Styles Resource Site
Witkin et al.
Identifies two cognitive styles: field dependent and field independent. This is one of the rare learning styles instruments that has been reasonably well validated; the field dependence/field independence model has successfully predicted academic performance in a number of studies (Hayes & Allinson, 1997; Thompson et al, 1979; Wilson, 1998). (Field independent students are more likely than field dependent students to succeed academically.)
many of the other inventories and theories, these dimensions are entirely
distinct and separate from the Jungian dimensions. So they do not have any
relation to introversion-extroversion, concreteness-abstractness, or
random-sequential thinking in any way. This makes this theory a useful adjunct
to the others. It is also quite predictive of what might be called giftedness.
Those who have a field-independent preference due to their narrow focus and
ability to screen can process information more efficiently, but may miss the
social context that their field-dependent peers more readily perceive. So an
over simplification would be that field-dependence leads to popularity and
field-independence leads to academic success.
scholars feel, however, that the GEFT measures ability rather than learning
style, making it an inappropriate choice as a tool to help students understand