Mental literacy

Mental literacy

Mental literacy is a pseudoscientific and popular psychological term coined by Tony Buzan.


Tony Buzan, the "mind map guru" originated the term mental literacy. The term is directly derived from the computer literacy metaphor and used to infer how the brain can be used as a "super biocomputer". The metaphor also implies that the mind uses a set of languages in order to operate and that humans often have difficulty utilising them without added aid from methods of organisation, like those presented by Buzan.

The term was invented for the purposes of recruiting with a view to becoming mentally literate and fulfilling the advertised promise of harnessing a purported 99 percent unused brain power. The desired vision is to spread mental literacy throughout the world. As yet, the vision has succeeded in generating a large following and the sale of handbooks such as the Mind Map Book, by Tony Buzan.

The Mind Map Book

"As knowledge of the alphabet and its permutations and combinations is to traditional literacy, and as a knowledge of numbers and their permutations and combinations is to mathematics, so a knowledge of the biological and conceptual alphabets of the brain and its apparently infinite permutations and combinations is to mental literacy."
"The world is historically mentally illiterate."
"Even traditionally well educated and literate individuals are significantly restricted by the fact that they are able to use only a fraction of the biological and conceptual thinking tools which are available (the mind map)."
The Mind Map Book, Buzan and Buzan 1991

See also