Do you ever remember being told that we only use 10% of our brains, and if we could only figure out how to use the 100% we'd be geniuses, and possibly psychic as well? Considering this concept (or parts of it) has been attributed to people such as Albert Einstein, I can see why it would be believed.
I thought it was one of those things that most people knew by now to not be true, so imagine my surprise when last year the movie Limitless came out, with the premise that you could take a pill to make you use 100% of your brain. To be fair, I haven't actually seen this movie, but hearing about it in the ads made my blood boil so I thought it best to avoid (Bradley Cooper, we're still cool though).
The truth is however, unless you've had some sort of brain damage - you use all of your brain! If you were using 10% only - which part are you using while the rest is switched off? If you think about even some of the things the brain is doing simultaneously - controlling your senses, accessing memories and thinking about the future, planning and executing movements including speaking and walking, regulating hormones, and oh yeh, making sure you keep breathing - well I'd be a bit concerned if my brain was only working 10%! Also, our brains take up a major chunk of our energy resources: up to 20%! If only 10% of it's working, that's a bit of an energy waste and could be considerably smaller in that case.
|Like our friend Homer here! [via]|
Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're an idiot or making fun of you if you did believe this previously - to be honest, I kind of thought it might be true until the first week of my Psych courses where they specifically mentioned this is a myth. My pet peeve is more to do with poorly researched articles and movies perpetuating this sort of thing. It also seems to be a particular pet peeve of this guy, who actually wants you to contact him if you find someone stating this so he can correct (yell at?) them.
Ok gripe over!
Question for you:
- Do you have any pet peeves (doesn't have to be psychology-related, though if it is I'm sure I'll commiserate with you)? Feel free to share in the comments.
P.S. Albert Einstein in fact never said that.
P.P.S. To pester me, sometimes Husband says things like: "Oh I guess I forgot to do the washing up, because I only use 10% of my brain" aargh!