List of Common Misconceptions

Just as it says: Wikipedia has a great list of common misconceptions. Spent a good bit of time reading it…here are some of my favorites/the ones I found most interesting:

  • The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence did not occur on July 4, 1776. The final language of the document was approved by the Second Continental Congress on that date, it was printed and distributed on July 4 and 5, but the actual signing occurred on August 2, 1776
  • The claim that a duck’s quack does not echo is false, although the echo may be difficult to hear for humans under some circumstances.
  • Humans have more than five senses. Although definitions vary, the actual number ranges from 9 to more than 20. In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, which were the senses identified by Aristotle, humans can sense balance and acceleration (equilibrioception), pain (nociception), body and limb position (proprioception or kinesthetic sense), and relative temperature (thermoception). Other senses sometimes identified are the sense of time, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, need to defecate, and blood carbon dioxide levels.
  • Shaving does not cause terminal hair to grow back thicker or coarser or darker. This belief is based on the fact that hair which has never been cut has a tapered end, whereas after cutting there is no taper. Thus, the cut hair appears to be thicker, and feels coarser due to the sharper, unworn edges. The fact that shorter hairs are “harder” (less flexible) than longer hairs also contributes to this effect.
  • Sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children. Double-blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or those considered sensitive to sugar
  • People do not use only ten percent of their brains. While it is true that a small minority of neurons in the brain are actively firing at any one time, the inactive neurons are important too. This myth has been commonplace in American culture at least as far back as the start of the 20th century, and was attributed to William James, who apparently used the expression metaphorically. Some findings of brain science (such as the high ratio of glial cells to neurons) have been mistakenly read as providing support for the myth.
  • Frequently cracking ones knuckles or exercise while in good health does not cause osteoarthritis
  1. Schizophrenia is not the same thing as dissociative identity disorder, namely split or multiple personalities.Etymologically, the term “schizophrenia” comes from the Greek roots skhizein (σχίζειν, “to split”) and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-; “mind”) and is a juxtaposition proposed by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, which may have given rise to this common misconception.

If you checked out the list – which did you find most interesting? :)

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