Life is like a box of chocolates.
Step on a crack, break your mother's back.
We only use 10% of our brains.
Here's the thing- they all make good sound bites but that doesn't make them true.
There's a new movie out that helps to reinforce the whole "we only use 10% of our brain" factoid. The thing is, it's not a true factoid---it's a myth. It sounds so good though. And we've heard it so often. I mean, is this really how smart I am? Couldn't there be some way to channel the full force of my brain so that I memorize phone numbers better and understand complex math concepts and maybe even develop a new sense or something? Sadly, the real answer is that if I want to improve my abilities I have to work hard to improve it or realize that maybe math just isn't my thing.
We don't like to hear things like that; particularly when flashy movies staring none other than Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freemen reinforce the myth. The new movie, Lucy, works on the premise that we only use 10% of our brain and Lucy uses all of her's and thus she's like amazing and whatnot.
Where did this myth even come from? Basically it was bad science from the late 1800's. What would we be like if we only used 10% of our brains? Well, we would have the same brain capacity as a sheep. Seriously, check it out here. We sometimes act like sheep, but we are not sheep!
Where can you read more about why this is a myth? I knew you were wondering!
- Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains, The Atlantic
- Using Just 10% of Your Brain? Think Again, The Wall Street Journal
- What percentage of your brain do you use? TEDed video
*Much of the information and links from this article came from the Teaching High School Psychology blog.