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The evidence is clear: Holmes’ powers of deduction apply to any scenario.


1 The Crime Scene “When he starts a case, Holmes processes it on a subconscious and conscious level,” says writer Maria Konnikova. “The takeaway: When facing new obstacles, it’s necessary for us to quiet our minds and focus on the information we’re given before jumping in.”

2 The Cane “Rather than assuming it belongs to a country gentleman, Holmes would examine other clues. Our brains like to build stories to solve problems, but there is danger in making snap judgments.”

3 The Pretty Lady “When Holmes meets Watson’s budding love interest, he doesn’t let her beauty distract him from the task at hand, which is uncovering information. The lesson here is don’t let your emotions filter the information you receive from a source.”

4 The Pipe “When Holmes hits a wall, he takes a break. This primes the mind for the imaginative part of the creative process, which enables you to play out different scenarios in your head.”

5 Case Closed! “Once you’ve become proficient at something, it’s easy to become complacent. But what separates a true master like Sherlock Holmes from someone who simply reaches a plateau is the pushing of the mind to stay curious.”


Maria Konnikova is the author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes.


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