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Student Cognitive Styles in Postsecondary Technology Programs


John W. Hansen

University of Houston, US
About John
An Assistant Professor of Industrial Technology, University of Houston, Houston, TX.
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Much of the published research on cognitive styles focuses on the differences in cognitive styles of students pursuing different majors in either a four year in- stitution or a two year institution. For example, Witkin, et al. (1977) con- ducted a ten year longitudinal study in four year institutions which sought to determine if field dependence/independence was related to a student's (1) initial major choice (science, education, and other) and final degree major and (2) achievement in various major courses. The study determined that the selection of a major was influenced by cognitive styles and that students who initially selected majors that required a particular cognitive style which was different than their own were more likely to change to a major which complemented their cognitive style. The study also found a tendency for students to receive higher grades in fields that were compatible with their cognitive style.

How to Cite: Hansen, J. W. (2011). Student Cognitive Styles in Postsecondary Technology Programs. Journal of Technology Education, 6(2), 19–33. DOI:
Published on 22 Mar 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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