Maria Konnikova: Mastermind


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In my Smart Talk Episode 088 conversation with Maria Konnikova you’ll hear about:

  • Developing clearer thinking and deeper insights
  • Learn from Sherlock Holmes’ mindfulness
  • Methods to sharpen our perceptions and problem solving


If you are interested in developing clearer thinking and deeper insights, this episode is for you. In this episode, we are talking about brain science illustrated with cases from the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. We’ll explore Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction. And Maria will explain how each of us, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can use these same methods to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers.

Maria Konnikova

Maria is a contributing writer for The New Yorker online, where she writes a weekly column with a focus on psychology and science. Her first book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013), was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into seventeen languages. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied psychology, creative writing, and government, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University.

Photo Credit: Margaret Singer and Max Freeman

Maria’s book: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

 We’d love to hear from you! What questions or tips do you have?  Let us know in the comments.

Maria’s recommendations

Favorite app /business resource(s):
Freedom: Block Digital Distractions

Book pick(s):
W.H. Auden: The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays
Joseph Brodsky: Less Than One: Selected Essays

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