Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Brown, B. (1984). A descriptive analysis of perceptual modality learning style in older adults (Doctoral dissertation, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 1984). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45(09A), 2726.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyze perceptual modality learning styles in older adults. The specific purpose of the study was to describe the relationship of perceived and observed learning styles in an older adult population. The instruments used in conducting the study were the Perceptual Modality Preference Survey (PMPS) and the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test II (MMPALT II). The subject population consisted of 50 older adults: 38 females and 12 males. The subjects ranged in age from 61 to 84 years. Specific research questions addressed in this study were: (1) Do older adults utilize the perceptual elements in individual learning? (2) Can the variations in perceptual modality of older adults be measured? (3) Are there dominant patterns of learning styles among older adults? (4) Do older adult learners’ self-assessments of their perceptual modality learning styles show positive correlation with empirical measurements in the same styles? (5) Are there significant differences in perceptual modality learning styles among older adult subgroups of age, sex, educational level, martial status, learning location, and particular administration order of measurement instruments? Total scores, ranks, and means for the learning styles were computed on each instrument. Correlation coefficients were determined with the Spearman Rho method, and the analysis of variance test was used for significant difference measurements.

The findings of this study indicated that older adults do utilize perceptual elements in individual earning, that variations in perceptual modality can be measured, and that dominant patterns of learning styles in older adults can be identified. The results also indicated that older adult learners’ self-assessments of learning styles do not show positive correlation with empirical measurements of the same styles. There were no significant differences in perceptual modality learning styles among older adult subgroups of age, sex, educational level, learning location, and particular administration order of measurement instruments. The most frequently expressed preferences on the PMPS were the print, interactive, and aural elements. The MMPALT II results indicated visual and interactive elements as being the primary learning styles for this population of older adults.

 

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