From the podcast here: http://freakonomics.com/2014/05/22/think-like-a-child-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/
For the short-on-time, here are highlights: http://marker.to/Aa8do7
Students do much better than adults at figuring out magic tricks because they’re always asking questions and coming up with theories, while adults focus too much on one thing (and hence get misdirected by the magician), and get too wedded to arguing their theories.
What are some “childish” habits that adults can learn to adopt?
- State the obvious.
- Always ask questions.
- Think small. (Often we feel like if we don’t do something “big enough” it won’t be worth it. But a small example can be remarkably insightful.)
- Do what’s fun (cf. https://holdenlee.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/learning-should-be-fun/)
- Enjoying what you do, loving what you do is such a completely unfair advantage to anyone you are competing with who does it for a job. People who love it they go to bed at night thinking about the solutions.
- kids [are] the research and development division of the human species. And we’re—adults—we’re production and marketing. So from the production and marketing perspective, it might look like the R & D guys are really not doing anything that looks very sensible or useful…
But of course, one of the things that we know is that that kind of blue-sky, just pure research actually pays off in the long run.
- Have more “diffuse” rather than focused attention.