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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Core Skill: Overcoming Bias

The Big Idea for Monday, October 01, 2012

It pays to be a skeptic. Not only can some simple habits help us snap out of unhealthy behaviors that are the product of our biases, we also have the ability to take a more rational look at risk reduction, which benefits society.

This is the message of Julia Galef, President of the Center For Applied Rationality (CFAR). CFAR takes the latest cognitive science research and helps people understand biases, where they occur, and then gives them the tools to break them. The behaviors that result from our biases impact our jobs, our relationships, our business decisions.

A simple and easy technique to overcoming bias, however, is assessing a problem as an outsider. This is an effective tool because we tend to defend certain behaviors simply because we have been doing something for a long time. We don't like to view our commitments as a wasted investment. That is why we need to stand outside ourselves to overcome bias. 


  1. 1 Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 Political Labels, Political Identity, and Bias
    Will Wilkinson The Moral Sciences Club
  3. 3 Errol Morris on Confirmation Bias
    Errol Morris
  4. 4 How to Use Magical Thinking
    Matthew Hutson

Core Skill: Overcoming Bias

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