Thinking Styles

  • Elena L. Grigorenko
  • Robert J. Sternberg
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


If someone says to you, “Tell me about yourself,” your responses will probably include a number of statements about your likes and dislikes. Most people refer to their preferences when describing themselves: for example, “I prefer to work alone,” “I’m a people person,” or “I like to do creative things.” All of these statements are references to favorite ways of behaving—that is, to styles.


Cognitive Control Cognitive Style Learning Style Teaching Style Personality Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achenbach, T. M., and Edelbrock, C. (1983). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile. Burlington: Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  2. Allport, G. W. (1937). Personality, a psychological interpretation. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  3. Bargar, R. R., and Hoover, R. L. (1984). Psychological type and the matching of cognitive styles. Theory Into Practice, 23 (1), 56–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beller, E. K. (1967). Methods of language training and cognitive styles in lower-class children. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
  5. Bieri, J. (1969). Category width as a measure of discrimination. Journal of Personality, 37, 513–521.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bieri, J. (1971). Cognitive structures in personality. In H. M. Schroder and P. Suedfeld (Eds.), Personality theory and information processing. New York: Ronald.Google Scholar
  7. Block, J., Block, J. H., and Harrington, D. M. (1974). Some misgivings about the Matching Familiar Figures Test as a measure of reflection-impulsivity. Developmental Psychology, 11, 611–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borden, K. A., Brown, R. T., Wynne, M. E., and Schleser, R. (1987). Piagetian conservation and response to cognitive therapy in attention deficit disordered children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 28(5), 755–764.Google Scholar
  9. Bruner, J. S., Goodnow, J., and Austin, G. A. (1956). A study of thinking. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Bryant, N., and Gettinger, M. (1981). Eliminating differences between learning disabled and nondisabled children on a paired-associate learning task. Journal of Educational Research, 74, 342–346.Google Scholar
  11. Butter, E. (1979). Visual and haptic training and cross-modal transfer of reflectivity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 212–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Camara, R. P. S., and Fox, R. (1983). Impulsive versus inefficient problem solving in retarded and nonretarded Mexican children. Journal of Psychology, 114(2), 187–191.Google Scholar
  13. Cattell, R. B. (1963). The theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence: A critical experiment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 54, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Conway, J. B. (1992). A world of differences among psychologists. Canadian Psychology, 33(1), 1–24.Google Scholar
  15. Corman, L. S., and Platt, R. G. (1988). Correlations among the Group Embedded Figures Test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and demographic characteristics: A business school study. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 66 (2), 507–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cronbach, L. J., and Snow, R. E. (1977). Aptitudes and instructional methods. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Das, P. (1983). Impulsive behavior and assessment of impulsivity with hospitalized adolescents. Psychological Reports, 53 (1), 764–766.Google Scholar
  18. DeHaas, R. A., and Young, R. D. (1984). Attention styles of hyperactive and normal girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 12(4), 531–545.Google Scholar
  19. Dunn, R., Beaudry, J. S., and Klavas, A. (1989). Survey of research on learning styles. Educational Leadership, 46(6), 50–58. Dunn, R., and Duna, K. (1978). Teaching students through their individual learning styles. Reston, VA: Reston Publishing. Dunn, R., Dunn, K., and Price, G. E. (1979). Identifying individual learning styles. In Student learning styles: Diagnosing and prescribing programs (pp. 39–54 ). Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principles.Google Scholar
  20. Eagle, M., Goldberger, L., and Breitman, M. (1969). Field dependence and memory for social vs. neutral and relevant vs. irrelevant incidental stimuli. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 903–910.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eska, B., and Black, K. N. (1971). Conceptual tempo in young grade-school children. Child Development, 45, 505–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eysenck, H. J., and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1975). Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. San Diego, CA: Digits.Google Scholar
  23. Finch, A. J., Saylor, C. F., and Spirito, A. (1982). Impulsive cognitive style and impulsive behavior in emotionally disturbed children. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 141(2), 293–294.Google Scholar
  24. Fischer, B. B., and Fischer, L. (1979). Styles in teaching and learning. Educational Leadership, 36 (4), 245–254.Google Scholar
  25. Furnham, M. J., and Kendall, R. C. (1986). Cognitive tempo and behavioral adjustment in children. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10(1), 45–50.Google Scholar
  26. Gardner, R. (1953). Cognitive style in categorizing behavior. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 22, 214–233.Google Scholar
  27. Gardner, R. W. (1959). Cognitive control principles and perceptual behavior. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 23, 241–248.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Gardner, R. W. (1962). Cognitive controls in adaptation: Research and measurement. In S. Messick and J. Ross (Eds.), Measurement in personality and cognition. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  29. Gardner, R. W. (1970). Cognitive structure formation, organismic equilibration, and individuality of conscious experience. Journal for the Study of Consciousness, 3, 119–136.Google Scholar
  30. Gardner, R. W., Holzman, P. S., Klein, G. S., Linton, H., and Spence, D. P. (1959). Cognitive control: A study of individual consistencies in cognitive behavior. Psychological Issues, 1 (4).Google Scholar
  31. Gardner, R. W., Jackson, D. N., and Messick, S. J. (1960). Personality organization in cognitive controls and intellectual abilities. Psychological Issues, 2 (4).Google Scholar
  32. Gardner, R. W., and Long, R. I. (1962). Cognitive controls of attention and inhibition: A study of individual consistencies. British Journal of Psychology, 53, 381–388.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gardner, R. W., and Moriarty, A. (1968). Dimensions of cognitive control at preadolescence. In R. Gardner (Ed.), Personality development at preadolescence. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  34. Gardner, R. W., and Schoen, R. A. (1962). Differentiation and abstraction in concept formation. Psychological Monographs, 76.Google Scholar
  35. Glixman, A. E (1965). Categorizing behavior as a function of meaning domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2 (3), 370–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Glow, R. A., Lange, R. V., Glow, R. H., and Barnett, J. A. (1983). Cognitive and self-reported impulsiveness: Comparison of Kagan’s MFFT and Eysenck’s EPQ Impulsiveness measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 4 (2), 179–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Goldman, R. D. (1972). Effects of a logical versus a mnemonic strategy on performance in two undergraduate psychology classes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 347–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Goldsmith, R. E. (1985). The factorial composition of the KAI Inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 45, 245–250.Google Scholar
  39. Goldstein, K. M., and Blackman, S. (1978). Cognitive style. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Gorham, J., and Self, L. (1987). Developing communication skills: Learning style and the educationally disadvantaged student. Communication Research Reports, 4 (1), 38–46.Google Scholar
  41. Gregorc, A. F. (1979). Learning/teaching styles: Potent forces behind them. Educational Leadership, 36(4), 234–236. Gregorc, A. F. (1982). Gregorc Style Delineator. Maynard, MA: Gabriel Systems.Google Scholar
  42. Gregorc, A. F. (1984). Style as a symptom: A phenomenological perspective. Theory Into Practice, 23(1), 51–55.Google Scholar
  43. Gregorc, A. F. (1985). Inside styles: Beyond the basics. Maynard, MA: Gabriel Systems.Google Scholar
  44. Grigorenko, E. L., and Sternberg, R. J. (1993). Thinking styles in school settings. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  45. Guralnik, D B (Ed.). (1976).Webster’s new world dictionary, second college edition: Classics edition. Akron, OH: William Collins.Google Scholar
  46. Gustafson, R., and Kallen, H. (1989). Alcohol effects on cognitive and personality style in women with special reference to primary and secondary process. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 13 (5), 644–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Harvey, O. J., Hunt, D. E., and Schroder, H. M. (1961). Conceptual systems and personality organization. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  48. Hennessy, S. M. (1992). A study of uncommon Myers-Briggs cognitive styles in law enforcement. Dissertation Abstracts International,52(12-A), 4308.Google Scholar
  49. Henson, K. T., and Borthwick, P. (1984). Matching styles: A historical look. Theory Into Practice, 23 (1), 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Hogarty, G. E., and Flesher, S. (1992). Cognitive remediation in schizophrenia: Proceed… with caution. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 18(1), 51–57.Google Scholar
  51. Holland, J. L. (1973). Making vocational choices: A theory of careers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  52. Huelsman, J. (1983). An exploratory study of the interrelationships of preferred learning style, psychological types, and other selected characteristics of practicing teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University, Columbus.Google Scholar
  53. Hunt, D. E. (1979). Learning style and students needs: An introduction to conceptual level. In Diagnosing and prescribing programs (pp. 27–38 ). Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.Google Scholar
  54. Hyman, R., and Rosoff, B. (1984). Matching learning and teaching styles: The jug and what’s in it. Theory and Practice, 23 (1), 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Joniak, A. J., and Isaksen, S. G. (1988). The Gregorc Style Delineator: Internal consistency and its relationship to Kirton’s adaptive-innovative distinction. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 8, 1043–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Joyce, B. R., and Hodges, R. E. (1966). Instructional flexibility training. Journal of Teacher Education, 17, 409–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Jung, C. (1923). Psychological types. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  58. Kagan, J. (1958). The concept of identification. Psychological Review, 65, 296–305.Google Scholar
  59. Kagan, J. (1965a). Individual differences in the resolution of response uncertainty. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2,154–160.Google Scholar
  60. Kagan, J. (1965b). Information processing in the child. In P. M. Mussen, J. J. Conger, and J. Kagan (Eds.), Readings in child development and personality. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  61. Kagan, J. (1965c). Reflection-impulsivity and reading ability in primary grade children. Child Development, 36, 609–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Kagan, J. (1966). Reflection-impulsivity: The generality and dynamics of conceptual tempo. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,71, 17–24.Google Scholar
  63. Kagan, J., and Kogan, N. (1970). Individual variation in cognitive processes. In P. A. Mussen (Ed.), Carmichael’s manual of child psychology (Vol. 1). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  64. Kagan, J., and Messer, S. B. (1975). A reply to “Some misgivings about the Matching Familiar Figures Test as a measure of reflection-impulsivity.” Developmental Psychology, 11, 244–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Kagan, J., Moss, H. A., and Sigel, I. E. (1963). Psychological significance of styles of conceptualization. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.Google Scholar
  66. Keller, R. T., and Holland, W. E. (1978). A cross-validation of the KAI in three research and development organizations. Applied Psychological Measurement, 2, 563–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Kelly, G. A. (1955). The psychology of personal constructs (2 vols). New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  68. Kirton, M. J. (1976). Adaptors and innovators: A description and measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 61, 622–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Kirton, M. J. (1977). Research edition: Kirton Adaptation-Innovation inventory. London: National Federation for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  70. Kirton, M. J., and de Ciantis, S. M. (1986). Cognitive styles and personality: The Kirton Adaption-Innovation and Cattell 16 Personality Factors Inventory. Personality and Individual Differences, 7 (2), 141–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Klein, G. S. (1954). Need and regulation. In M. R. Jones (Ed.) Nebraska Symposium of Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  72. Klein, G. S. (1970). Perception, motives, and personality. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  73. Klein, G. S., Barr, H. C., and Wolitsky, D. (1967). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 18, 467–560.Google Scholar
  74. Klein, G. S., Gardner, R. W., and Schlesinger, H. J. (1962). Tolerance for unrealistic experience: A study of the generality of a cognitive control. British Journal of Psychology, 53,41–55.Google Scholar
  75. Klein, G. S., and Schlesinger, H. J. (1951). Perceptual attitudes toward instability: I. Prediction of apparent movement experiences from Rorschach responses. Journal of Personality, 19, 289–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Kogan, N. (1971). Educational implications of cognitive styles. In G. S. Lesser (Ed.), Psychology and educational practice. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.Google Scholar
  77. Kogan, N. (1973). Creativity and cognitive style: A life span perspective. In P. Baltes and K. W. Schafe (Eds.), Life span developmental psychology: Personality and socialization. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  78. Kogan, N. (1976). Cognitive styles in infancy and early childhood. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  79. Kolb, D. A. (1974). On management and the learning process. In D. A. Kolb, I. M. Rubin, and J. M. McIntyre (Eds.), Organizational psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  80. Kolb, D. A. (1978). Learning Style Inventory technical manual. Boston: McBer.Google Scholar
  81. Kuerbis, P. J. (1988). Learning styles and science teaching. Newsletter of the National Association for Research in Science Teachin, 30(1).Google Scholar
  82. Kuchinskas, G. (1979). Whose cognitive style makes the difference? Educational Leadership, 36 (4), 269–271.Google Scholar
  83. Laval, C. (1980). Modification of impulsivity in male adolescent delinquents. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia.Google Scholar
  84. Lawrence, G. W. (1982). People type and tiger stripes. Gainesville, FL: Center for the Application of Psychological Type.Google Scholar
  85. Liddle, P. E. (1987). Schizophrenic syndromes, cognitive performance and neurological disfunction. Psychological Medicine, 17 (1), 49–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Luchins, A. S., and Luchins, E. H. (1970). Effects of preconceptions and communications on impressions of a person. Journal of Social Psychology, 81(2), 243–252.Google Scholar
  87. MacLeod, C. M., Jackson, R. A., and Palmer, J. (1986). On the relation between spatial ability and field dependence. Intelligence, 10 (2), 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Mann, L. (1973). Differences between reflective and impulsive children in tempo and quality of decision making. Child Development, 44, 274–279.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Meltzer, L. J. (1984). An analysis of the learning styles of adolescent delinquents. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 17 (10), 600–608.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Messer, S. (1970). The effect of anxiety over intellectual performance on reflection-impulsivity in children.Child Development, 41, 353–359.Google Scholar
  91. Messick, S. (1970). The criterion problem in the evaluation of instruction: Assessing possible, not just intended, outcomes. In M. C. Wittrock and D. Wiley (Eds.), The evaluation of instruction: Issues and problems. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  92. Messick, S. (1984). The nature of cognitive styles: Problems and promises in educational practice. Educational Psychologist, 19, 59–74.Google Scholar
  93. Mulligan, D. G., and Martin, W. (1980). Adaptors, innovators and promises in educational practice. Educational Psychologists, 19, 59–74.Google Scholar
  94. Myers, I. B. (1981). Gifts differing. Gainesville, FL: Center for the Application of Psychological Type.Google Scholar
  95. Myers, I. B., and McCaulley, M. H. (1985). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychological Press.Google Scholar
  96. Myers, I. B., andMyers, P. B. (1980). Gifts differing. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  97. Myers, P. L. (1988). Paranoid pseudocommunity beliefs in a sect milieu. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 23 (4), 252–255.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. O’Brien, T. P. (1990). Construct validation of the Gregorc Style Delineator: An application of Lisrel 7. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 50,631–636.Google Scholar
  99. Palei, A. I. (1986). Modalnostnaya structura emotsional’nosti i cognitivnyi stil [Emotionality and cognitive style]. Voprosy Psikhologii, 4, 118–126.>Google Scholar
  100. Paulsen, K. (1978). Reflection-impulsivity and level of maturity. Journal of Psychology,Journal of Psychology, 109–112.Google Scholar
  101. Peterson, C., and Scott, W. A. (1975). Generality and topic specificity of cognitive styles. Journal of Research in Personality, 9, 366–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Pettigrew, T. F. (1958). The measurement of category width as a cognitive variable. Journal of Personality, 26, 532–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Reissman, F. (1964). The strategy of style. Teachers College Record, 65, 484–489.Google Scholar
  104. Renzulli, J. S., and Smith, L. H. (1978). The learning styles inventory: A measure of student preference for instructional techniques. Mensfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press. Reynolds, C. R., Riegel, T., and Torrance, E. P. (1977). Bibliography on R/L hemisphere function. Gifted Child Quarterly, 28, 121–126.Google Scholar
  105. Ross, J. (1962). Factor analysis and levels of measurement in psychology. In S. Messick and J. Ross (Eds.), Measurement in personality and cognition. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  106. Royce, J. R. (1973). The conceptual framework for a multi-factor theory of individuality. In J. R. Royce (Ed.), Contributions of multivariate analysis to psychological theory. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  107. Schwartz, M., Friedman, R. J., Lindsay, P., and Narrol, H. (1982). The relationships between conceptual tempo and depression in children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50(4), 488–490.Google Scholar
  108. Smith, B. O. (1963). A conceptual analysis of instructional behavior. Journal of Teacher Education, 14, 294–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Smith, G. J. W., and Klein, G. S. (1953). Cognitive controls in serial behavior patterns. Journal of Personality, 22, 188–213.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Stahl, S. A., Erickson, L. G., and Rayman, M. C. (1986). Detection of inconsistencies by reflective and impulsive seventh-grade readers. National Reading Conference Yearbook, 35, 233–238.Google Scholar
  111. Sternberg, R. J. (1986). Intelligence is mental self-government. In R. J. Sternberg and D. K. Detterman (Eds.), What is intelligence? Contemporary viewpoints on its nature and definition. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  112. Sternberg, R. J. (1988). The triarchic mind: A new theory of human intelligence. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  113. Sternberg, R. J. (1994). Thinking styles and testing: Bridging the gap between ability and personality assessment. In R. J. Sternberg and P. Ruzgis (Eds.), Intelligence and personality (pp. 169–187 ). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  114. Sternberg, R. J., and Grigorenko, E. L. (1994). Thinking styles and the gifted. Roeper Review, 16, 122–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Sternberg, R. J., and Lubart, T. I. (1991a). Creating creative minds. Phi Delta Kappan, 608–614.Google Scholar
  116. Sternberg, R. J., and Lubart, T. I. (1991b). An investment theory of creativity and its development. Human Development, 34, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Sternberg, R. J., and Wagner, R. K. (1991). MSG Thinking Styles Inventory Manual. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  118. Vernon, P. (1973). Multivariate approaches to the study of cognitive styles. In J. R. Royce (Ed.), Contributions of multivariate analysis to psychological theory. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  119. Victor, J. B.,> Halverson, C. F., and Montague, R. B. (1985). Relations between reflection-impulsivity and behavioral impulsivity in preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 21(1),141–148.Google Scholar
  120. Wallach, M., and Kogan, N. (1965). Modes of thinking in young children. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  121. Wardell, D. M., and Royce, J. R. (1978). Toward a multi-factor theory of styles and their relationships to cognition and affect. Journal of Personality, 46(3), 474–505.Google Scholar
  122. Witkin, H. A. (1964). Origins of cognitive style. In C. Sheerer (Ed.), Cognition: Theory, research, promise. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  123. Witkin, H. A. (1973). The role of cognitive style in academic performance and in teacher-student relations. Unpublished report, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  124. Witkin, H. A. (1975). Some implications of research on cognitive style for problems of education. In J. M. Whitehead (Ed.), Personality and learning. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  125. Witkin, H. A., Dyk, R. B., Faterson, H. F., Goodenough, D. R., and Karp, S. A. (1962). Psychological differentiation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  126. Witkin, H. A., Lewis, H. B., Hertzman, M., Machover, K., Meissner, P. B., and Wapner, S. (1954). Personality through perception. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  127. Witkin, H. A., Oltman, P. K., Raskin, E., and Karp, S. A. (1971). Embedded Figures Test, Children’s Embedded Figures Test, Group Embedded Figures Test [manual]. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  128. WolitzkyD. L., and Wachtel, P. L. (1973). Personality and perception. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.) Handbook of general psychology. Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Google Scholar
  129. Zelniker, T., and Oppenheimer, L. (1973). Modification of information processing of impulsive children. Child Development, 44, 445–450.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena L. Grigorenko
    • 1
  • Robert J. Sternberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations