Eye contact among certain animals signals aggression and the creation of "a social dynamic characterized by resistance to persuasion." Further demonstrating this point is a separate experiment in which participants were given a choice of looking at a speaker's eyes or their mouth. Those who looked at the speaker's mouth were more persuaded by the argument.
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