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Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done Hardcover – January 3, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Markman provides a helpful guide for developing smarter habits, and ultimately, a smarter, more fulfilling life of learning."
—Charles Ealy, Austin American

"…the book is an easy read, though rewards re-reading. Unlike many of these 'Think yourself smarter' books, this one has lots of good advice, and feels like it relies on primary sources more than secondary. In fact, I bet I end up reading a lot of what is in this book, taken out of context by 'Think yourself successful' gurus. Save time, read it here, at the source."
---Tom Otley, The Business Traveler



"Smart Thinking teaches people how their minds work so they can be more effective performers at work and at life. An essential read for anyone who wants to operate at their best, think outside the box, and accomplish whatever goals they set out to achieve."
---Sian Beilock, PhD, author of Choke

“If you want to be more creative, if you want to be an innovator, this is the book for you. Creativity doesn't fall out of the sky. It favors the prepared mind. This book prepares your mind.”
---Hara Estroff Marano, author of A Nation of Wimps

“What does thinking quickly create a positive mood? Are goals contagious? How do you create a culture of smart thinking? Building on decades of research in cognitive psychology and replete with stories and practical tools, Markman answers these questions and in doing so teaches you how to learn. Once finished, you’ll feel smarter. Consider it an owner’s manual to the mind.”
---Jennifer Lynn Aaker, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB and author of The Dragonfly Effect

“Smart Thinking not only enriches the literature on human thought--and its foibles--it takes it to the next level, offering clear prescriptions for how to sharpen memory, analysis and creativity in our daily lives.”
---Wray Herbert, author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits

About the Author

Art Markman, PhD is on the faculty member of the University of Texas since 1998 where he is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing. He has published more than 150 scientific papers in the area of cognitive science. He has been the editor of Cognitive Science since 2006.

As a consultant, Dr. Markman has worked with industry, including Proctor and Gamble, and partnered with Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen on two of their bestselling You books. He is a member of the scientific advisory board for the Dr. Phil Show and is a regular online contributor for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399537228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399537226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book is very well written, insightful, and packed with practical advice. The science and theory are explained, but done in a way that is focused on what you can do to make use of those ideas. At heart this book is practical advice. This is not a hard book to read or comprehend. It is about 200 pages of extremely well organized material that is explained very clearly. The author follows his own advice in introducing his topics in each chapter and ending each with a "takeaway" section that summarizes it very nicely. He seems well qualified for the topic on which he writes. The three key ideas of the book are Smart Habits, High-Quality Knowledge, and Applying Your High-Quality Knowledge.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their thinking. The chapter on analogy was by itself worth the price of the book. The explanations of memory were also excellent.

The book is organized in the following topic chapters:

What Is Smart Thinking?
Creating Smart Habits and Changing Behavior
Promoting Quality Learning by Knowing Your Limits
Understanding How Things Work
Making Comparisons and Applying Your Knowledge
Maximizing Memory Effectiveness
Smart Thinking in Practice
Creating a Culture of Smart

Two thumbs up for this excellent work.
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Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while you need a manual to teach you how to do something. You can easily find books with detailed guidelines for how to cook, how to operate a camcorder, how to write good scholarly papers, etc. What you don't easily find is a manual that teaches you how to think. Well, if you're looking for one, look no more! You have just found it. Art Markman's book is a truly engaging and easy-to-read manual of how to think effectively. He provides a very simple formula (believe me: it IS simple) that promotes smart thinking. Even better: the success and the basis of this simple formula are explained (and supported) by a number of interesting findings in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science. Dr. Markman presents these findings in a very accessible way, with lots of examples, and even provides some "tasks" that you can use right away to start thinking more effectively. If you want to understand why we create habits -- and how to create smart ones --, how to apply the knowledge you already have to solve novel problems, and how to use smart thinking to get things done, you have to have this book. "The world needs more smart thinking"!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is easy to breeze through this book, getting a little here and a little there, then finish and feel like you got almost nothing out of it. It is perhaps that the structure of chapters is a little counter intuitive. There are points to remember, but they are buried in paragraphs without a clear outline. I wish there would be a little more structure or breakdown, clear outline of things. But do not give up.

Once you go back and start making notes, there is actually a wealth of useful, practical information waiting here to be incorporated in your life. Once you really get the point, the benefits are noticable almost instantly. Pay attention. Link information to your existing knowlledge. Be inquisitive. Know your limits. Know what you do not know. The most surprising fact is that while your life is built around almost automatic habits, your "smart thinking" can only be the result of breaking away from doing everything like an automaton. At the end I wish there would be more available material from the author.

You may not be the next Dyson. But hopefully you won't become one of the distracted, multitasking, absent-minded millions either...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cite the Drucker observation because it correctly suggests that misdirected efficiency is worse than no effort at all. Why? The problem to be solved is certain to become even worse, if neglected. As I began to read Art Markman's book, I was reminded of a passage from Judgment, a book co-authored by Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis. In the first chapter, they assert that what really matters "is not how many calls a leader gets right, or even what percentage of calls a leader gets right. Rather it is important how many of the important ones he or she gets right." They go on to suggest that effective leaders "not only make better calls, but they are able to discern the really important ones and get a higher percentage of them right. They are better at a whole process that runs from seeing the need for a call, to framing issues, to figuring out what is critical, to mobilizing and energizing the troops."

Whatever its size and nature may be, every organization needs what Markman characterizes as "Smart Thinking" at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. That is, develop a culture within which everyone involved is prepared to solve new (i.e. unfamiliar) problems using the knowledge they possess including knowledge of where and how to obtain the additional information they may need. Decades ago, Eppie Lederer ("Ann Landers") observed, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." I agree, presuming to add that not knowing what you think you know but, in fact, don't is perhaps the most damaging form of ignorance. According to Markman, "Smart Thinking is like chess. Even though it may seem like Smart Thinking must be some kind of talent, it is really a skill" and almost anyone can master it.

o James Dyson: How did he come up with the idea for his vacuum?
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