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

Hard-Wired to be Egotists

December 2, 2013, 6:23 PM

We want to see ourselves in a positive light so we see our own ideas as more important than the ideas of others.  We notice our own work. We don’t notice the work of others.   

Here's another example. People are good at noticing that conflicts of interest exist in the world, but when they are the one that has the conflict of interest they basically believe that they’re immune. They believe that they’re immune because they’re honest people.  But the problem is that when people have a desire to see the world in a certain way that often blinds them from evidence that would be inconsistent with the preference that they hold.  

So the doctor who is working with a pharmaceutical firm comes to honestly believe that the drug from the pharmaceutical firm that he or she is connected to is better than the competitor.  And it’s not that they are intentionally acting against the interest of their patient, rather that they have a systematic belief that leaves them to be affected by their conflict of interest. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock



Hard-Wired to be Egotists

Newsletter: Share: