Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James W. Keefe
Cognitive styles have been described by some researchers as rather consistent differences between individuals in the way they organize and process information and life experiences. They represent stable attitudes, individual preferences, and/or habitual strategies that determine a person's “typical” mode of seeing, remembering, thinking, and solving problems. Cognitive styles describe the representative ways that individuals process information. Elements of style were already the objects of research before the end of the nineteenth century, much of it preoccupied with finding one perceptual mode that would best improve learning and/or retention. Research on cognitive styles expanded after World War II at Brooklyn College, the Menninger Foundation, and the Fels Institute. Herman A. Witkin and his colleagues at Brooklyn College developed the bipolar trait of “field dependence-independence,” the ability to identify a figure against a ...