Without any evidence to support the idea, why do people keep believing in learning styles?
One possibility is that people who have incomplete knowledge about the brain might be more susceptible to these ideas. For instance, someone might learn about distinct brain areas that process visual and auditory information. This knowledge may increase the appeal of models that include distinct visual and aural learning styles. But this limited understanding of how the brain works misses the importance of multisensory brain areas that integrate information across senses.
Another reason that people may stick with the belief about learning styles is that the evidence against the model mostly consists of studies that have failed to find support for it. To some people, this could suggest that enough good studies just haven’t been done. Perhaps they imagine that finding support for the intuitive – but wrong – notion of learning styles simply awaits more sensitive experiments, done in the right context, using the latest flavor of learning styles. Despite scientists’ efforts to improve the reputation of null results and encourage their publication, finding “no effect” may simply not capture attention.
But our recent research results do in fact contradict predictions from learning styles models.