Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Williams, Y. G. (2000). A comparison of the perceptual learning style modalities of African-American, Hispanic-American, and European-American adult females as measured by the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test III (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(04A), 1258.

Abstract

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This study compared perceptual learning style modalities of African-American, Hispanic-American, and European-American adult females as measured by the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test III. An additional intent was to expand knowledge related to learning styles. Ninety participants, 30 in each race/ethnicity group, were tested in each of seven perceptual learning modalities. Two age groups were a younger (20 to 30 years of age) and an older age group (over 55 years of age). All participants had obtained Bachelors degrees or Masters degrees. Modalities tested were Print, Aural, Interactive, Visual, Kinesthetic, Haptic, and Olfactory. The MMPALT-III is a performance-based test assessing learners' abilities to acquire information through each of seven learning channels. A 3 x 2 x 7 ANOVA study design was used with race/ethnicity and age group identified as independent variables. The dependent variable was subtest scores. Statistically significant differences occurred within and between race/ethnicity groups and between age groups. Subtest scores were significantly higher for the younger age group. The three highest ranking modalities for the African-American group were Visual, Interactive, and Haptic; those for the Hispanic-American and European-American groups were Interactive, Visual, and Haptic. Hispanic participants scored significantly higher on the Olfactory subtest. Higher mean scores were obtained on all subtests except the Olfactory for the African-American group. A major implication would include tailoring instructions to accommodate all learning styles. Instead of the present preponderant lecture format, small groups and methods favoring the visual dimension should be added to teachers instructional armentarium. One recommendation for future research includes testing different race/ethnicities, with researcher and participant being of the same race/ethnicity. Further recommendations include studies with Hispanic populations to determine if culture contributes to higher Olfactory scores, and underlying causes for the reversal between the European-American and African-American samples. Additional races/ethnicities could also be investigated.

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