PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Classifying cognitive styles across disciplines

2014-04-17
(Press-News.org) Educators have tried to boost learning by focusing on differences in learning styles. Management consultants tout the impact that different decision-making styles have on productivity. Various fields have developed diverse approaches to understanding the way people process information. A new report from psychological scientists aims to integrate these disciplines by offering a new, integrated framework of cognitive styles that bridges different terminologies, concepts, and approaches.

"This new taxonomy of cognitive styles offers a clear categorization of different types of styles from basic and applied fields and thus eliminates the confusing labeling of styles, making it possible to integrate the findings on individual differences in cognition across different disciplines," says researcher Maria Kozhevnikov, Associate Professor in psychology at the National University of Singapore and Associate in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the new report.

Kozhevnikov and co-authors Carol Evans of the University of Exeter (UK) and Stephen Kosslyn of the Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute present the new framework in the latest issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The researchers draw on findings from psychological science and neuroscience to define cognitive style as environmentally sensitive individual differences in cognition that help an individual to adapt to his or her environment.

While these adaptive patterns or styles may initially grow out of innate predispositions (including basic processing capacities, intelligence, and personality traits), they are primarily shaped in response to our changing environments. These environmental demands occur at various layers, from the immediate environment (e.g., school and family) all the way up to institutional patterns of culture (e.g., the economy, societal customs, and bodies of knowledge).

The framework, which builds on the work of Polish psychologist Chezlaw Nosal, shows that it is possible to organize and systematize all the dimensions of cognitive style into a matrix that represents various levels of information processing (from lower-order cognitive processing to higher order complex cognitive skills) on one axis and various cognitive style families (types of adaptations to external environment) on the other axis.

Just like the chemical periodic table of elements, which allows scientists to predict the existence of elements and their compounds, the cognitive style matrix allows us to predict the properties of styles, predict unknown styles, and derive rules by which "compound" styles form.

The matrix is a work in progress, but the researchers believe it has direct applications for applied fields such as education and business/management:

"Current style assessments in applied fields have serious limitations, focusing either too narrowly on one particular dimension or combining cognitive style dimensions with other unrelated variables," says Kozhevnikov.

In the domain of business and management, for example, cognitive style is often mapped onto a single "analytical-intuitive" dimension. Not only is this mapping overly simplistic, but it is typically based on outdated notions of left-right brain differences. Although the left-brain/right-brain distinction has persisted in popular culture, there is little evidence to suggest that individual differences in cognitive processing can be linked to anatomical differences in the two hemispheres of the brain. The reality is that the brain works as a single interactive system.

Another common misconception is that information is easier to process when it matches a person's preferred cognitive style. This theory — known as the "matching hypothesis" in education and "person-environment fit" in business — suggests, for example, that "visual learners" and "auditory learners" engage best with material presented in their preferred mode.

Yet, research suggests that style flexibility — being able to select among styles, monitor their effectiveness, and switch styles if necessary — may actually be more important than style rigidity.

"Teaching a student to select the most appropriate style to a given situation among a variety of styles and how to switch styles if necessary is a much more beneficial approach," says Kozhevnikov.

The new taxonomy can help researchers in education and management to develop instruments that more accurately tap into cognitive styles, it can help teachers and managers assess which cognitive styles are required to perform a specific task well, and it can inform the development of programs that train individuals to apply various styles.

"Research on cognitive style in psychology, culture-sensitive individual differences in neuroscience, learning styles in education, and decision styles in business and management all address the same phenomena," says Kozhevnikov. "Integrating these phenomena into a unified framework not only illuminates the use of cognitive style in applied disciplines like education and in business and management, it also contributes to developments within the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience."

INFORMATION: The full report, "Cognitive Style as Environmentally Sensitive Individual Differences in Cognition: A Modern Synthesis and Applications in Education, Business, and Management," is available free to the public online: http://psi.sagepub.com/content/15/1/3.full

The report is accompanied by an introduction from Robert J. Sternberg of Cornell University, "Adopted at Last!," which is also available to the public: http://psi.sagepub.com/content/15/1/1.2.full

For more information about this research, please contact study author Maria Kozhevnikov: mkozhevn@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu.

Psychological Science in the Public Interest is a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. It publishes an eclectic mix of thought-provoking articles on the latest important advances in psychology. For a copy of the article "Cognitive Style as Environmentally Sensitive Individual Differences in Cognition: A Modern Synthesis and Applications in Education, Business, and Management" and access to other Psychological Science in the Public Interest research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

Unraveling the black ribbon around lung cancer
2014-04-17
It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer? Although white has been identified as the designated color, for many suffering from the disease, black may be the only one they think fits. A Michigan State University study consisting of lung cancer patients, primarily smokers between the ages of 51 to 79 years old, is shedding more light on the stigma often felt by these patients, the emotional toll it can have and how health providers ...

Some immune cells defend only 1 organ

2014-04-17
Scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system may fight cancers and viral infections. The finding could aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness. The research, in mice, suggests that some organs have the immunological equivalent of "neighborhood police" – specialized squads of defenders that patrol only one area, a single organ, instead of an entire city, the body. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that the liver, skin and uterus each has dedicated immune cells, which they call tissue-resident natural killer ...

Deaths from viral hepatitis surpasses HIV/AIDS as preventable cause of deaths in Australia

2014-04-17
The analysis was conducted by Dr Benjamin Cowie and Ms Jennifer MacLachlan from the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, and was presented at The International Liver Congress in London earlier this month. "Liver cancer is the fastest increasing cause of cancer deaths in Australia, increasing each year by 5 per cent, so by more than seventy people each year. In 2014 there was an estimated number of deaths of around 1,500 from liver cancer. The predominant cause is chronic viral Hepatitis," Dr Cowie said. Hepatitis refers to the inflammation of the liver. Chronic ...

Ancient sea-levels give new clues on ice ages

2014-04-17
International researchers, led by the Australian National University (ANU), have developed a new way to determine sea-level changes and deep-sea temperature variability over the past 5.3 million years. The findings will help scientists better understand the climate surrounding ice ages over the past two million years, and could help determine the relationship between carbon dioxide levels, global temperatures and sea levels. The team from ANU, the University of Southampton (UoS) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the United Kingdom, examined oxygen isotope ...

Scientists find new way to fight malaria drug resistance

2014-04-17
An anti-malarial treatment that lost its status as the leading weapon against the deadly disease could be given a new lease of life, with new research indicating it simply needs to be administered differently. The findings could revive the use of the cheap anti-malarial drug chloroquine in treating and preventing the mosquito-bourne disease, which claims the lives of more than half a million people each year around the world. The parasite that causes malaria has developed resistance to chloroquine, but research carried out at the Australian National University (ANU) ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

2014-04-17
A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the happy couple. The details reported in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing suggest that most people hope to garner social benefits of buying an expensive gift that somehow enhances their relationship with the newlyweds while at the same time they wish to limit monetary cost and save money. Yun Kyung Oh of the Department of ...

More research called for into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in African children

2014-04-17
Researchers from LSTM have called for more research to be carried out into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases LSTM's Professor Russell Stothard, working with colleagues in the department of Parasitology and researchers from Cape Western Reserve University, in Cleveland Ohio, University of Cambridge and the Royal Veterinary College looked at previous research into the joint burden of HIV/AIDS and schistosomiasis of children, and found that while disease-specific control interventions are continuing, ...

Biomedical applications of shape-memory polymers: How practically useful are they?

Biomedical applications of shape-memory polymers: How practically useful are they?
2014-04-17
Polymers that exhibit shape-memory effect (SME) are an important class of materials in medicine, especially for minimally invasive deployment of devices. Professor Subbu Venkatraman and his group from School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University presented a review article surveying the clinical applications of the SME and addressing critically the question of its utility in implantable devices. Their work, entitled "Biomedical applications of shape-memory polymers: How practically useful are they?", was published in SCIENCE CHINA Chemistry.2014, ...

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale
2014-04-17
Researchers in France have hit on a novel method to help kidney stone sufferers ensure they receive the correct and most effective treatment possible. Kidney stones represent a major medical problem in the western and developing world. If left untreated, apart from being particularly painful, they can lead to renal failure and other complications. In many patients treated successfully, stone recurrence is also amajor problem. Clearly a more effective pathological approach to diagnosis and treatment needs to be identified to ensure successful eradication of stones. Worldwide ...

Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed

2014-04-17
Sodium channels are implicated in many serious conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy and pain, making them an important potential target for drug therapies. Unfortunately, there is still much scientists do not know about the molecules. New Cambridge research provides fresh and unexpected insight into the structure of sodium channels and, specifically, one of its components - β-subunit molecules - which are responsible for 'fine-tuning' the activity of the channel. The research is published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nerves ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Echidnapus identified from an ‘Age of Monotremes’

Semaglutide may protect kidney function in individuals with overweight or obesity and cardiovascular disease

New technique detects novel biomarkers for kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin

PKMYT1, a potential ‘Achilles heel’ of treatment resistant ER+ breast cancers with the poorest prognosis

PH-binding motifs as a platform for drug design: Lessons from protease-activated receptors (PARs)

Virginia Tech researcher creates new tool to move tiny bioparticles

On repeat: Biologists observe recurring evolutionary changes, over time, in stick insects

Understanding a broken heart

Genetic cause of rare childhood immune disorders discovered

With wobbling stars, astronomers gauge mass of 126 exoplanets and find 15 new ones

High H5N1 influenza levels found in mice given raw milk from infected dairy cows

Study finds discreet shipping used to sell e-cigarettes to minors

African scientists call for equitable research partnerships to advance microbiome research

How COVID-19 'breakthrough' infections alter your immune cells

Virginia Tech entomologist sheds light on 250-year-old mystery of the German cockroach

Advancing skin science: explore Skin Ageing & Challenges 2024 Strategic Topics in Malta this November

Controlling water, transforming greenhouse gases

MSK Research Highlights, May 24, 2024

ASCO: Large precision oncology study identifies differences in prostate cancer genomics among a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of U.S. veterans

ASCO: Combination therapy significantly improves outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Euclid space mission releases first scientific results and new images of the cosmos

Sociodemographic heterogeneity in the associations of social isolation with mortality

COVID-19 admission rates and changes in care quality in us hospitals

Preterm and early-term delivery after heat waves in 50 US metropolitan areas

Research spotlight: Virtual scribes reduced physicians’ time spent on electronic health records

[Press-News.org] Classifying cognitive styles across disciplines