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

Soul-Searching / Unconscious Bias

The Big Idea for Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Soul-Searching, or the "penetrating examination of one's motives, convictions, and attitudes," is quite a grandiose term, and one that we intend to use with some degree of caution.

This term is not part of our normal lexicon at Big Think because it seems to be asking for too much all at once. 

Examining one's own convictions is certainly virtuous, but psychology shows us how easy it is to trick ourselves into believing we've done the job and are deserving of a big pat on the back. It's not an easy task. 

And so we will set out on a more humble-sounding road today, especially since we are examining the highly sensitive issue of race, and look at the ways we can "diminish the role of unconscious bias."

The key word here is diminish. While we cannot fully overcome bias, as Paul Bloom points out in today's lesson, the good news is that we are indeed smart enough to figure out ways to diminish certain unconscious beliefs once we are aware of them. 


  1. 1 How Do We Understand Our Quirky, Unconscious Reactions to Trayvon Martin?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Quiet Racism in the Zimmerman Trial
    Steven Mazie Praxis
  3. 3 Cory Booker on Race in America
    Cory Booker
  4. 4 The Roots of Racism in Rhesus Monkeys
    Laurie Santos

Soul-Searching / Unconsciou...

Newsletter: Share: