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Think Like Sherlock

Use your mind more effectively, a course by Maria Konnikova.

Maria Konnikova

Maria Konnikova

NYT Best-selling Author & Professional Poker Player

  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you

Overview

In this masterclass, psychologist Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, takes you on a tour of the science of memory, creativity, and problem solving. Illustrated with the help of literature’s most famous reasoner, Konnikova peppers the lesson with powerful tips for using your mind more effectively. 


What You'll Learn

  • ​How to deduce like Sherlock

  • How to improve your observation 

  • How to solve problems rationally

  • How to optimize memory

Episodes

6 Episodes

1. Deduction from the Facts

7min

For the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, deduction means to take in all available information, explore different possibilities and eliminate them one by one until we are left with the possibility that is most likely to be true. In this lesson Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to do just that. Learn how to observe the facts, reason precisely, and decide wisely through the art of deduction.Draw out the implications of your observations to their logical conclusionCounter the tendency to construct narratives by keeping track of the objective facts.Distinguish between the improbable and the impossible.

2. Education Never Stops

5min

Whereas most biases arise when we aren’t quite sure what we’re doing, overconfidence tends to strike the most competent among us. Therefore, overconfidence is something that we need to be more and more afraid of the better we get in our field of expertise. Knowing this, even the great Sherlock Holmes understands that he needs to be checked from time to time – which is why he relies so heavily on his bumbling sidekick Watson. In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you two techniques for counteracting this natural bias in yourself.Counteract the tendency toward overconfidenceStay humble. Keep asking for feedback.Avoid complacency. Stay curious. Keep raising the stakes.

3. The Power of Observation

8min

Attention is an incredibly finite resource, a reality that the fictional character Sherlock Holmes knows all too well. For example, you won’t find Holmes multi-tasking in one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. On the contrary, he constantly strives to narrow his focus to one mystery at a time. In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you four Holmesian strategies for improving your powers of observation.Know what and how to observeUnderstand that your brain attic will filter information through your subjective mindset.Identify in advance what you want to get out of a situation.Once you’ve identified your target, engage all your senses and consider omissions.Enjoy. Flow facilitates memory.Be objective, selective, inclusive, engaged

4. The Scientific Method of the Mind

5min

For the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, the entire thought process is akin to a scientist who is doing a research experiment. In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, uses literature’s most famous reasoner to illustrate how everyone – scientists and non-scientists alike – can commit to solving problems more rationally by adopting a researcher’s mindset.

5. The Value of Creativity and Imagination

5min

Imagination is an often-ignored part of problem solving, according to Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes. By seeking the most direct route from point A to point B when we approach a problem, we may miss the bigger picture. Instead, we should build time for engaging our creativity and imagination into our process, just as Sherlock Holmes famously does while puffing on his pipe. In this lesson, Konnikova offers two simple strategies for awakening our imagination.Support problem solving by cultivating your imagination.Take a break. Create time and space for reflection.Manipulate your consciousness. Go to sleep.

6. Understand the Brain Attic

6min

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose,” Sherlock Holmes famously remarked. In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to optimize memory, Holmes style. The goal is to expand one’s limited “brain attic,” so that what used to be a small space can suddenly become much larger because we are using the space more efficiently.A key concept here is that the details and observations we select to include in our brain attic shape and filter our perception of reality. So you need to get to know the content and structure of your own mind if you want to learn to store objective facts rather than subjective interpretations of fact. And to maximize efficiency, you’ll need to strengthen your encoding skills for better recall of stored information.Get to know the content and structure of your mindThe content of your brain attic is defined b...

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