Parents and educators have long relied on the idea that everyone is either a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. More than 90 percent of teachers worldwide agree that students benefit from being taught according to their preferred learning styles.
The concept has also been embraced by marketers, who design campaigns to reach target audiences through the communication style in which they learn best. Except none of it is true.
In fact, everyone is a visual learner. After all, we process most information through our eyes. That’s a matter of science, not perception. And while people obviously absorb information through other senses, little evidence supports that certain people learn better when taught in their favored way.
Evidence to the contrary, however, suggests that everyone learns best when information is presented through a variety of styles, targeting multiple senses.
Even if you believe in learning styles, there are a lot more than three. Sure, people can communicate through sight, sound and touch. One 2004 publication actually identified at least 71 different learning styles.
It’s practically considered common knowledge that when it comes to attraction, men are more visual. Whereas men are stimulated by sexual images, women prefer positive personality traits and character qualities. It’s a theory that marketers hold dear when devising strategies. Think about it: Are you more likely to see skin in ads targeting men or women?
Unfortunately, the widely held belief is severely misguided. When researchers at St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine measured brain activity of 264 women viewing a series of 55 color slides, they discovered women’s responses to sexual images were surprisingly similar to men’s.
“Usually men subjectively rate erotic material much higher than women,” lead study author Andrey P Anokhin wrote. “So based on that data, we would expect lower responses in women, but that was not the case. Women have responses as strong as those seen in men.”
As marketers, we are constantly concerned with reaching our target audiences. One of the most basic divisions among demographics is determining if it tends to be more left-brained or right-brained.
Those who rely more on their left brain are considered logical, analytical and mathematically inclined. Right-brained subjects, on the other hand, are the artistic types, more creative and in touch with their emotions.
Under the left/right brain premise, marketers can better determine the best way to communicate with their audience. Except the entire theory is a myth.
It’s true many brain functions are compartmentalized – with sections dedicated primarily for vision, speech, hearing and smell. Some functions, such as language and visuospatial processing are even lateralized on the left and right hemispheres, respectively. But neuroscientists have proven that one side of the brain doesn’t dominate the other in people of particular personalities or cognitive styles.
In one such study, brain scans of 1,011 individuals between the ages of 7 and 29 were compared. Functional lateralization was measured across more than 7,200 brain regions. While certain hemispheres showed more activity for particular functions, those differences were consistent across all subjects.
Read more at http://blog.visme.co/common-myths-visual-brain/#KdXHcmRIZtedZBP1.99