Learning myths are ten a penny

At some point, whether at school or at work, we’ve all had to learn new things. Along the way, we’ve probably read or been told various things about the right ways to learn, and equally what we shouldn’t be doing. However, there are a number of learning myths that have stood the test of time despite having no grounding in scientific research.

We want to highlight ten of these myths and have posted an infographic of them up onto the new Learn page of our website. The reality is that social science research is not in the best of health at the moment. According to research from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), out of the trillions of dollars that are spent on education policies all around the world, only one in ten are actually evaluated.

One bogus theory claims that we are either right or left brained. It proposes that left-brained people are more logical, analytical and methodical, whereas right-brained people are more creative and artistic. While it is true that certain functions are processed more by one region of the brain than others, (known as laterization), studies have shown that we use our entire brain equally. The fact that our brain regions are all connected is the very thing that allows us to think both creatively and analytically.

You may also have heard about the 10,000 hour rule asserted by psychologist Anders Ericsson and popularised by authors Malcolm Gladwell and Matthew Syed. The idea is that 10,000 hours of concerted practice is enough to make you world-class in your chosen field. Of course, it’s true that practice is vital in learning new skills or topics, but there is no magic number of hours that will turn you into an expert, or a professional musician for that matter.

The popular theory that we only use 10% of our brain has been around for years now and was even promoted by recent Hollywood films like Lucy and Limitless. It’s an appealing idea because it suggests the possibility that we could become so much more intelligent or productive if we could just find a way to harness more of that wasted 90%. Unfortunately, neuroscientists have proven that we use most of our brains almost all of the time – but it is possible to retain more of what we learn.

You can find the link to our Amphigean Learn page, and Mythbusters infographic, here: https://amphigean.com/learn/

“Enabling better performance through successful learning is at the core of what we do, and often one learning intervention needs to be effective for a large group of people. This means it’s important for us to understand properly what really works for content design and avoid being side-tracked by trends or myths.” 

Bryan Strange, Creative Director