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
With rendition switcher


Question: What do mistakes reveal about human nature?

Dan Gilbert: Well mistakes almost always reveal something interesting about the system that makes them. When I was a kid I was fascinated by optical illusions. I would sit in my father’s study – I had this book of optical illusions – and just stare and state at the lines that you could just put your fingers down and you’d realize they’re equal lengths; but you took your fingers up and, “My gosh! They look like one’s longer than the other!” How does that happen? How can I believe something that at one level I know is absolutely wrong? I think this is a metaphor for a lot of what’s interesting in psychology. Our tendency to believe, but to not believe. One part of our brain says it’s right. Another part of our brain says it’s wrong. Mistakes that we make almost always reveal the war between these two parts of our brain. The war between what’s rational and what’s irrational inside our heads.

Recorded on: 6/12/07


What do mistakes reveal abo...

Newsletter: Share: