Lourdusamy, A (1981) The influence of selected cognitive styles on learning behaviour. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

The study reported in this thesis was designed to determine whether the leanings of students on a few selected cognitive styles have an effect on their learning from two different modes of instruction, viz. the discovery and the expository modes. The cognitive styles chosen for the study were:-
i) Field independence-field dependence
ii) Conceptualisation styles
iii) Conceptual differentiation
iv) Convergency-divergency
v) Reflectivity-impulsivity
In Phase I the research issue was examined with respect to five short decoding/serial tasks, whilst in Phase II a series of four specially developed chemistry learning units were employed. The study of the effect(s) of cognitive styles on learning behaviour was extended to an examination of the association of students' cognitive styles leanings with their preference for different instructional modes. This examination was carried out with respect to two constructs i.e., the relative ease/difficulty and enjoyment/dislike of the instructional modes.
For the data analysis, the following statistical procedures were used» analyses of variance, analyses of covariance and t-tests. In general, the results indicate that the field independence/field dependence style and the inferential conceptualisation style interact significantly with learning behaviour. Field independent students have an advantage over their counterparts in learning situations which require the analysis and synthesis of information. This advantage remains statistically significant even after partialling out the IQ effect. With respect to the inferential conceptualisation style, the high inferential thinkers seem to have an advantage over the low inferential thinkers in concept formulation tasks via the discovery mode.
No significant interaction was found between achievement from the learning tasks and the other cognitive styles examined (conceptual differentiation, convergency-divergency, and reflectivity-impulsivity).
The examination of the effect of cognitive styles on the preference for learning types revealed that cognitive styles leanings not only affect students' learning behaviour and achievement, but also their attitude towards the different modes of instruction and learning.
Field independent students and high inferential thinkers perceive learning by discovery to be relatively more enjoyable and satisfying than learning from exposition. In relation to the ease/difficulty of the instructional modes divergent thinkers and high conceptual differentiators perceive learning by discovery to be relatively more difficult than learning from exposition.
Throughout the study, theoretical analyses were made of the possible effects or interaction of students cognitive styles leanings on their learning behaviour and their attitude towards or perception of learning from different instructional modes. The results of these theoretical considerations are presented in the thesis, as appropriate, and compared with the empirical findings. In general, the latter are reconcilable with the theoretical arguments presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 14:11
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 14:11
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8029

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