Learning Styles Resource Site
Perceptual Modality Preference Survey (PMPS)
Dunn and Dunn
The PMPS system is characterized by a multitude of learning style dimensions, including Immediate Environment (with subscales for Noise Level, Light, Temperature, Design [formal or informal learning environment], Emotionality, Motivation, Persistence, Responsibility, and Structure [need for external structure]), Sociological Needs (with subscales for Learning Alone/Peer Oriented, Authority Figures Present, and Learn in Several Ways), and Physical Needs (with subscales for Auditory, Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic, Requires Intake, Evening-Morning/Late Morning/Afternoon, and Needs Mobility).
While the model has some content validity, it is limited in that it does not really deal with psychological dimensions of learning. As a result it lacks an organic basis and therefore stability of “type.” This also creates a limitation in how it can be used to make educational choices or determine student needs or aptitudes.
This model has been used in countless studies, and some feel that it has been well validated (Lewthwaite & Dunham, 1999; Curry, 1987; Dunn & Griggs, 1995), but others strongly criticize the model as unvalidated and lacking an underlying theory (Bonham, 1988; Kavale, Hirschoren, & Forness, 1998; Kaiser, 1998). Another concern is that the instrument has so many scales (21) that it might be difficult for students and faculty to assimilate them all and “see the forest for the trees,” drawing an overall picture of learning style.