Smart Thinking

  • by Art Markman
  • Narrated by Sean Pratt
  • 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Think smart people are just born that way? Think again.
Drawing on diverse studies of the mind, from psychology to linguistics, philosophy, and learning science, Art Markman, Ph.D., demonstrates the difference between "smart thinking" and raw intelligence, showing listeners how memory works, how to learn effectively, and how to use knowledge to get things done. He then introduces his own three-part formula for listeners to employ "smart thinking" in their daily lives.
Smart Thinking gives listeners:

The means to replace self-limiting habits with new behaviors that foster smart thinking
An understanding of the mind itself as well as memory
The ability to define and solve problems by finding and applying relevant knowledge
Ways to present and process information effectively


What the Critics Say

"Novak, chairman and CEO of YUM! Brands, offers powerful and sinceredirectives for creating a cohesive, success-oriented corporate culture.….Business people at all levels willfind something of value." (Publisher's Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I feel asleep in class

Your most boring professor writes a book. After listening for two hours, I learned that innovative thinkers apply past knowledge to new situations, and it is easier to stop a bad habit by replacing it with another behavior. Another book that would be better as a five minute TED video.
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- Lee

Research-based tips on thinking

Markman lays out some useful strategies for improving your thinking. The tips aren't pulled out of thin air, as they are in some books on the topic; they're based on Markman's research and the research of others in the field.

One important technique is to evaluate your understanding of a topic by trying to explain it to yourself. Be honest in acknowledging where your explanations break down or gloss over a difficulty; then work on those until you *do* get them. (I've seen this suggestion in other contexts, where it's been described as the "Einstein technique," though I'm not really sure how that name came to be associated with it.)

Another important point is to recognize your mind's limitations - not just *your* mind, but *everybody's*. The human brain, according to Markman, can usually only process three distinct features of an experience; so he recommends regularly summarizing what you've learned by listing three main points. With careful selection, it's possible to use those points as triggers to a wider array of knowledge: the brain is like a fishing net, where latching onto one point can lead you to others. (My analogy, not Markman's.)

Markman offers some useful cautions as well. Especially in group settings, it's important to pause before making a final decision: feeling the visceral "click" when smart thinking leads to a breakthrough can be physically pleasurable; but you shouldn't let that glow influence your evaluation of the breakthrough. Wait a couple of days before you act on it.

Sean Pratt is a particularly effective narrator for this kind of material. He's done many titles for Gildan Media, and their titles in the self-development or "science for daily life" area tend to be a cut above the norm.

If you like this book, you may also enjoy "Five Elements of Effective Thinking" by Michael Starbird and Edward Burger. There is some overlap between the books; I found both of them helpful.
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- Tad Davis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-04-2012
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC