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Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done
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Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,057 ratings  ·  87 reviews
When you understand how the mind works, you can think smarter—and act smarter.

Based on the precepts of cognitive science and drawing on a half century of interdisciplinary studies, Smart Thinking is the first book to reveal a three-part formula that distinguishes Smart Thinking from innate intelligence and shows how memory works, how to learn effectively, and how to use
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by TarcherPerigee (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  1,057 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Sue Smith
Apr 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Welllllll. I can pretty much sum up this book in a few points - using the rule of '3' as this oh-so-helpful book suggests. Let's see ...

Reason's for Wanting to Read this Book.
1. Looking for clever ways to help yourself become a better _______ (fill in whatever here - astronaut, scientist, zombie).
2. Looking for smart ways to get past annoying,self depreciating behaviors (in 3 easy steps).
3. Looking for clear and concise ways of defining said problems, and solving them in an intelligent fashion.

Doc Opp
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Because this book is marketed as a self help book, potential readers might overlook the fact that this is an excellent treatise on cognitive psychology. In fact, Markman is one of the best in the business at synthesizing and communicating what cognitive psychologists have learned about how the mind works, and that's on display here.

While there was little 'new' content-wise for me here, as I teach cognitive psychology for a living, I nonetheless appreciated just how cleverly and clearly Markman
I listened to this book while driving to a business meeting (that never happened) and then back home. There's some very useful stuff in here, it's just that, unfortunately, this book doesn't really lend itself well to audio format. I say that not because the reader was bad (he wasn't), but more because this book is one that requires you to participate, and audio is a passive medium.

There are a lot of little activities and quizzes in this book, meant to gauge how you think about problems, that
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this tome in the bookstore, and I truly believe that I was led to this book the same way I have been led to other books that I have needed. I was looking for some help in devising an integrated system so that I can get more out of what I read. Reading is great, and if you are reading this you likely agree. I don't know many people with a Goodreads account who don't like to read.

But I wanted to get more out of what I read, and I have for years. The system I developed had worked
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
Something between self-improvement and a primer on cognitive psychology. I liked it and will listen again and read a paper version.

There was an interval in the audio book when the narrator/reader mispronounced causal as casual, which should have been caught by a proof listener and corrected before release.

I recommend this book as informational reading for educators and engineers. Those who have read more than a few books on cognitive psychology are not likely to find anything new, but may
Max Read
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
“A snoozer of a composition”

“Smart Thinking” was composed by Art Markman, PHD and claims to reach into the underlying ability to think, reason, make decisions, communicate, and take action all based in leading-edge science with news you can use. The composition never rises to the occasion. It rehashes innate intuitive human ability in a recipe type of layout as though the things that make people different are simply a matter of learning a new skill. Markman implies that with a bit of training
Nikka Calindas
Mar 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a book about 'smart thinking', the author is not so smart in presenting his case. With outrageous examples that can confound a simple man to oblivion, this is not a book recommended for people like me who is genuinely interested to know how can one make a serious effort in thinking smart.

Take his examples in dealing with analogies, of all the things that he can use as a base for an analogy, he settles for proverbs. And it's not a simple thinking of what the underlying meaning in a proverb
Burke Ruder
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Would not recommend this book. Main ideas are made and then you are dragged on for another 25 pages. Read the chapter titles and main tips directly under the chapter title and send Markman 3 bucks. Save 12.
Susan Visser
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I seem to be on a trend of reading books about how the mind works! This one was the lightest weight of the books I've read, but it gave many very practical ways to simplify life by understanding how the brain works and to work with it, rather than against.

The brain has evolved to off-load as much work as possible from the conscious part to the amygdala. Think of the amygdala as the part of the brain that automates much of what you do everyday: breathe, blink, even drive to work. To simpilify
Frank Spencer
I'm impressed. There are many hints for becoming a better thinker, which can be used. Some areas covered are writing summaries after reading or being in a meeting, using the role of 3 (derive the 3 main points from anything), how to make connections and see similarities, improving your memory, using habits effectively, using your feelings or intuition when making decisions, and helping those around you to be better thinkers. Using proverbs is mentioned, as is knowing whether you decide too ...more
Deejay Nicke
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is written by a PhD who has spent more than 20 years studying cognitive science. He isn't telling us what to think, but rather HOW to think, and think smarter!

Good health requires learning about the body, eating right, and exercising. Mental health requires learning about the mind, feeding your mind with quality knowledge, and forming smart habits that make you more effective.
Reading this book will set you on the path to Smart Thinking!
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book came up on my Amazon account as a book that I would potentially like. I must compliment Amazon's algorithm as it turned out to be a great read and good match for me. Overall, it's a crisp and clear book that gives actionable recommendations (behaviors and thinking habits) to achieve a high standard of problem solving ability.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-reviews
I reviewed this book for Psych Central -- it's a great book! here's the review.
Igor Putina
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great stuff, easy to put into good use.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book easy to digest and written interesting enough to keep turning the pages. The book also follows it's own rules mentioned in the words itself, making the whole seem like one rehearsed lecture or presentation. Which isn't bad. Most key points mentioned is repeated in slightly different ways, following the 'three times to remember things' concept.
It is an enjoyable and informative book, however, I feel as a whole it is long-winded suggestion to write notes and concise everything to
Olivier Gourment
Wow. It’s been 4 years since I ordered and devoured the book. I now have the audiobook, the kindle book and the print edition. I find myself still going back to it, even though it’s extremely well organized and contains very few key ideas. But those few ideas are profound and very well explained. This book is a gem. One of the best book I’ve read on the topic of thinking, together with, maybe, David Rock’s Your Brain At Work and Succeed by Heidi Grant Halvorson. Thank you, Dr Markman!
Omar Said
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books i've ever read. Give me a good glimps about how our mind and memory works
Mahmoud Ghoz
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book is very week and almost didn't provide new information. The title and the book brief highly raise my expectations but nothing new
Sal Coraccio
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brain
While the big bang for the buck for this book will be through the print version, and following along and performing the exercises as they appear - it makes a good showing though the audio version.

If you chose the latter vehicle, it is best to limit distractions and mentally, at least, stop and perform the exercises as they come up. It is about a 7 hour listen.

One of the early points in this book is that raw intelligence is merely an indicator of potential. Truly smart people can access that
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had to fight my way through this one. While there were some interesting nuggets of information I didn’t find the content engaging enough to be memorable. Glad I’m finished and now moving on
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To replace bad habits with good habits you have to have a replacement behavior; keep a habit diary to see what triggers your habit you want to change; just list the info then at the end of the week look for patterns; Rule of 3-we can only hold on to 3 items; Use advance organizers to activate background knowledge; always end with a summary; Acquiring knowledge requires WORK-there is no such thing as the Mozart Effect; To really learn we need DESIRABLE DIFFICULTIES; Develop a diagram for a ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book will help you reduce unnecessary load from your life by making Smart Habits, maximizing your intelligence by acquiring High-Quality Knowledge, and help you Apply Your Knowledge by making comparisons from your own experience.

P. S. The words with capital letters are the key words of this book.
P. P. S. This book discourages multitasking.
Anant Kanndpal
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive - waste of time and money. The author stresses the importance of stories / examples for "smart thinking" yet he uses only a few himself which are repeated throughout the book. The book is filled with vague allusions & one wouldn't get nothing concrete out of it. Neither an interesting read nor a useful book.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book explains a great deal about your mind and how it operates. Did you know that you are draining your energy on things that should be small and insignificant aspects of your life? Me neither! It also explains the formation of habits, and outlines how to break from the negative ones. It all sounds like common sense but there is a great deal to be gained from reading it, trust me!
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is horrible. It just gives you examples of other smart people and pointless tips that the majority of people already know like sleeping better but who doesn't know that? Long, boring and useless. The title should be renamed to "Examples of people who think smartly".
Sep 11, 2012 marked it as stopped-will-never-finish
No new or exciting or actionable ideas... Going to be in the did not finish category
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Quite the book for anyone chasing abstract thought. ;)
Russell Romney
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Eh. Seemed floofy, redundant, and not really based in believable research. Floofy.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable book. He came and spoke to us at work and I wanted to make sure that I got all out of the session by reading Smart Thinking as well. I got different things out of the presentation and the book, so both were useful. To a degree my rating is probably a combination of his presentations and the book - it's hard to fully dissociate the two for me.

One idea that was great was the importance of causal knowledge. It’s not just knowing that things work, but how things work. This is
Thara Tenney
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
The information in this book is all good. The three star is because it felt as if the author was jumping all over the place. With that said, the topic of the book may very well call for the review of all the topics the author reviewed.

Spoiler beyond this point:

The book claims smart thinkingis ultimately “the ability to solve problems using what you already know”coupled with developing smart habits. It claims if we can create appropriate effective habits, then accomplishing dailies doesn't
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Art Markman is a professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and is one of the premier cognitive scientists in the field. He served as director of the program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Now, Art is Executive Director of the IC2 Institute. Art's research explores a variety of topics in thinking including how people use analogies, make decisions, communicate, and get ...more
“It is fine to take a break from an effortful task every once in a while but your learning experience will be diminished without sustained effort.” 0 likes
“If I have seen farther,” he said, “it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” 0 likes
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