Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Schaiper, L. (1983). Identification of perceptual learning style differences and the impact thereof upon individual university students (Doctoral dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 1983). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45(01A), 73.


This study focused on the measurement of individual perceptual learning styles. The seven measured styles were: print, aural, interactive, visual, haptic, kinesthetic, and olfactory. Three individual types of measurement processes were used sequentially in this study. First, a self report inventory, the Perceptual Modality Preference Survey (PMPS), was completed by each subject. Second, the subjects performed learning tasks in the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test II (MMPALT II). The subjects individually participated in an interview, the Perceptual Style Interview (PSI), to complete the study.

The population included 53 university student volunteers majoring in some field of human services. The subjects ranged in age from 18 to 30 and included 45 females and 8 males. Most were education majors.

The PMPS was used to identify the pattern of each subject’s personal preferences among the styles. The MMPALT II was used to measure the pattern of actual strengths. Patterns for the entire subject population, subgroups, and individuals were computed. Correlations between the rank orders of the PMPS and MMPALT II were obtained. The PSI was used to obtain individual perceptions of personal meaning and potential application of perceptual learning style information. The study yielded the following findings:

  1. The seven perceptual styles conceptualized by French did exist as perceptual learning styles in this university student population. Individual styles varied.
  2. Overall, the most dominant perceptual learning style strength measured was the visual modality; print and interactive were also strong. The interactive and kinesthetic modalities were the most dominant preferences.
  3. Age, gender, and formal education appear to be significant variables related to perceptual learning style.
  4. Correlations between rank orders of preferences and rank orders of empirical test data were low to slight.
  5. The subjects generally perceived their participation in this study to be most valuable. They projected in their future professional roles various applications of perceptual learning style information.

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