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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

©2012 Art Markman (P)2012 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • Lee
  • Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 12-14-12

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.

68 of 73 people found this review helpful

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Basic advice on approaching problems

This book didn't have any new information for me. I've already read "The Power of Habit" and learned that it easier to rid a bad habit by replacing it with a good habit, such as replace "eating sweets" with "eating an apple" rather than simply trying to stop the bad habit. I've also read "The Willpower Instinct," which explains conditions that helps you strengthen self-control (like building up your willpower a little at a time like a muscle). This book also provided other well known techniques for learning something -- observe, perform, and teach. If you had ever tried teaching others, you would have found gaps in your knowledge of the topic as soon as the learners started asking questions. As you find the answers to those questions, then you really become an expert in that topic. If these concepts are new for you, then this book would be useful.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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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.

52 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Not bad

Smart thinking was alright. Some of the tips are common sense but there are a few nuggets in there. Overall it was a little dry but I have heard worse.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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a sad waste of a discount purchase

What would have made Smart Thinking better?

More meat, less storytelling. Different narrator.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator had a smug, almost flippant tone which unfortunately mirrored the tone of the book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation...

Any additional comments?

It's because of books like these that I so very much appreciate Audible ' s return policy.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • urvois
  • esquibien, France
  • 02-22-12

slow start but worth the slow start

good book with lots of exemples to let you reflect, about everything about education, innovation and more, i also do recommend this book, it is well read and easy to listen

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • SE US
  • 07-23-12

Good, informative, but not page turner

I enjoyed the listen. But like many of the books in this genre it does get a little tedious. Worth a credit, just not a book to rave about.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • CR
  • Frisco, TX
  • 01-01-16

Ideas can transform you if you put in the work

I'm surprised by some of the strongly negative reviews. It's not that bad. There are a few worthwhile take-aways. Here are a couple:

At the end of a meeting or book, review the key take-away messages of what you heard or learned. This is related to the "role of three" (there are usually 3 key things you keep in your head at once).

Be able to explain things to yourself to ensure you truly understand it. For example, how things work or a process. This strengthens your knowledge of that particular subject and also builds your ability to pull from this info to understand new areas or create your own breakthroughs through analogies.

At the start of each chapter he covers the few things he plans to cover (to help you prepare your to listen for the key take-aways) and at the end of each chapter is a summary, which I appreciate. Sean Pratt is a common choice of narrators for this type of book. If you have heard him perform any other self-development or business book, then his performance is very likely consistent to your previous experiences.

All that said, there is some work involved with becoming a "Smarter Thinker" and to "Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done". Reading the book alone is not going to instantly transform you into a problem solving machine.

Bottom line: while it may not seem like break-through material and it may be easy to tune out, there is worthwhile material here and it;s well presented. I would recommend giving this book a try. BTW, I'm picking up his next book (Smart Change) today as deal of the day (1/1/16).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashanti
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • 04-18-15

You would be smart listen to this

Great book and very interesting to listen to.
The narrator has a great way of keeping you engaged and a pleasant voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A 2 page PDF of a book.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book would have made a better 2 page handout. It's not that it was devoid of original thought it's just that the 2 pages of original (and very good) thought are so muddied by useless overused examples. I suspect the author fell in love with his own words. A 45 minute corporate presentation does not a good book make.

Would you ever listen to anything by Art Markman again?

not unless he gets a editor and co-author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gabriel
  • 06-04-16

Great

great i would really recommend to anyone who want to think ouside the box.

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  • Mr. R. D. Cox
  • 09-28-15

3rd reading keeps getting better

brings together many modern self improvement ideas. I steadily add more to my tool kit and strategic thinking keeps getting easier and better