The Biggest Myth In Education
You are not a visual learner - learning styles are a stubborn myth. Part of this video is sponsored by Google Search.

Special thanks to Prof. Daniel Willingham for the interview and being part of this video.
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

  • N K
    N K

    Learning has many parts to it. Memorizing is one of them. Understanding is another one and I think VARK applies here.

  • Rainer Wahnsinn
    Rainer Wahnsinn

    I think Derek's street experiment was weak. It was memorization instead of learning. He should have actually tried to actually explain something.

  • Rainer Wahnsinn
    Rainer Wahnsinn

    "How do you know that you're a visual learner?" - "I don't. I just assumed." (2:59) That's my guy right here!

  • Jonathan Sallee
    Jonathan Sallee

    I think that the studies you presented as evidence for me don’t really disprove that people have preferred learning styles rather that learning styles don’t have a noticeable impact on performance. The difference might lie in some area other than how good you do on a test. For me I prefer to learn through lectures and I hate reading. So while I may not perform better on a test whether I read the information or was told it in a lecture I can tell you that I would have enjoyed one way much more and be more interested in pursuing that topic further if it was presented in a way I found interesting.

  • Purps

    Glen from twd

  • D Watkins
    D Watkins

    Learning is communicating. If we could not hear and could not read, what is the medium for learning? Perhaps it is visual?

  • noswad 123
    noswad 123

    Blind and deaf people just dont exist i guess

  • Andre Andazola
    Andre Andazola

    I don't like that this video equates learning with memorization rather than understanding. It seems like a flawed premise to me. If I'm being taught a new process at work there's a lot more that goes into it than just memorizing a list of items or steps.

  • 2point2turbo

    Peanut butter af tbh

  • Josiah DeGroot
    Josiah DeGroot

    Did anyone else get super anxious at 9:34

  • Justin A. H. Carreon
    Justin A. H. Carreon

    That’s a memory test not a learning assessment though right?

  • Alan Seery
    Alan Seery

    Don't take Google money

  • DrewForGames

    I have ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia. So text books alone don’t work for me. I thought I was a auditory learner. Multi media seems to be the best way to go. You have changed my mind.

  • Leonaяdo DiCapяio
    Leonaяdo DiCapяio

    All people are the same. Communism wins.

  • Silver Paladin
    Silver Paladin

    I always thought of it like: I'm a kinesthetic learner and secondarily a visual learner so I'll find it _easier_ to learn something that engages with those types of learning. And I don't think this really applies to _memorizing_ stuff is a good way to observe a learning style. But at the same time, some concepts are much easier to learn when the learning style matches the task, like if I read something that explains how to perform a task I'm sure some people will get it but I wont, I can understand a video or picture of somebody performing the task while other's can't. So obviously everybody learns in every way but I still believe some people find it *easier* to learn a certain way

  • Rebecca Lala
    Rebecca Lala

    Good content, but it described what learning styles were 3 or 4 times...

  • Kull Wahad
    Kull Wahad

    I use all the tools I can to learn but visualization is not one, as I have aphantasia the non ability to visualize objects in my mind.

  • disco lover
    disco lover


  • Furry

    I learn best by seeing people do it so... i just copie them until it clicks

  • bruzote

    I learn by abject fear. And smell.

  • bruzote

    I usually get impatient waiting for "Auditory" explanations. Some explanations can only be done through verbal communication, so in that case I prefer the written verbal. If something can be shown in pictures, I prefer that IF the "picture is worth a thousand words". Again, it is due to impatience, so I DO learn better "visually".

  • Special Ed
    Special Ed

    I'm more of a mistake learner.

  • hen ko
    hen ko

    "I'm a visual leaner" students are usually "I don't study enough" students.

  • Lupu Stefan
    Lupu Stefan

    I have all 4 equall

  • John Hurst
    John Hurst

    I think it's safe to assume that you probably can't alter teaching methods to help everyone. But, I'm more interested in doing things than listening or watching so I do objectively learn more efficiently that way. If only because it's easier for me to pay attention to the listening and watching when I have physical/personal context. Maybe that's true for everyone, or maybe I have a really short attention span and that's why it's hard for me to sit through a class, but it's true for me.

  • Citinited

    Derek: "The most important thing for learning is not the way the information is presented, but what is happening inside the learner's head" My brain: **da da dadada, HEY, da da da da, da da dadada, HEY, da da**

    • hen ko
      hen ko

      One day this guy is gonna talk in-front of fifty thousand live audiences somewhere in a huge stadium or something

  • Liam Kell
    Liam Kell

    guy in black shirt at 1:28 so cute

  • Ganesh Karhale
    Ganesh Karhale

    I didn't even know there were styles of learning. I had seen a video in which it is taught how you can remember Pi by assigning numbers to things in your brain.

  • Devara FT
    Devara FT

    I think multimodal is way better cause it's easier for the brain. With only one way your brain kinda need to imagine the rest. Similar to we imagine things when we hear podcasts or imagine sound and situations when reading a book. If you have both visual and auditory your brain doesn't need to assume and imagine it.

  • chrispsweden

    I find it peculiar that the first time school actually tried to _teach_ me how to _learn_ more efficiently I was at the age of 16, and it was not more than a couple of hours. The next time it happened was at 21, this time also only a couple of hours. Apart from that learning seemed to be viewed as a born-with talent or something you should figure out without guidance. I had a fair dose of that talent, and was considered smart, but many of my friends did not and they were considered slow, underacheiving or even stupid. Why didn't school teach anyone how to learn? Everything in school would then have been much easier for many children.

  • Nelsie Geografo
    Nelsie Geografo

    I am a visual person. So I know that I've learned something if I can draw it. However, when acquiring information, I don't mind any mode of learning..

  • James Serra
    James Serra

    Visuals can be used to let students understand what is going on, to make things less abstract when the can't visualize from words. More research has to be done, I think students might have a preferred way of learning, but don't always know what is the most effective depending on what they are learning.

  • Mario Saraiva
    Mario Saraiva

    We're more similar to each other than we like to think.

  • Lureking

    I come on ISnets to learn from animated explanations. I'm an animated learner.

  • Miles Archer
    Miles Archer

    Interesting video. I definitely agree what your saying here. Through my tertiary study I have got better grades for subjects that I’m more interested in. I take in more information when I’m interested in content and I wonder and imagine those taught topics work. That’s the biggest factor for me.

  • Nuggit25

    “I like to learn by doing myself” - some guy, 2021

  • nash984954

    You learn by thinking,developing your thought process using languages. YOU SEE SOMETHING, SO WHAT? bUT YOU SEE SOMETHING AND WITHOUT CREATING A TELLING ABOUT THE THINGS USING YOUR DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE THAT becomes your learning and a facility with reading creates lerarning by design, telling is by having read andf built a habit of thought. Thoughts are words and until we humans struggle writing our thoughts on paper we really don't know anything if we are so bad at telling what we know which is helped by reading what others know by books. Other brains wrote those booksd and when we read we gain their thoughts as well by design, no accident and it's damned hard, but rerquires persistence, repition and so on. 'Lerss Than Words Can Say' by Richard Mitchell illustrates wtf happened to the mush we have as brains now unless we dumped the crap of edumacation the 70s started selling us we needed. What's wrong with a Library, and how does Learning Resource Center improve on Library by renaming it that?

  • Guillaume Ohz
    Guillaume Ohz

    Well why would you draw graphs about charts if it was not easier to share an information then?

  • William Jedig
    William Jedig

    I agree with the general message of the video, but I still believe learning styles have their place in this world. I personally help students who are struggling in school, and have found that it's not just about how well students do in tests - it's how much they enjoy learning the content. Someone who enjoys kinesthetic aids may find it difficult to show up to a class where I only present things visually and auditorily.

  • paul sharp
    paul sharp

    I teach people to drive. I use a lot of visuals, usually drawn on a hand held whiteboard in collaboration with my student. Just once, one of them stopped me. "I'm not a visual learner" she said, and forbade me to use the whiteboard. So we used other methods for the rest of the session. She didn't book another one. Her belief that she was not a visual learner prevented me from reaching her. So yes, this was interesting. Thank you.

  • iamkhanjan

    One day this guy is gonna talk in-front of fifty thousand live audiences somewhere in a huge stadium or something

  • Kunj Sankhla
    Kunj Sankhla

    I feel like I can understand concepts really well if I think about them but pure memorizing things are just to painful to remember for me

  • Noor Fahad
    Noor Fahad

    The nosy board ultimately precede because vise ecologically greet like a quarrelsome australian. sincere, boundless trial

  • Atul Gupta
    Atul Gupta

    Interesting! What if VARK are not learning styles, but only acquisition methods/ signals for the brain to process however the brain wishes to?

  • Jilly Bean
    Jilly Bean

    Idk, on quizzes to remember vocab and such, I visualize the location of the words on the page and what was next to it. I visualize what it was and where it was. I pull up the picture in my mind

  • Navdeep Singh
    Navdeep Singh

    In my opinion learning styles is real it's just the categories are wrong.

  • alberoto019

    Learning is not the same to memorizing...

  • Curry Rice
    Curry Rice

    Understanding concepts and logics are different from storing short term memory.

  • Sammy

    Sometimes we don't search for the truth but what we already think is right so it's just proof we want

  • Sammy

    I never thought I had a learning styles. I just like to be engaged in what I'm learning. That is speaking about it for clarification and seeing it in real life.

  • Sammy

    Confirmation bias at work here

  • InsidiousEggs

    Interesting proposition in this video! I wonder if the images/words were different the second time he asked the participants to recite them? Seems like that would be a significant factor. Also I wonder how directly memorization correlates to learning. I would think they would be different but perhaps similar enough for this example.

  • Annakari Cole
    Annakari Cole

    Your study provides evidence towards immersive learning... all of your successful respondents developed a relationship with the information to retain the information. :) I think, in the long run, VARK was a good start to begin helping educators work towards including a variety of different types of information in each lesson... creating more immersive learning environments overall.

  • Giovanni Genovese
    Giovanni Genovese

    The tough cord corroboratively argue because frog temporarily desert mid a voiceless surprise. panoramic, snotty laborer

  • PerfectShrubbery

    Watch out! Big Edu is coming to get ya if you keep interfering with their business!

  • James Bevan
    James Bevan

    I'm 50 years old and I can tell you I'm a visual learner. Can't be told or read how but can see it done and do it way easier. Not saying I can't learn the other way but way easier to see it done. Also I can't remember how to do something from reading or being told but can from doing.

  • Rafael Unplugged
    Rafael Unplugged

    You should have put a typo In your thumbnail.

  • Wally Masterson
    Wally Masterson

    The brain is lazy, and will naturally gravitate to what it finds easiest. If your brain processes images more easily than words, you will feel more comfortable with pictures, and you will "feel" like a visual learner, even though the actual amount of content you learn from pictures or words might be the same.

  • Texownian

    learning comes down to: "interest in the subject" and your ability to learn (IQ). I can learn things I am interested in faster than things I am not interested in. The depth of what you learn, of course, is "intelligence" we all are not "intellectually" equal.

  • the running man
    the running man

    Wow Google sponsored this video interesting

  • Powerful moves
    Powerful moves

    I visually learnt what this video was about

  • Will That3dPrintguy
    Will That3dPrintguy

    So your going to delete this channel and make it an Audio only podcast then.......

  • MdSteel7

    This information is so useful! Thank you from Italy :)

  • Space

    Ideally, I need all 4 at different stages of the learning process. The dominant style can even change with subject material. The subject material determines the requirement. At least for me it does.

  • Diya Elizabeth
    Diya Elizabeth

    So I guess the best strategy would be to find the one you have the most fun doing?

  • Jem

    I’m curious as to what the original guy’s classification as to ‘excellent’ and ‘poor’ teachers were. The way he measured the success of teaching might explain an underlying error in judgement that led to the flawed theory. Also, I think where ‘learning styles’ DO have credibility is in the case if neutodivergence - an autistic student or a student with ADHD needs different accomodations in the classroom than other students without those conditions. Of course, those accomodations aren’t necessarily split up into the VARK styles, but it does give at least some credibility to the idea that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning can have poorer educational outcomes.

  • Martin Angelov
    Martin Angelov

    One thing i disagree with is that there are people who actually perfer hands on approach or learning by doing and otherwise struggle at theory. That is simply so, I have met many and I know many people like that, any research that disproves this is absolutely irrelevant to them and is most likely inadequate.

  • D S
    D S

    You are either PRESENT or NOT PRESENT while the lecture is happening. You are either actively thinking about what is said or you are far away with your thoughts, and you'll learn nothing.

  • Patrick Rose
    Patrick Rose

    People can learn through all modes. So? This has is not a new revelation even though you make it sound like you are some kind of genius who came up with it all on your own. Dale theorized that learning progresses from the concrete (experience for novices) to the abstract (reading for experts). Did you consider this theory? You tend to do this with all your videos; like a modern Cliff Calvin know-it-all out to prove the experts wrong...trying to dispel those "myths" and prove you are the smartest guy in the world. Learning theory is not a myth, it a field of study in education. I know you want to be the next Brian Cox, but you come across very pretentious. You could use some humility.

  • OzKiltman

    My students' learning style is "Is it graded?"

  • Ayush Nandan
    Ayush Nandan

    How's about Remembering style...?

  • Martin Herz
    Martin Herz

    I'm curious to see whether it is not the title of the theory as such that is wrong: I think there is no universal way to learn, indeed everyone is unique, but this vid shows that learning can be influenced with tools. Visuality maybe says nothing about style. I would consider style more of: I need to wear my lucky trousers whilst standing on one leg at the top of my house each day, otherwise I cannot learn this poem by heart. Thát would be a style. Visual learning simply refers to the eyes as empirical input to the brain/awareness.

  • cyc7lops

    VARK was just an excuse for poor performers, usually due to a lack of effort and homework on the part of the student, while blaming the teacher for the student's "achievement gap."

  • Exauce Mayunga
    Exauce Mayunga

    This is one of the few channels that actually give an answer at the end of a video instead of leaving me more clueless.

  • Honghao Huang
    Honghao Huang

    google search is doing ads?!!!

  • Janky Jim
    Janky Jim

    the only good learning experience is when you're interested in what you want to learn. My main problem with school was that everything they taught was extremely boring. I did best in science classes because I was interested in that. Everything else was straight C's

  • Aksel Bleda URAL
    Aksel Bleda URAL

    I guess Gestalt theory would be the best way to explain all the reasons behind different learners' ability to process knowledge both differently and indifferently. In your video one person says he used mind mapping. One said they repeated the words. It seems like it is about the way information is processed in the short term memory and its transfer to the LTM that effected the number of correct answers they had given. They may also not have taken it seriously and performed poorly because they didn't pay enough attention or weren't motivated to put in effort to keep the words/images shown in their memory. When assessing, random, unaccounted errors (errors in assessment effecting reliability) might have occurred. Assessment itself is a hugely problematic area in itself; from validity to reliability the variables effect the results hugely. Kolb's definition of different learning styles does in a way try to define the concepts behind different learners. But, yes, I do agree with that no matter how someone learns there will be an outcome for the interaction between teaching/learning in a classroom environment. However, I do believe personal motivation, will to learn, usefulness of the information, attitude towards the subject, psychological, developmental and cognitive abilities have a much greater impact than the different learning styles. From Pavlov to Skinner, Ausubel to Piaget, Ericsson, while their theories are vastly different, from an eclectic perspective, a teacher should utilise all the necessary tools and employ different strategies, methods(designs) and techniques(procedures) to achieve the best outcome.

  • Yatima Santamorena
    Yatima Santamorena

    I will be honest this video is basically gatekeeping for people with ADHD and similar mindsets VARK may not exist for neurotypical people, but it exists for neurodivergent ones if you have ADHD you have a special preference of learning like reading or seeing a diagram I can't read a book to save my life, doesn't work no matter the type or how many times I try Only audiobooks or images work for me Same thing for other neurodivergent people too I know other neurodivergent people that are able to learn only by reading a book but if they see a diagram they will ALWAYS forget it instantly

  • Robert FancyPants Motorcycle Mcgee
    Robert FancyPants Motorcycle Mcgee

    Why would Google need any advertisement

  • Heather Toomey
    Heather Toomey

    Do you get to use your ISnets channel somehow in your PhD?

  • Diane Benoit
    Diane Benoit

    I don't see three dots beside any of my search results. What am I not doing right?

  • KDCindustries

    I learn best when things are in the form of a brilliant science fiction audiobook with a dope narrator at approximately 1.30x playback.

  • Nicola Wiekamp
    Nicola Wiekamp

    back in the day, I worked as a hostess at a steak house. One Sunday they made us all come in and do a "training the trainer" seminar. We learned how to 'best' train someone and it was the way it's explained at the end. Use multiple ways. First, tell, then show, then have them demonstrate the task. It was an hour-long course and I have used what I learned there so often in my personal and professional life.

  • Harshita Bharadwaj
    Harshita Bharadwaj

    So... Learning styles are actually teaching styles...?

  • Memes n Shet
    Memes n Shet

    Some say:Learning curve I say: *Learning drift* *Dejavuu*

  • Gregory Behm
    Gregory Behm

    I believe you prefer your learning style... yes, but the real test should be of capacity. Give someone an endurance test and one will see the best learning experiences are the ones that engage a person. If you're active and thinking about it you'll do better than if you're not. The real test for teachers is measuring a classroom's engagement level in their minds... their needs to be more testing in this area to conclude optimal teaching strategies. Great video love it!

  • Minh Thu T.
    Minh Thu T.

    I feel like this learning style BS is just for lazy/bad teachers who don't want tk put in the work to make their class interesting and engaging. I can learn with text, visuals, audio but they have to be good quality and not 50 years old copies from badly written textbooks or print outs from wikipedia. Just sitting in class and listening to the teacher was enough for me to get straight A's as long as the teacher was good, using visuals/examples to accompany their talking. I would also argue that you need all styles of learning to properly understand whatever you're learning. Take languages for example: no matter how much of a textual learner you are, you can't rely on text and phonetical writing to perfect your pronunciation, instead you need to hear others talk and try to shape your mouth around those sounds. If you want to really understand grammar, you need to read up on the rules and write down things like sentence structures. This is why I can talk Vietnamese (spoken with parents since I was a child) but can't read or write it (never took a class or studied it properly). I got better grades than my classmates in English class in the U.S. during my one trimester at a Texan high school (I studied English in Germany since elementary school while the Texan education was very bad...)

  • Anthony Hart-Jones
    Anthony Hart-Jones

    We got taught this in (UK) teacher training and I had to send the lecturer recent research - the lecturer was curious, but most of the other teachers on the course still seemed unconvinced.

  • Keturunan Rothschild
    Keturunan Rothschild

    I'm a everything learner.

  • Patti Pakiki
    Patti Pakiki


  • Will Smith
    Will Smith

    No one gonna talk about how ma man got sponsored by freakin Google?

    • That Person
      That Person

      Google also sponsored Tom Scott to create a series of videos on how to create an app

    • Leonaяdo DiCapяio
      Leonaяdo DiCapяio

      I’m surprised that Google even needs to be advertised on the Internet

    • chrispsweden

      Isn't youtube owned by google?

  • Daniel Kilby
    Daniel Kilby

    So, what if learning style is about attention, rather than retention. What if retention has more to do with memory tricks?

  • Sapphiregriffin

    lol I would of said "science"

  • Deipatrous

    Try arguing with a numbskull who believes in this crap.

  • GTaichou

    Wait, I learned this in school back in like... 2004. This wasn't common knowledge? Like... I know that reading/writing, visuals, and kinesthetic methods are effective for me where listening alone is not, but the more methods I employ the better I remember, with teaching being a step above all of the modes, really solidifying understanding and highlighting blind spots.

  • Adolfin Kitler
    Adolfin Kitler

    Imo, Just interesting or not If people they put to test is aware and are excited to participate in that study they will be interested in whatever you give it to them But I think in normal case it's preference of each person to found each kind of method more interesting than others and yes they tends to try to confirm their beliefs then they focus on that method more and maybe get more knowledge So if they are interested then they will think more about the content so they actually learns better

  • Vencedor Uberstar
    Vencedor Uberstar

    I'm an interesting person, I've always learned in a hybrid of Kinesthetic, Visual, and Reading. Been sticking to this combination of learning since I figured it out in middle school, and it's worked for me since, I'm up into my mid 30's now.

  • sören Johansson
    sören Johansson

    google sucks go ecosia!!