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

We Have Evolved to Use Anger to Win

January 14, 2014, 6:07 PM

The scene was straight out of Brad Gilbert's bestseller Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis.

During a brutal first-round match in 107 degree heat at the Australian Open, opponents Kei Nishikori and Marinko Matosevic each took prolonged bathroom breaks - but not at the same time. The key to winning ugly, as Gilbert would argue, is to make your opponent wait on the court in the heat. If your opponent does this to you, then you should take a break in retaliation and make them wait. While they seethe on the court, you come back fresh. You have then succeeded in annoying your opponent, and your unnerved opponent will start making mistakes. 

This is apparently a trick that men have adapted to use over time, as a new study demonstrates that men (only men were studied) deliberately anger each other to gain advantage and get what they want. 

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Uri Gneezy, a behavioral economist at the University of California, San Diego, anger can be used strategically to impair an opponent's performance. Of course, anger can also be used to the benefit of a rival. If we sense that, we tend to shy away from the strategy.

Gneezy's study obviously has implications for negotiation. The rational course of action, it appears, is not always the most effective course of action.

Read more here


We Have Evolved to Use Ange...

Newsletter: Share: