How we register and retain information

Posted on April 17, 2007 in

I sat in on a workshop recently and one of the slides had some interesting points about how we use our senses to register and retain information. It stated:

How we register information

  • 83% by sight
  • 11% by sound
  • 3.5% by smell
  • 1.5% by touch
  • 1% by taste

How we retain information

  • 20% of what we HEAR
  • 30% of what we SEE
  • 50% of what we HEAR and SEE
  • 70% of what we DISCUSS
  • 90% of what we MAKE and MANAGE ourselves

I’m not sure what the source of the information was but it seems to make sense and helped me understand how I could potentially learn and retain stuff better. What really interested me was how we retain 70% of what we DISCUSS, this is one of the techniques I often use when trying to learn something. When learning something new I try to tell other people about what I’ve just learnt (which might include writing a blog entry on it) to see if I’ve effectively understood what I was trying to learn.


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