How To Think Like A Freak: Think Like A Child

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, hosts of the Freakonomics podcast and authors of Think Like A Freak, talk about ways to retrain your brain and challenge how you think. Today: why thinking like a child -- thinking small -- can help solve big problems.


Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

Comments [5]

art525 from Park Slope

I am a landscape painter. I often paint on a samll island imn Maine. Lots of people come exploring and wander around the island. They often make comments as they see me working. But the smartest comment ever came from a young girl. I had been thinking about the fact that most landscape painters paint the view "Out there" and I was playing with painting scenes that were painted so I included the space right up to my feet. It's funny, people would look at these paintings and say "I feel like I can walk right into this" not ralizing that that was why. This day I was doing a conventional composition painting a scene down the road and this young girl came up and said "It's funny it looks like you would be painting this way down the road". In other words she was noticing and commenting that I wasn't including the space between me and my subject, this concept I had been thinking about. I thought that was incredibly perceptive. And she was really looking, not accustomed to the conventions. I told her it was the most insightful comment anyone had ever made to me. She blushed.

May. 13 2014 02:43 PM
Amy from Manhattan

And I'd think the Freakonomics duo would look at actual reasons adults don't think like children. Pruning of neurons? Development of brain areas in late adolescence, which has been shown in studies? Discouragement by the adult world? I'd like to see them look into it. And actually show evidence. I'm currently reading Freakonomics, & I see several places where they showed an association but then attributed causality w/out what I'd consider adequate proof.

May. 13 2014 11:02 AM
John A

My morning walks are spent about 90% in thought.
My father said he got some of his best ideas while scrubbing the floor.
Low stress begins with supplying sufficient time.

May. 13 2014 10:51 AM
Amy from Manhattan

We "magically" lose the ability to think like a child? Isn't magical thinking something children do?

May. 13 2014 10:42 AM
suzinne from bronx

As a creative person, I embrace my inner freak. Has always been natural for me to be the freak, having grown up on the outside looking in. Being a freakish mentally is feeds into the work if you're a writer, an painter, musician, actor, etc., but living this life is not easy. You will turn the general public off REGULARLY. People don't know what to make of you because you make them uneasy.

Just last week met my elderly aunt who is in all ways CONSERVATIVE. In respect for her, try to keep my inner freak under wraps, but not easy as the freak leaks out. After a couple of hours, I could tell she was ready to run for the hills! It's funny but it hurts too.

May. 13 2014 09:40 AM

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