Thinking styles and modes of thinking: implications for education and research.

Department of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
The Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied (Impact Factor: 0.86). 05/2002; 136(3):245-61. DOI: 10.1080/00223980209604153
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The author investigated the relationship of thinking styles to modes of thinking. Participants were 371 freshmen (aged 18 and 19) from the University of Hong Kong. Participants responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory (R. J. Sternnberg & R. K. Wagner, 1992) and the Style of Learning and Thinking (Youth Form; E. P. Torrance, B. McCarthy, & M. T. Kolesinski, 1988). A major finding was that creativity generating and complex thinking styles were significantly positively correlated with the holistic mode of thinking but significantly negatively correlated with the analytic mode of thinking. Thinking styles that denote the tendency to norm favoring and simplistic information processing were significantly positively correlated with the analytic mode of thinking and significantly negatively correlated with the holistic mode of thinking. In a preliminary conclusion, it appears that the thinking style construct overlaps the mode of thinking construct. Implications of this finding for teachers and researchers are delineated.

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    ABSTRACT: This study concerns the contingent nature of the relationships of student–teacher style match (or mismatch) to students' academic achievement. Participants were 135 (59 male and 76 female) students (average age of 21.5 years) from three academic disciplines (mathematics, physics, and public administration) who responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory and rated their own abilities (analytical, creative, and practical). The academic achievement scores in two subject matters for each student were also used. The students' subject matter teachers responded to the Thinking Styles in Teaching Inventory. Three major findings were obtained. First, the effects of style match/mismatch upon students' achievement vary as a function of academic discipline and subject matter. Second, the statistical procedures used to analyse the data play an important role in the relationships under investigation. Third, students' self‐rated abilities make a difference in the tested relationships. Findings have implications for both researchers and teachers.
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    ABSTRACT: Research has shown that thinking styles could have an influence on academic achievement. Previous studies have described that evening types are usually right-thinkers who tend to be creative and intuitive, whereas morning types tend to be left-thinkers who prefer verbal and analytic strategies in processing information. However, these studies have been realized among undergraduates, who have more freedom to choose their time schedules according to their circadian preference than adolescents or adult workers. On other hand, the relationship between thinking styles and circadian preference has not been analyzed considering school achievement. The present study aims (1) to investigate the relationship between circadian preference, that is, behavioral differences in circadian rhythmic expression, and thinking styles, referring to the preference toward information processing typical of the right versus the left cerebral hemisphere; and (2) to test the implications for self-reported school achievement. A sample of 1134 preadolescents and adolescents (581 girls; mean ± SD age: 12.1 ± 1.47, range: 10-14 yrs) completed the Morningness-Eveningness Scale for Children (MESC) as measure of circadian preference (morning, neither, or evening types), the Hemispheric Preference Test (HPT), conceived as a tool to measure thinking styles (right-, balanced-, and left-thinkers), and self-reported school achievement. Results indicated a greater percentage of left-thinkers among morning types and a greater percentage of right-thinkers among evening types. No differences were found among balanced-thinkers and neither types. Morning types and left-thinkers reported the highest subjective level of achievement, followed by evening types and left-thinkers, and morning types and right-thinkers. Evening types and right-thinkers reported the lowest subjective level of achievement. Finally, multivariate regression analysis indicated that age, left hemisphere and morning preferences accounted for 14.2% of total variance on self-reported achievement.
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