Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Ryder, A. (1992). A comparison of post secondary student learning styles in a vocational-technical setting. Unpublished educational specialist’s thesis, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.


The purpose of this study was to determine the preferred learning style of postsecondary vocational students and whether there was a difference between various personal characteristics and/or a relationship between performance on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test-Revised (MMPALT II). One hundred adult subjects from an area technical center located in central Florida participated in the study.

The subjects were administered the MMPALT II and MBTI. The MMPALT II is a test instrument that measures modality preferences in seven areas: aural, haptic, interactive, kinesthetic, print, visual, and olfactory. It is used in identifying and assessing individual strengths and weaknesses in learning styles. The MBTI is a 165-item forced choice questionnaire that measures psychological type in four bi-polar areas. These areas are:

  1. Extroversion versus introversion
  2. Sensing versus intuition
  3. Thinking versus feeling
  4. Judgement versus perception

After all tests were administered, scores were tallied to determine the learning styles and personality types of the subjects. A multi variate design utilizing t-tests and two- and five-factor analyses of variance was employed to determine if there was a significant difference between the various demographic variables and/or a relationship between the MMPALT II and the MBTI.

Statistical analysis of the data revealed that the preferred learning style, as measured by the MMPALT II, for postsecondary vocational students was visual. There were no significant difference in mean scores on any of the MMPALT II subtests by age, educational level, or program. There was also a significant difference in mean scores by race/ethnicity. Whites recorded higher mean scores than non-whites on five of the seven subtests.

In reviewing the results comparing the MMPALT II and the MBTI, only one significant difference was found. In the print subtest, intuitive types had significantly higher mean scores than sensing types.

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