Toward eliminating an unsupported STATEMENT in Engineering Education research and literature

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


What evidence exists to support the commonly used STATEMENT that people remember: 10% of what they read; 20% of what they hear; 30% of what they see; 50% of what they hear and see; 70% of what they say; and 90% of what they say as they do a thing? The first archived occurrence of the STATEMENT emerges in a trade magazine article by Treichler (1967). The present paper provides a critical review of this unsupported STATEMENT and its proliferation. Those recent ASEE conference papers which provide a reference mostly cite Stice (1987), either directly or indirectly through Felder and Silverman (1988). Some authors do not provide a reference, but perhaps worse yet are those authors who erroneously cite Dale or Glasser as the source. In 2003, Subramony refuted the connection between Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience and the STATEMENT. Perhaps most disturbing are those papers that not only provide an erroneous reference, but which also augment the STATEMENT with non-existent phrases such as "after two weeks, people generally remember⋯" A study by Lee and Bowers (1997) of students studying physics found that reading is, in fact, more important than hearing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009


  • Citation accuracy
  • Learning cone
  • Learning styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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