Blog Archives for February, 2012
“We only use 10% of our Brains anyway!”
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
If I had a dollar for every time someone has said that to me.
Ask the average person what percentage of our brain we use and the majority will say 10%, very few will say we use 100%, which would be the correct answer. Imaging methods have shown that even simple tasks produce activity throughout the whole brain.
So where did this 10% myth come from? It seems to be traced back to the American psychologist William James, who in his 1906 speech ‘The Energies of Men’ said:
“We make use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.”
He never actually stated a percentage, yet somehow along the way this ‘undeveloped potential’ was picked up and morphed into a percentage. One example is a 1929 ad that ran in The World Almanac, which read:
‘Scientists and psychologists tell us we only use 10 percent of our brain power’.
But it really took hold and was popularized in 1936 when American writer Lowell Thomas, in the preface to Dale Carnegies best seller How to Win Friends and Influence People, falsely stated that:
“Professor William James of Harvard used to say that the average man develops only ten percent of his latent mental ability.”
Then there was no stopping it. Fortunes and careers have been made over the years with self-help books tapping into this myth. Individuals involved with the paranormal have championed this ‘fact’ to explain the potential for psychic powers.
Even Uri Geller, remember him? He made a career out of convincing people he could bend metal with his mind. He claims in his book, Uri Geller Mind-Power Book:
“Most of us only use 10 percent of our brains if that.”
Having us believe that he has tapped into some, if not all of the remaining 90%.
Think about it logically, if big chunks of our brain were never used, then damaging them would have no effect on us.
Please share, below. You can also join me on Twitter, Facebook and or LinkedIn for more brain/memory information, links are at the top of the page.