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ERIC Number: EJ985717
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1918-2902
An Empirical Investigation of the Relationships among Cognitive Abilities, Cognitive Style, and Learning Preferences in Students Enrolled in Specialized Degree Courses at a Canadian College
Choi, Jean; Sardar, Shaila
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v2 n1 Article 5 2011
Although specific cognitive abilities, cognitive style, and learning preferences are assumed to be inter-related, the empirical evidence supporting this assumption is mixed. Cognitive style refers to how individuals represent information, and learning preference refers to how individuals prefer the presentation of information (Mayer & Massa, 2003). Both cognitive style and learning preferences have been linked to specific cognitive abilities, such as verbal abilities, visual imagery and spatial abilities, though the nature of the inter-relationships remains tenuous in the literature. The present study addressed the roles of specific cognitive abilities in the relationship between learning preferences and the visualizer-verbalizer dimension of cognitive style, using a unique sample of students enrolled in specialized post-secondary programs. A battery of cognitive tests and questionnaires was administered. It was found that spatial abilities predicted visual cognitive style, which in turn, predicted visual learning preferences. Vocabulary knowledge predicted verbal cognitive style, but not verbal learning preferences. These results suggest that specific cognitive abilities predict visual-verbal cognitive styles, though the distinction between visual-verbal cognitive styles does not have clear associations with learning preferences. (Contains 3 tables.)
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada