Big Think Edge
  • "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose," Sherlock Holmes famously remarked.
  • In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to optimize memory, Holmes style.
  • The goal is to expand one's limited "brain attic," so that what used to be a small space can suddenly become much larger because we are using the space more efficiently. Learn more with a subscription to Big Think Edge.

Poker skills: Playing against the odds is a rational way to win

Success isn't about finding one great way to achieve something and sticking with it. It's about looking at all the possible options and computing success through analysis.

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Success isn't about finding one great way to achieve something and sticking with it. It's about looking at all the possible options and computing success through analysis. It works brilliantly in poker, and it works well in life, too.

How con artists manipulate your emotions in genius (and evil) ways

Psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova on how to out-smart a con artist.

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The Ben Franklin effect is an oddly simple phenomenon. It was first discussed, as one could guess, by the man himself in his autobiographical writings. Benjamin Franklin used it on legislators that he was at odds with, to make them be more kind to him.

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Why Our Hearts and Minds Are Easy Targets for Con Artists, Holy Men and Cult Leaders

Psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova looks at the mechanisms of human nature that have allowed con artists, religious authorities, and cult leaders to prevail for thousands of years.

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What is the difference between a cult and a religion? Perhaps not much. There are a lot of questions in this world, and people start asking at a young age. When a baby with a rattle bangs it on the table, it learns that the rattle makes noise. The baby is fascinated by cause and effect. That’s why they like to pull your hair and feel the tension in the strands. It’s why they are always throwing things from their high chairs.

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