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Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,934 ratings  ·  231 reviews
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller!

"You can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form. You've got to have models in your head."
- Charlie Munger, investor, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

The world's greatest problem-solvers, forecasters, and decision-makers
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Portfolio
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Adrian Salajan yes, you get exposed to some models that can be really useful in life

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Demi Yilmaz
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love mental models but this book can't even install 1 of them to the readers mind. It is a list of 100s of mental models explained in a few sentences.

This should not have been a book but a list of mental models instead, maybe a webpage or something. I'm not sure what was Gabriel thinking turning this into a book but each mental model deserves its own course, practices, posts & examples. Each mental model can be turned in to small books. But cramming 100s of them into a single book like this i
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Before starting it, I had misgivings about whether Lauren McCann and Gabriel Weinberg’s Super Thinking would be worthwhile for me to read. This was mainly because I have already studied a lot of mental models from various fields of research, and also because it seemed a bit too self-helpy for my taste. But my best friend bought me a copy, so I took it up in order to discuss with him.

To its credit, Super Thinking is probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of mental models––”recu
Matt Cannon
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw a tweet from Annie Duke saying the world would improve immediately if everyone read this book, I had to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed. This book is simple, easy to follow and gives mental models that greatly help your decision making. It has a heavy Charlie Munger influence and feel throughout the book which was an added bonus. The authors quote him often and use him and Warren Buffett in several examples. I also appreciated that it was w ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
As I read this book, I would get up and go see myself in front of a mirror and say "You know nothing John Snow" lol. This is one of those books that will change your life, uproot it, twist it, it will literally chew you and spit out. It combines the traditional and machine wisdom/learnings that is well written with examples to understand.
You will think about your friends, family, co-workers, all the events in the past, all the living and non-living. You would remember how some of these mental mo
Van Tran
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mental Models applied in real life context.

The book did an excellent job by connecting mental models in real life context using a storytelling style rather an academic listing of the models.

Highly recommend.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked this up for two reasons,

1. I've read Gabriel's first book - Traction, and found it immensely helpful.

2. I'm a big fan of mental models. Have read Robert Cialdini, Dan Kahnemann, Dan Ariely, Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Thaler & a bunch of others, including being a regular at Farnam Street. (though haven't been able to consistently use more than a handful of them)

So, picking a book being portrayed as a single treasure trove, from a validated author, seemed like a no-brainer. But, I'd have t
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book.
The authors apparently wrote the book for themselves which makes it even more useful and valuable.
I would have personally used even more pictures/graphs to explain and compare ideas/behavior.

A book worth returning to...
Haur Bin Chua
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
A good collection of mental models extracted from various disciplines, which if applied properly, can help broaden one’s perspective. Very similar to Charlie Munger’s emphasis on breadth of knowledge and when magic happens when a confluence of factors across a broad spectrum manifest themselves in a lollapalooza effect.

A few mental models that stood out:

1. Argue from first principles - go back to basics and figure out what are we really trying to solve
2. Be aware that your views are being frame
Sebastian Gebski
No star rating - I think it would rely too much on individual context.

ST is a book about everything and nothing.
"Mental models" are framed (named) concepts than encapsulated knowledge and observation to simplify reasoning and problem solving. But the problem is ... they are everywhere, it's hard to classify them, they have very different origins and they are products of very different disciplines or just streams of thought.

That's why this book basically feels like an aggregation of other books s
Adrien Lemaire
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found my new favorite book, and wrote 278 Anki cards to memorize all these mental models shared in the book.

This is not a book to read casually, you probably wouldn't remember much of it. This is a book to read slowly, study and remember.

Thank you Gabriel Weinberg and Laurent McCann for taking the time to write this book. It will help me for many years to come.
I wish I had it 15 years ago, but life is a never-ending self-improvement experience. Looking forward to changing from cargo-cult
Alison Jones
Back in the late 1980s, I stumbled across a book entitled Cultural Literacy: What every American needs to know. I wasn’t sure whether this was more brilliant or bonkers: how could you ever hope to capture everything a person should know about their world into a single book? But on the other hand, how handy is that?

To be fair, Super Thinking doesn’t attempt to cover every aspect of life, only mental models, but it feels similarly ambitious and dizzying. It contains more than 300 models – an aver
Dima Yousef Jadaan
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about mental models, which are frameworks of thinking and representations about how things work. Mental models aim to simplify the thinking process and help in decision making and problem solving. ⁣

This is a well researched book where the authors integrate an exhaustive compilation of mental models from a wide variety of domains and provide a toolkit for higher-level thinking applicable to various personal and professional contexts. The models are presented in thematic chapters tha
May 26, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
The title (“Superthinking”) is more accurate than the subtitle (“The Big Book of Mental Models”). The book was about tools for thinking more generally than mental models. What I was looking for with mental models are metaphors that can be applied cross-discipline for understanding a situation or system, it had a little bit of that but mostly covered cognitive biases as well as some statistical reasoning. I think there are better books that provide more focus on the latter two so I was mostly loo ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Packed with short descriptions of all the mental models the founder of Duck Duck Go feels are essential to know. He mentioned in a podcast interview that this grew out of notes he had written for employees.

I’m not sure how to rate this, as it feels a bit like rating an encyclopedia. Yes, it certainly packs a lot of mental models, but is also pretty exhausting to read, and has to be digested in small bits, as you are introduced to a new idea on every page. Then again, that’s the opposite of the u
Casey Ryan
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Had high hopes for this book, as I need some more mental models in my life. I devour a ton of information, and can often have trouble recalling or applying it. This book was more common sensical best practices for leading efficient careers, relationships or organizations. A few things I knew before, but most stuff was putting a label on things that are common sense, theories from first year courses in social sciences or business. Took me a while to get through, and we'll see if any of it sticks ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a fabulous book by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann which explains over a hundred mental models. Mental models help us to think better about the world and help make better decisions. But including a hundred models in a book is not an easy task. So the book is a bit short on explanations and how to use these models in daily life. However, not all models are useful for a person so I'm free to choose the ones which I find more useful to me and keep adding to my repertoire slowly. ...more
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lot of objections I see people having with this book is that it brushes over a lot of mental models without going into the details of it.

But I don't think that was what this book was written for. This book is an introduction to over 200 mental models (I know this, cause I've made note of each one of it) and it serves as one good guide to base your decisions on.

Good stuff. Although it does get heavy at times.
Sam Moreton
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most practical book on mental models I've found to date.. and I've read a lot of them. ...more
Fran Cormack
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read this book. It will instantly make you smarter.
Dec 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is poor. It is ultimately the mishmash of startup hype and doesn't teach you new things. But it does teach some things wrong.
At the start I was getting hopeful that oh, good, a pretty useful list of all sorts of ways to think about all sorts of problems. So that list is useful a bit. But the explanations...
When it got to systems thinking and laid out approximately two sentences about how "you should think about the system as a whole" without a word about its parts, the relationships
Alessandro Orlandi
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I agree with people who said that it's not really a book on mental models. It could have took a name of Thoughts on things. Because actually makes some reflections on various aspects and define problems and how to think about them. I was expecting more a book that related to Poor Charlie Almanac, with a set of mental model which can help to relate with the world. The author has attempted to explain too much in very few pages, who actually leads to have very little added info on on many different ...more
Atal Agarwal
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book has a lot to offer about how to approach problems in life. It has a lot of good knowledge and I would love to re-read
Aisha Alhashmi
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another Blinkist... The titles in this book might sound big and intimidating, but how the author has explained them and provided an example for each made the concept so simple and relatable.
I might buy/get the actual book to add it to my collection.
Ahmad Abugosh
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing groundbreaking (to be honest I was expecting more), but it was nice to read about all of the popular mental models together in one place.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An extremely readable / accessible approach towards a wide variety of mental models and how to move them into your life.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Exciting and interesting approaches, but somehow too much due to the quantity to really absorb and apply in everyday life.
Tyler Fitt
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Book has a lot of useful information and does appear to be a good starter for the self help genre. That being said if you have ready many self help books, I would give this a pass as you will find many repetitive ideas.
Oct 06, 2022 added it
You’ll love exercising your mental muscles with the thought models in Super Thinking, by statistician Lauren McCann and entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg. In this book, you’ll learn why the world’s best problem-solvers and strategists have trained themselves to think differently, using shortcuts, models and frameworks that help them understand complex situations quickly. What’s more, you’ll learn how you can apply these same shortcuts, models and frameworks in your own life, to maximize your acuity ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A couple of gems, and a few reminders of useful mental models.
Dušan Mrkvička
Damn you, self-help books. Why do I always think the next one will be worth my time?

When I heard Gabriel Weinberg speaking on The Knowledge Project podcast, I was quite excited. The guy was obviously smart and our mindsets seemed to resonate on the same frequency. Apart from the dickish title, Super Thinking promised to be an interesting book. Unfortunately it did not manage to deliver what it promised. Even though it is not a complete failure, it still felt like a complete waste of time.

The cen
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Since 2008, I've been the CEO & Founder of DuckDuckGo, the Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs. Our private search engine is #4 in the U.S., Germany, Australia and dozens of other countries, answering over 9 billion queries in 2018.

I also co-authored Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models (Penguin P

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