The Nature and Effects of Cognitive Style
Assessment Research Unit, University of Birmingham, UK
This chapter begins with a consideration of the labels used by investigators to describe cognitive style and proposes a categorization of these into two fundamental style dimensions: the wholist-analytic and verbal-imagery. Methods of assessing style are outlined and a simple direct method is described. Style is then examined within the context of other individual difference variables such as intelligence, gender, and personality to establish its independence of these dimensions. The bipolar nature of cognitive style, which distinguishes it from unipolar dimensions of individual difference such as intelligence, is detailed. The evidence for the physiological aspects of style is described. Next, the relation between the style dimensions and a range of behaviors relevant to education is reported and practical implications are explored. Finally, a model of style within the context of other individual difference variables is considered.