Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Myers, P. J. (2000). Association between perceptual learning modalities and high-frequency sensorineural hearing impairment in adult males (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(04A), 1255.


This investigation examined the encoding efficiency of perceptual learning modalities of adult males with high frequency sensorineural hearing impairment. The research examined utilization of the Multi-Modal Paired-Associates Learning Test-3rd revision (MMPALT-III) by this special population. The MMPALT-III measures perceptual modality encoding efficiency through a paired-associates performance-based testing procedure. Forty military veteran participants with high frequency sensorineural hearing impairment and 40 with normal hearing serving as a comparison group were evaluated in seven perceptual learning modalities including print, aural, interactive, visual, haptic, kinesthetic, and olfactory elements. The two groups were matched on potentially confounding variables of age, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity. A one-way MANOVA followed by univariate ANOVAs exploratory study design was utilized with hearing sensitivity as the independent variable and seven MMPALT-III subtest raw scores as dependent variables. No significant performance differences on any MMPALT-III subtests occurred between the two groups. MMPALT-III rank order mean raw score results indicated that information was encoded most efficiently through the visual pathway and least through aural, kinesthetic, and olfactory modalities for both groups, respectively. Mean subtest raw scores appeared lower than those obtained in previous studies. Implications indicate that the instrument can be administered effectively to adults with high frequency sensorineural hearing impairment, provided that hearing loss is not too severe and that amplification is utilized. Since visual and haptic modalities score higher than aural, lecture as a teaching mode might be reduced in favor of other modes, although wide within-group variability implies use of all teaching approaches. Further research examining validity and reliability and the relationship of sensory deficits to perceptual encoding efficiency was recommended. Subsequent studies need to assess whether modality-based instruction tailored to learners' dominant modalities reveal improved educational and affective outcomes.

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