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The Science of Thinking

Veritasium - 2017-03-02

How the brain works, how we learn, and why we sometimes make stupid mistakes.
Submit ideas: http://ve42.co/GotIdeas
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Thanks to Patreon supporters:
Nathan Hansen, Donal Botkin, Tony Fadell, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal

Support Veritasium on Patreon: http://bit.ly/VePatreon

This video was inspired by the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Harpist: Lara Somogyi http://ve42.co/Lara
Animator: Jesse Agar http://ve42.co/ThisPlace
Filmed by Raquel Nuno

Music by Kevin MacLeod, http://incompetech.com "Sneaky Adventure" "Harlequin"

noleftturnunstoned - 2019-01-11

Interesting that the human brain can not tolerate boredom, but actively avoids engaging tasks.

Jack O'Neil - 2019-09-22

@noleftturnunstoned you eventually get hungry and, since you have no phone in your hand, you just go do something outside the cave.

Otaku-chan - 2019-12-07

It's also linked to your personality and preferences. Lots of video games have tasks which require the same thinking effort in real life, but our brain wants to play the video game more because that's what it wants us to do more somehow.

Siege - 2020-01-02

@Otaku-chan There are other factors. With a few exceptions, most games have multiple reward systems which can take many forms, but mostly relating to a sense of achievement. A new item, more currency, a place on a leaderboard, defeating a boss, getting to the next level, or even flashing lights and enticing sounds. The things I enjoy doing most in games are often the things I'd least like to do in real life.

КотоНяхи :3 - 2020-02-20

Oh yes, it can tolerate

Rei Zero - 2020-03-08

Not me, I always look for correct answers.

Vinay Pandey - 2019-12-15

" ...video which gives sensation of understanding without learning anything... "

VladGoro25 - 2020-02-19

this is every motivation video with millions of views)

Vinay Pandey - 2020-02-19

@VladGoro25 Okay, I did not said otherwise, I just quoted. 😂

Mylaur - 2020-03-02

If you watch the video while actively progressing it then that's fine I guess.

kensei pride - 2020-03-07

instantly felt a wave of guilt lol

ANNABELL CANNON - 2019-07-03

Guns: the dumb guy who trys their hardest
Drew: the really gifted guy who is LAZY

Меня - 2020-01-15


beclops - 2020-01-29

Peter Parker, brilliant but lazy

Dougy Dozier - 2020-01-31

Guns not necessarily dumb, just doesn’t have the attention span to attack a hard problem.

Aperson101 - 2020-02-16

This is literaly two types of students if you think about it:
One that’s smart but doesn’t wanna do anything
One that’s hard working but slow af
The other one that’s hard working and smart isn’t a human

Charles Quinton - 2020-02-22

I am a Drew, 100%

Sexy Chickpea - 2019-12-15

Without Gun automatically filtering out the millions of “knowns”, we’d all go crazy continually seeing the nose on our face, so thank you Gun

Galih Wisnu Wismoyo - 2020-02-23

now i cant unsee it 😭

D MC - 2019-08-04

The light switch in australia isdown to turn on because we are upside down....

Reality Rupture - 2020-02-09

Not funny.

Deepak Sharma - 2020-02-12

That makes perfect sense 😂

Anan883 - 2020-02-17

It's down for ON in India aswell( std) but for relay switches.

Zephyrus - 2020-02-18

i though everywhere it was down to turn on? It just feels natural.

#Zuhayr Roha# - 2020-02-20

@Zephyrus it feels natural because Gun does that

Arnov Jakaria - 2018-01-02

Its like vsauce, but stays on the same topic.

Kisa Wisa - 2020-02-05

But Vsauce will always stay more epic though

Daggie Blanqx - 2020-02-13

Thanks for mentioning VSauce , I have now subscribed to it.

I'm the Stonks guy - 2020-02-15


Robotomy101 - 2020-02-22

its like vsauce but with hair

Silver Wolf - 2020-02-23

@Rusty Shackleford funny that of all PBS channels u chose Eons, the one that I'm most addicted to lol

Corey Lylyk - 2019-06-09

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it " ~ Henry Ford

I have lived my life by this quote the last 18 years by doing stuff that very few will do. This video made my day.

Corey Lylyk - 2019-07-28

@Kaledrone /\ I'm sorry to hear that, unfortunately thinking is like a double edged sword, just as a hammer can be used to build something, it can also be used to destry something. Learning to wield that thinking in your favour is the key :)

magnusm4 - 2019-09-07

No it isn't. Thinking is easy compared to doing something.
How many times haven't you thought of doing something, only to postpone and procrastinate so long that you either forget it or just don't do it all together.

Lan - 2019-10-07

@magnusm4 why are you blaming your inability to take action on how easy it is to think? Thinking the same thing is easier than coming up with new thoughts, figuring out your own behavior, negotiating with yourself to make change, and figuring out why you're not taking the necessary steps. All of this is thinking. Just literally thinking anything isn't the point.

Arjun Khetan - 2020-01-25

@Lan well said. i need to change my ways

lajtiv - 2019-06-15

7:57 I live in Hungary and here the light switch thingy is totally random.

I Eat Garbage - 2019-12-14

In America (or at least where I've lived) most light switches come in sets of two with an xor gate, so it's basically random

Leandro Gabriel - 2019-12-20

Where i live almost all switches are horizontal because there are several switches/outlets together. Left is off and right is on.

Adolf Hitler - 2019-12-29

Same in India

seth bishop - 2020-01-26

@Dan Smith I suspect your profile picture might not actually be you..

Ella N - 2020-02-12

Freddy Wizowski i live in Canada and quite a few of the houses I’ve lived in have had the lights that have two different switches so that it’s pretty much random which way you need to flick it. They aren’t very common though.

Jaume Genaro - 2019-06-10

I was waiting for a seamless transition to a Skillshare sponsor ad

KingOreo2017 - 2019-06-16

me too doe

Hitch Geek - 2019-07-17

I was waiting for Brilliant ad.

SDTBergkvist - 2019-08-12

Gun made u think so

Giovanni Vieira - 2019-09-05

lol me too

Hedgehog - 2020-02-15


Joss Greig - 2019-12-18

2:42 I cant be the only one who read: "THE CHAT"

norman cruz - 2019-12-19

ur not

Chrollo - 2020-02-06

i thought I was the only one

Orochi Samurai - 2020-02-17


Brandon Quillen - 2019-06-05

This is why people with ADHD take stimulants. They're already hyper so why give them speed? Because the speed affects Drew more than Gun. It keeps Drew stimulated so he can check Gun because Gun is on such a full speed that Drew hardly does anything ever. This is also why ADHD is a super power. Gun is so fast and smart that Drew is almost unneeded, but in school and other things it's hard to get Drew in gear without speed. But again, Gun is able to take over as soon as Drew teaches him, which is why kids with ADHD can learn to play instruments and sports quicker than most.
Interesting stuff, made me think, good video

Brandon Quillen - 2019-08-28

@Dillon Pearson I will. Thanks

Vysair - 2019-09-20

Maybe with the same concept or principle, we can apply or invent a method that can drastically overturn their fate into a super genius mind.

Damian Lopez - 2019-11-26

Brandon Quillen Drew & 🔫...Lol...I think it's spelled Gunn.

IIIrandomIII - 2019-12-15

Brandon Quillen

ADHD doesn't exist.
It has as much legitimacy as a unicorn.

Think about it. (If you will)

epiccollision - 2020-01-02

MS Archive without medication we would get bored practicing and do something more or less engaging

Just Another Nobody - 2019-08-07

Tbh I sometimes forget my name when someone asks me what is my name.

ArcherFN - 2019-08-13

I think that’s called dementia

Just Another Nobody - 2019-08-14

@ArcherFN No, it is called being dumb.
I obviously don't literally forget it. I just panic because I am dumb.
Edit: I know this comment is old but I am sorry if the way I worded this comment sounded rude. I was not trying to be mean.

kaesaille - 2019-11-06

Haha, I know that feeling^^

karan sharma - 2020-01-12

Youre not dumb you're lazy in retaining memory challenge yourself to retain stuff nd train.... If u get anxious try to conciously go into the situation being aware that u might get concious get familiar with that feeling nd remove it... Its called exposure therapy do it at home..

Nidhogg - 2019-12-16

2:41 versatium "what does this say?"
me: "the cht ... what s a cht?"
versatium: "did you notice the H in the and the A in cat are the same symbol?"
me: "so it was tae cat?"

Nidhogg - 2020-03-07

@Creative Username well, there are only 2 options. Or he didn't got the joke, or he is an ass :D Same rules for you.

Creative Username - 2020-03-07

@Nidhogg Er no, you are. Nobody insulted you here.

Nidhogg - 2020-03-07

@Creative Username who is talking about insults? You re out of topic ...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Creative Username - 2020-03-09

@Nidhogg Alright I'm just gonna stop responding until your English improves.

Raptor CC - 2020-02-20

If my mind character "Drew" had a calculator, it would help so much.

Fun Fact: Your mind character "Drew" said this sentence for you.

10k Subscribers without any videos. - 2019-05-12

1:09 "The Earth doesn't take a day to get around the Sun, it take a yee."

My man knows where it's at.

Peter - 2019-09-24

Trick question. Every measurement of movement starts with deciding from what location you do the measurement, and assume that that location stands still.

Maree Nxxry - 2019-10-15


Aaron Rodriguez - 2019-12-15


Famous Plan - 2019-12-15

@Pikapika Chu Is it not 365.24

PepperX_ - 2020-02-21

@Adriano1804 - well i didnt think i would see you here.

zenquad - 2020-03-06

Drew: "Time to smoke a joint"
3 minutes later...

Gun: "An unexpected error has occurred, closing..."

Drew: i like potatoes

Remo Ole von Lienen - 2019-07-17

„If you really want to learn and get better at anything, have any chance of becoming an expert, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.“
Is that like a personal attack or something?

Samuel Porter - 2019-11-19

No, I think it's a call to action. Take me, I am learning German. I get really uncomfortable, always thinking that I just need to learn a little more before I try to have a conversation. But I have been trying to engage in more conversation and translation, and the more I do it, the easier it becomes. Something that was once foreign to me is now becoming natural (transition from Drew to Gun). Uncomfortable is not bad, It's actually GOOD! It forces you to change and learn how to adapt to a situation. Adding a little difficulty in your life stretches your and helps to be a better person.

conmancpens - 2019-08-03

2:40 i actually read that as "THE CHAT" so apparently not.

Kaitlynn Elizabeth - 2019-12-05

Same. I read "the chat" "the cat" "the chat cat" and "the cat in the hat" like all in half a second it was very weird but I'm like falling asleep at like 9 am after not being able to sleep since yesterday and pretty sure I'm at least slightly dyslexic so idk 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

pee on the wall - 2019-12-07

Me 2

Burek Mali - 2019-12-11

how the hell did you add an extra letter? xd

Fraggie - 2019-12-12

I read tae cat

Spartan Mon - 2019-12-14

conmancpens yikesuuu

Spearman - 2019-06-15

1:08, the guy's face on the left. I laughed so hard when his smile faded that tiiiiny bit.

Jacques H. - 2017-03-02

11:24 "To watch videos that give you the sensation of understanding, without actually learning anything"
I see what you did there...

SCARLET★STAR - 2018-09-26

What he is trying to tell you us that watching these videos from him, Vsauce etc. you feel like you learn a lot. But you actually only learn some qualitative knowledge. It gives you a general overview of a subject. But it does not make you an expert on anything. You won't be able to calculate the movement of stars even though maybe a video showed you the general principles of gravity according to the theory of general relativity. For that you need to learn the complex mathematics behind the theory in all the little details.

Watching all these videos tells you you're interested in science. But you need to be willing to feel uncomfortable, to put in effort, to actually learn real science. As unpleasant as it may be, you can't substitute school with these little videos.

Chris - 2019-05-30

The video also ends on an unpleasant note.

Kevin Ross Likins - 2019-08-24

I am experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions here...im questioning whether or not this entire channel is a psy-op or perhaps subliminal programming. I do adore the subject matter of all of these videos, narrators voice is pleasant, and the videos seem to be executed with good will and good intent. The quoted bit is the Elephant in the room, eg. (System 1 and System 2). What does this imply? And I don't think that these are the clinical names of what psychology actually names these two systems, referencing only one book in the citations...who is authority over language? And where is language mentioned here? We cannot forget how powerful and important is language. "Language is for thinking." Obviously we use it to communicate, but before we speak or write, we think. Even in daydreaming, we only operate within the parameters of our vocabulary. Very specific and concise terms which represent concepts like these in the video ought to be given fluency. Fluency and consensus are what define and galvanize dictionary articles. The topic, theme, and main concepts here seem to remain nameless. This is my critique on learning and instruction; naming things is most imperative!

Snow - 2019-10-05

I've watched this video over the years so many times and I always come back saying wow I forgot this again! I still haven't done anything to start thinking harder about stuff XD

Samuel Porter - 2019-11-19

@clayton8or_2 Yeah, true dat...

Fedonia - 2019-06-07


I’m stupid

I thought it said


HighEndMe - 2019-06-17

Ayy all my bilingual bros 🙌

uu D - 2020-01-04

well it still means "cat" in french so technically you weren't wrong

Tanguy Pittsburgh - 2019-06-14

Where I live, the events " up for lights on", and " down for lights on", on a switch you never interacted with both have a probability of 1/2

Emila Vallée - 2019-06-06

This was so greattt
"Thinking takes effort, it involves fighting through confusion."

PiffleToster - 2019-12-15

11:23 i get the feeling he's singling me out

3rdeyeshine - 2019-09-21

Is that what really speeds up time as you get older? You're getting used to everything around you

TinCan - 2019-10-20

wait y’all learned how to tie shoes with rhymes? damn that would’ve been easier

epiccollision - 2020-01-02

I remember something about bunny ears, but it’s seems really cruel to tie a bunny’s ears in a knot

Onkel Iroh - 2019-06-27

8:26 when your teacher picks you randomly and your best friend tells you the answer

Yug Soni - 2019-10-23

And now the classifications : Gun and Drew are in my Gun memory . Lol.
Love the way you explain.

TheSuprChikn - 2017-03-03

You could argue that the switches in Australia and Canada are actually the same way around, but it's you that has been inverted.

Michæl Alan Baker - 2018-10-20

This might seem like a silly “down under” joke but it leads to a more Interesting reference frame illustration than you might think.

Study Account - 2019-02-19

Underrated comment. Very . Very.

Andrea Pecchiari - 2019-04-07

Just one question though.. why he enters a room with already the lights on and needs to flick the switch? The lights are already on! 🤔😅 it's a damn switch.. it do the opposite to what the situation is. You need light? Switch it. You don't? Switch it again 😅 who cares if it's up or down

ChoppedBlade - 2019-06-13

"The Earth doesn't take a day to get around the Sun, it take a yee."

"Noo.. it's 24 hours."

David powers - 2019-06-15

It is a yee. 24 hours to rotate on it's own axis 360

Eucenor - 2019-07-11

So the moral of the story is
Practice makes perfect.

AP3X LS - 2020-03-08

5:18 this is why you never give up on your dreams, everything comes down to practice and experience

Shakar Salaiy - 2019-06-15

you should be decent enough to mention the source ,”thinking fast and slow by daniel kahneman “

Zachary Smith - 2019-08-29

He does in the video description.

Neelam Contra - 2019-05-15

He just explained a whole trimesters worth of psychology in a 12min video

Daniel - 2019-09-25

@mplsridah this is subtly witty/funny. I like that

mplsridah - 2019-09-25

Daniel ?

Alacaster Soi - 2019-10-02

@Ramón yee

Kyrlics - 2019-12-18

@Ramón 12:10*

A_WILD_ABRA appeared - 2019-12-01

This video was convincing enough for me to stop wastingy time on YouTube and start doing maths...

MrPaceTv - 2019-07-17

Gun sometimes knocks Drew and takes charge , Those days are pretty chill .😊

Clay Ponder - 2019-06-12

You are my hero. I would love an opportunity to have hours of intelligent discussions with you. I mean that in the least creepy way possible.

TheGerTyp - 2019-07-18

The first sentence triggered me. I love thinking.

Geoff - 2019-07-09

"to watch videos that give you the sensation of understanding"

Mentha Melissa - 2019-09-23

this video is incredible. thank you for making it <3

Arpi Abu-Alrub - 2019-07-21

"To watch videos that give you the sensation of understanding, without actually learning anything" I feel personally attacked XD

Charles Quinton - 2019-06-21

From now on, whenever my brain's autopilot causes me to screw something up, Im just going to yell "GOD DAMN IT, GUN!"

Jay S. - 2017-03-02

If I draw my gun a lot, Gun draws the gun with my muscle-memory and I don't need Drew to draw it. So... Gun drew the gun without Drew?

Sadie Rochelle - 2019-01-12

Gun can’t process this sentence. I need drew to do it. Lol

Kaustubh Gupta - 2019-01-31

@Lukas don
Really cool.

I doubled up trying to read this...
Thank you for making my day

Filthy Filter - 2019-02-13

@Lukas don Amazing :'D

Bend It Like - 2019-02-25


Bend It Like - 2019-02-25


Jose Navarro - 2019-07-13

Thank god my brain wasn’t shown in the thumbnail

Sid - 2019-06-20

Man all this can be applied to the situation of writing exams. I finally understand how my performance on exams is dictated by this thinking behavior!

MCMLXV - 2019-07-14

So, what you're saying is; "Thinking hurts".

Dragowatt Gaming - 2020-02-04

Is it weird that I read "the cat" as "the cht"

OneLastWo - 2019-05-21

Thinking is unpleasant. Boredom is unpleasant. Life is hard bud.

Ben Rosen - 2019-09-03

we're having a protest march

Nahyan Suleman - 2019-09-13

Exactly! "Take shortcuts; get cut short; long road is hard road but more sure" - Akala. You either toil for a worthy cause, or toil in the delusion of comfort. Choose wisely because you only get one run.

Mark Daniel - 2019-09-22

Oh no I'm surrounded by morons. This is making everything clearer and clearer, my whole life is beginning to make sense.

Thürlei GD - 2019-12-14

what does icen't means ?
-nice or
-antice ?

sweetcattv - 2019-12-16

@Jonah Padung work is the part of life that really sucks!

Hazem Elsawy - 2019-06-21

"Thinking is uncomfortable" story of my life

Abeer Arif - 2019-12-16

gunn: the cat
me, an intellectual: TAE CAT

Kyrlics - 2019-12-18

U dont have a gun owo

Kyrlics - 2019-12-18

Dangerous to walk around a planet where most creatures that can cause immediate harm also a gunn, while you dont have a gunn.