Examining wholistic-analytic style using preferences in early information processing

E R Peterson, I J Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Numerous cognitive style tests have been designed to measure the wholistic-analytic style dimension. Most of these tests have been derived from the psychometric tradition and they require participants to complete relatively complex higher order cognitive tasks. These tasks reveal little about the information processing underlying the dimension. This study uses an information processing approach to investigate whether reliable individual differences in wholistic-analytic processing can be detected using a simpler inspection time type task. It also examines whether these differences correlate with an existing and more cognitively complex test of wholistic-analytic cognitive style. Seventy participants completed the new Wholistic-Analytic Inspection Time (WA-IT) task twice and the Extended Cognitive Styles Analysis-Wholistic-Analytic test (Extended CSA-WA) once. The wholistic-analytic style ratios, which are used to determine individuals' cognitive styles on both tasks, were found to be normally distributed. Individual differences on the new WA-IT task were reliable (r = .670, p < .001). However, the WA-IT and Extended CSA-WA ratios did not correlate significantly (r = -.08, p, = .53), which suggests that wholistic-analytic style preferences change depending on the nature of the task and possibly also with task complexity. These findings have important implications for the identification of wholistic-analytic individual differences in other cognitive style tests. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • wholistic-analytic
  • cognitive style
  • inspection time
  • information processing
  • FORM


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