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

Why Your Brain Contradicts Itself

January 13, 2013, 2:17 PM
Brain_colored

What's the Latest Development?

A particular theory of the mind may help explain why so many reasonable people are given to contradicting themselves in such obvious ways, seeing eye-to-eye with science when it comes to brushing their teeth but not on the topic of evolution, for example. Called compartmentalization, the theory goes that the mind is a veritable iPhone, loaded with apps to suit many different purposes. Each app is a different module: "The module that leads us to crave sweet and fatty foods in the short term is in conflict with the module that monitors our body image and health in the long term."

What's the Big Idea?

While evolutionary psychology suggests that our minds' dissonant properties exist in order to survive harsh environmental conditions, steps can be taken in the public arena to create a more informed citizenry. University of Western Australia psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues suggest these strategies: “Consider what gaps in people's mental event models are created by debunking and fill them using an alternative explanation.... To avoid making people more familiar with misinformation..., emphasize the facts you wish to communicate rather than the myth. ..."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Scientific American

 

Why Your Brain Contradicts ...

Newsletter: Share: