A series of studies, published in the most recent issue of Science, had students ranking sitting in silence and thinking below almost everything else, including self-administering electric shocks.
As humans we make mistakes all the time, but we don't often recognize them for what they are: setbacks that are begging to be recognized as useful lessons. Here are some amazing brain hacks that help you learn from your screw-ups and become more rational.
Forget complex math problems, logic puzzles, memorization. The hardest thing you can try to do with your brain is to not think about something. It's virtually impossible. But why? As New Scientist explains, it has to do with what thoughts are actually made out of.
You might just think of analogies as being clever constructions, put together by smart people, to help you understand complex problems—but there's more to them than you might think.
Exercise isn't just good for your body. Research proves that physical activity also gives your brain a workout, which is why so many people say they can think much more clearly after exercising. Learning and memory increase when you work up a sweat.
For the first time, scientists have been able to use data from brain scans to identify who patients are thinking about.
If you've ever wondered what thinking about nothing looks like, here it is. It's the result of an experiment by artist Gustav Metzger, who hooked himself up to a robotic carving machine—while thinking long and hard about absolutely nothing.
Taking the SAT, crunching through a tough problem at work, or even concentrating while driving in difficult conditions can leave you feeling physically exhausted. But does thinking really hard burn more calories, or does the exhaustion come from somewhere else?
Visualizing how the world's ideas fit together is no mean feat. But now you don't have to struggle, because Brendan Griffen has mined Wikipedia to create a map of how the world's greatest thinkers influenced each other.
If you're hung up on a brain-twizzling problem, crack a brew. A new study from the University of Illinois suggest that, contrary to common belief, alcohol's buzz might actually improve your problem-solving skills.
The nature of faith is often a thorny topic for psychology and other sciences to grapple with, but a new study indicates a powerful link between how we think and what we believe. It all goes back to intuition.