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.

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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.

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Social Mimicry

The Big Idea for Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mimicry has been found to have played a vital role in human evolution. Mimicry aided survival by establishing communication. Mimicry then evolved to serve a social function. 

In today's lesson, we look at how mimicry can have both a positive and negative effect. A new longitudinal study suggests that divorce is contagious. If your friends get divorced, you are more likely to do the same. However, long-lasting relationships can be contagious as well. 


  1. 1 Everybody's Doing It: Why Divorce Could Be Contagious
    Big Think Editors Think Tank
  2. 2 How Strong Are Your Relationships? Drop a Few Mails Into This Analyzer, and Get an Estimate
    David Berreby Mind Matters
  3. 3 The Power of Copycatting
    Nicholas Christakis In Their Own Words
  4. 4 The Chameleon Outcast: When Social Mimicry Goes Awry
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice

Social Mimicry

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