The Biggest Myth In Education

You are not a visual learner — learning styles are a stubborn myth.

Special thanks to Dr Helen Georigou for reviewing the script and helping with the scientific literature.
Special thanks to Jennifer Borgioli Binis for consulting on the script.
MinutePhysics video on a better way to picture atoms —


Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological science in the public interest, 9(3), 105-119. —

Willingham, D. T., Hughes, E. M., & Dobolyi, D. G. (2015). The scientific status of learning styles theories. Teaching of Psychology, 42(3), 266-271. —

Massa, L. J., & Mayer, R. E. (2006). Testing the ATI hypothesis: Should multimedia instruction accommodate verbalizer-visualizer cognitive style?. Learning and Individual Differences, 16(4), 321-335. —

Riener, C., & Willingham, D. (2010). The myth of learning styles. Change: The magazine of higher learning, 42(5), 32-35.—

Husmann, P. R., & O’Loughlin, V. D. (2019). Another nail in the coffin for learning styles? Disparities among undergraduate anatomy students’ study strategies, class performance, and reported VARK learning styles. Anatomical sciences education, 12(1), 6-19. —

Snider, V. E., & Roehl, R. (2007). Teachers’ beliefs about pedagogy and related issues. Psychology in the Schools, 44, 873–886. doi:10.1002/pits.20272 —

Fleming, N., & Baume, D. (2006). Learning Styles Again: VARKing up the right tree!. Educational developments, 7(4), 4. —

Rogowsky, B. A., Calhoun, B. M., & Tallal, P. (2015). Matching learning style to instructional method: Effects on comprehension. Journal of educational psychology, 107(1), 64. —

Coffield, Frank; Moseley, David; Hall, Elaine; Ecclestone, Kathryn (2004). —

Furey, W. (2020). THE STUBBORN MYTH OF LEARNING STYLES. Education Next, 20(3), 8-13. —

Dunn, R., Beaudry, J. S., & Klavas, A. (2002). Survey of research on learning styles. California Journal of Science Education II (2). —

Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Mike Tung, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Ismail Öncü Usta, Paul Peijzel, Crated Comments, Anna, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, Oleksii Leonov, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, Jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy ‘kkm’ K’Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Research and Writing by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Iván Tello
Filmed by Emily Zhang and Trenton Oliver
Edited by Trenton Oliver
Music by Epidemic Sound
Additional video supplied by Getty Images


  1. Keanu Bartolata

    Throw the word “bias” and this video easily gets 1 hour long..

  2. Thanks, Derek! Now I have another thing to keep me up at night! (not that I mind considering how it’s great content, keep up the great work!). At this point, considering the amount of these interestingly mind-boggling videos, I’m surprised you haven’t organised them into a playlist labelled “mind-blowing philosophy” and made a video exploring how it’s “theoretically impossible to travel back in time and return to your ‘true original’ world/timeline” or how “it’s impossible to see in ‘real-time’, considering the fact that we shall always be physically looking at the ‘past'”.

    Oh, the ironic paradox of how to try ‘to illustrate the barriers/differences between people we only use contradictory evidence’ (E.g. to show the importance of not putting people in a box, we put them into boxes that were much different than what we had originally).

    Then again I can see why this happens, I mean it follows the same concept of why people as a whole (including myself) struggles to fully grasp the definite concept of infinity, ‘true zero’, 100% accuracy or a contradiction to ‘known’ reality, as these ‘truths’ would always lay just beyond the grasping ability representation. Trying to quantify it is close to impossible as there is too many underlying factors, so the next best thing is to use simplification that’ll give enough information to work on by grouping the minor similarities.

    To simplify, VARK like most ‘theoretical’ models is meant to be an ‘auto-suggestion’ yet due to its all too simplistic nature, it’s not surprising how people who are unable to grasp the philosophical concept would mistake a ‘suggestion’ for ‘definitive reality’. This ‘laziness’ is instinctive with most individuals as for humans (and all animals), it’s more naturally counterintuitive to oppose your own beliefs than it is to follow your assumptions, no matter how flawed it is, a good example of the concept of “I think, therefore I am/must be in action” (which also explains the irrationality of why stupidity affects certain people more than others).

    For those wondering, I’m no academically-trained psychologist professor, but the line of thinking I illustrated is something one can easily grasp if you have a strong basic grasp of philosophy, can make non-biased observations of human nature, accept that trying to get a true grasp on reality is much more of a painful mess than originally expected & the fact that from the moment you do, you could kiss goodbye to a peaceful sleep because it’s never going to happen.

  3. I didn’t know about learning styles, but I do indeed tend to learn better seeing a video or an animation. Or better said, I enjoy seeing an animation or a video more than reading an article. I try mixing these ‘learning styles’ to try and get a better understanding. I am not sure about an ONLY animation without an explanation of what is in the animation. Like if I want to learn about a solar panel I would read about it first to get a general idea, then I would watch a video showing and explaining how it works. I could do the same thing around and have the same experience. It works for me because I can RECALL what happened in the video and then connect it to what I have learned. So in an exam, I am not trying to remember the words, I am remembering a video and connect the words to it.
    I don’t know if that makes me a visual learner but I feel like watching a video has more of an impact and impression on me than a boring text, it’s more fun and engaging.

  4. CKTV Does A Lot

    0:20 why does google need to sponsor lol

  5. Were neurodivergencies also taken into account in these studies?

  6. I dont actually know the point of google sponsoring videos lol. Why is it even necessary since I assume, everyone that uses internet, uses google as well. correct me if im wrong

  7. Plot twist:
    This video is a myth

  8. Clash Guides with Dusk

    Studying is all about quizzing, doing questions/problems and spaced repetition. With the latter being the most important.

    A tutor should never teach you novel ideas, it’s YOUR job to read up before the lesson. The tutor is there to check your knowledge and build on what you know, then come back in a week to see if you retained anything. People always say teachers are crap, but in fact are crap students themselves.

  9. And I am clueless why my one video is organically growing and others not 🙂

  10. Repeat something if you want it to stick.

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