Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Yount, J. (1988). Measuring and comparing cognitive learning styles by academic discipline, class, and gender (Doctoral dissertation, University of Tennessee, 1988). Dissertation Abstracts International, 49(11A), 3315.

Abstract

This study investigated the differences in the distributions of rank orders of the measured learning styles of Berea College students. The variables investigated were academic discipline, gender, and class. The measuring device used was the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test (MMPALT). One hundred forty eight subjects participated in this study representing three professional/technical areas and the Liberal Arts. Seven learning styles were measured: (1) Print. The ability to learn from the printed word, (2) Haptic. The ability to learn from the sense of touch, (3) Aural. The ability to learn from sound and the spoken word, (4) Visual. The ability to learn from symbols and pictures, (5) Olfactory. The ability to learn from the sense of smell, (6) Interactive. The ability to learn through interaction with others, (7) Kinesthetic. The ability to learn from motion and movement. The findings were: (1) There were definite distributions of rank ordered learning styles for the total population and for each discipline and these distributions were them same. (2) There were no differences in the distributions of rank ordered learning styles when compared by gender, class level, or academic discipline for the total population. (3) There were no differences in the distributions of rank ordered learning styles within a discipline when compared by gender or class. The following conclusions were drawn as a result of this study: (1) Male and female students in higher education, as groups, have the same perceptual learning strengths and weaknesses. (2) Academic maturity does not have an affect on perceptual learning strengths and weaknesses. (3) Perceptual learning styles are very personalized and vary greatly for each individual. (4) Five perceptual learning styles, print, aural, visual, kinesthetic, and interactive, are equally effective for group instruction. (5) Students in all academic disciplines, as groups, have the same perceptual learning strengths and weaknesses. Chi square analyses were used to compare the distribution of rank ordered data for the total sample by major, gender, and class (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors). Comparisons also were made by class and gender in each discipline. All hypotheses were tested at the 0.05 level of significance.

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