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

Like Intelligence, Worry Is an Evolved Survival Skill

April 15, 2012, 8:48 AM
Worry%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

A new study suggests that worry and intelligence, because of how they act on the brain, may have evolved simultaneously as important survival skills for our species. At SUNY Downstate Medical Center, scientists measured the intelligence quotient and levels of worry in individuals diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder as well as in a control group. In individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, higher levels of intelligence were positively correlated with a greater tendency to worry. "High intelligence and worry both correlate with brain activity measured by the depletion of the nutrient choline in the subcortical white matter of the brain."

What's the Big Idea?

While too much worry is generally considered a negative trait, and intelligence usually a positive trait, "worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be," said Jeremy Coplan, MD, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate. "In essence, worry may make people 'take no chances,' and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species." Previous studies have observed that higher rates of worry are associated with people of higher and lower intelligence. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


 

Like Intelligence, Worry Is...

Newsletter: Share: