Conceptions of Learning and Thinking Styles Among Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Hearing Students

  • Sanyin ChengEmail author


This study explores how students’ conceptions of learning relate to their thinking styles by administering the Conceptions of Learning Inventory III and the Thinking Styles Inventory-Revised II to 350 deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) and 463 hearing university students in mainland China. The reliabilities for the two inventories were first estimated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Then, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to test the validity of the COL-III. Finally, to predict thinking styles from conceptions of learning, hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted. Results showed that, among both DHH and hearing students, qualitative conceptions of learning (understanding, personal change, continuous, social competence, and duty) were significantly positively associated with a wide range of thinking styles. For DHH students, the contributions of conceptions of learning ranged from 11% to 32%, with a median of 25%. The predominant predictor was personal change. For hearing students, the contributions of conceptions of learning to thinking styles ranged from 9% to 22% (with a median of 15%), with the predominant predictor being duty. Thus, conceptions of learning significantly predicted thinking styles among both DHH and hearing students. The contributions, limitations, and implications of this research are discussed.


Thinking styles Conceptions of learning Deaf or hard-of-hearing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Inform Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The researcher has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education FacultyCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina

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