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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Loss Aversion

The Big Idea for Saturday, February 02, 2013

Humans, like our primate ancestors, really don’t like losing things. In fact, we get much more emotional about losing things than we get happy about gaining things. Our loss aversion, as this bias is called, has an enormous impact on our behavior in many areas -- from how we take care of our bodies to how we make investments. 

In today's lesson, Tim Ferriss introduced a completely counterintuitive way to take advantage of our loss aversion. Since we really don't want to give things up, especially to groups that we don't like, then the threat of losing things, such as money, can be a powerful motivator to help us achieve a goal, whether it is learning a new language or quitting smoking. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 How the Westboro Baptist Church Can Help You Lose Weight
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Monkey Economics: The Evolutionary Origin of Loss Aversion
    Laurie Santos
  3. 3 Rethinking the Endowment Effect: How Ownership Affects Our Valuations
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius
  4. 4 How Rational Are You? Try This Quiz
    Steven Mazie Praxis
 

Loss Aversion

Newsletter: Share: