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Neuromyths

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Off-topic but interesting.
Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons report in the WSJ:

Pop quiz: Which of these statements is false?

1. We use only 10% of our brain.

2. Environments rich in stimuli improve the brains of preschool children.

3. Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic.

Answer:  All of them.

The article reports on a study of teachers and what they believe about the brain.  And which teachers believe the most myths?

Ironically, in the Dekker group's study, the teachers who knew the most about neuroscience also believed in the most myths. Apparently, teachers who are (admirably) enthusiastic about expanding their knowledge of the mind and brain have trouble separating fact from fiction as they learn. Neuromyths have so much intuitive appeal, and they spread so rapidly in fields like business and self-help, that eradicating them from popular consciousness might be a Sisyphean task. But reducing their influence in the classroom would be a good start.

This is the problem of pseudosophistication, which is not by any means limited to teachers and neuroscience.  "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," the saying goes, and it remains as true as ever.  Some people pick up a tidbit or two of dubious information and think they are experts.

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