cognition | WAMC

cognition

Book cover for "Think Again"
Viking

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in our rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of "Originals" and "Give and Take," he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong.

His new book is "Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know."

In the U.S., 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day; by the time a person reaches 85, their chances of having dementia approach 50 percent. And the truth is, there is no cure, and none coming soon, despite the perpetual promises by pharmaceutical companies that they are just one more expensive study away from a pill.

Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn't prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia; not to mention confronting the hard truth that her own odds aren't great.

With her book, "Dementia Reimagined," Dr. Powell's goal is to move the conversation away from an exclusive focus on cure to a genuine appreciation of care, what we can do for those who have dementia, and how to keep life meaningful and even joyful.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

In her book, "Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain," she explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers, namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.

You Never Think Alone

Jul 25, 2017

The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant.

The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individually oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the world around us.

Steven Sloman is a professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University. He is the editor in chief of the journal Cognition. Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.