We can summarise the Willingham thesis in the following six ideas:
(a) your mind is not naturally well-suited for thinking,
(b) as an activity involving the brain, thinking is slow, effortful, and has uncertain outcomes,
(c) deliberate or conscious thinking does not guide most people’s behaviour in the real world in which they have to interact and survive,
(d) instead, our brains rely on memory, and follow paths that we have taken before, or seen others undertake,
(e) although we are curious creatures, our interests are restricted to areas in which we have some prior knowledge coupled with confidence in our ability to learn, and finally
(f) we are unwilling to invest any serious level of effort in thinking activities until we can perceive the link between immediate effort expenditure and likely success.