I’m sure you have all heard that you only remember 10% of what you read, 20% of what you see, 30% of what you hear, etc. It is common knowledge in the world of training and instruction.
Too bad it is not true.
Some say the source of this was a professor in Texas. But no one can find such a study. It seems to have been first mentioned in the 1920’s, but no research was mentioned and no credit was given to anyone for these findings. It is common practice, unfortunately, to quote someone else quoting some "fact" or statistic. Strangely, a well-respected US training institution is reported to have claimed at one time that they did the research producing such statistics. But no one can find the original study. What is even more amusing or shocking is how the numbers have changed depending on the point the writer was trying to make.
Understanding the “languages” of NLP…visual, auditory, kinesthetic…should make anyone suspicious of such numerical claims. If a person is a Visual, it is likely he/she will learn more by reading and watching than an Auditory. Claiming people only remember 10% of what they read begs the question: What people? Kinesthetics? Perhaps. Visuals? Highly unlikely, since reading and seeing are their key sources of information.
Be a critical thinker. And beware of quotes that keep appearing and re-appearing. As I once read, someone said, “A sucker is born every minute.” Or was it every twenty seconds? Can’t recall exactly. I'm sure I read it somewhere.
Duane Lakin, Ph.D.
Author: "The Unfair Advantage: Sell with NLP!" and "Ten Ways Top Sales Reps are Different."