A Window into Learning Style and Cognitive Preference

Paragon Learning Style Inventory

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PLSI Version 48a

These are the directions for facilitators:

1. Be sure to become familiar with the PLSI materials and cognitive type theory before facilitating its use with learners.

2. Provide each student with a materials packet and score sheet. Make sure that each learner has something to write with.

3. Provide a test taking environment that is free of distractions, expectations from any professional or personal context, and the influences of others.

4. Provide test takers the following directions at the start:

bulletFree your mind of all external influences.
bulletIt is important to answer the way you feel, not the way that you think others (bosses, spouses, parents, teachers) would like you to answer.
bulletThere are no correct answers; the best answer is the one that is most honest for you.
bulletAnswer quickly, and when in doubt go with your first instinct.
bulletTo place your responses in the correct location, notice that you must answer across the page (horizontally) and not down (vertically).

5. Provide the following instructions as test takers begin to complete their inventories:

bulletNotice the spaces at the bottom of each column. Count the number of a's and the number of b's and place those totals in the correct place below.
For example:
44. b
48. b
a/J- 3
b/P- 9
bulletStudents who have clear preferences (8 or more choices in one category) should be instructed to place the letters of those preferences in the spaces at the bottom of the page as shown here:
Putting your answers together (place the letter with the highest total in the spaces below)

___E___ INTROVERT/EXTROVERT (first column)
___S___ SENSATE/INTUITIVE (second column)
___F___ THINKER/FEELER (third column)
___P___ JUDGER/PERCEIVER (fourth column)


bulletStudents who have ties (i.e., 6 in one space and 6 in another), and even students with 7 – 5 preferences, should be instructed to use the dimension pair lists on the next page of their packets to attempt to break the tie or clarify a preference. Usually if test takers examine each list, they will likely see one or the other that is "more them." Remember this is only an inventory not an absolute measure.
bulletOne person in 20 will have a legitimate tie in one area (i.e., they are on the fence between two dimension preferences). In that case, they can refer to themselves as an X (i.e., EXTP). Therefore, they may want to educate themselves in both pertinent type combinations (i.e., ESTP and ENTP). But as they become more familiar with the dimension combinations, they may
feel as though they can break their tie.

6. Test takers should be given the opportunity to process the results of their inventory and its implications. It is CRITICAL that all test takers understand that there are NO better types, and that all types are just as valuable. 

7. Facilitators have several options after inventories have been completed. The degree to which any individual would want to help test takers make sense of cognitive type and its implications would depend on their comfort with the material and the theory. Here are some ideas for how to facilitate a deeper understanding in the learners:

bulletAsk questions that provoke inductive processing of the topic. For example, one could ask, 
"how is this information liberating to you?" 
"how could it be used in a limiting way?"
"what are some benefits to having people of all different types?"
bulletCompare cognitive type to left or right handedness. Just as we were more inclined to use one hand or the other, we are more comfortable using one preference or another.
bulletTake each dimension one at a time, and explain the two sides. Beginning with introversion and extroversion. Compare how the each preference plays out in behavior. Again, this can be achieved to some degree inductively. Asking questions may be a good way to help the learners stay engaged and to make sense of the dimensions. For example, you may ask, "which type tends to raise their hand more?" or "which type tends to be more reflective?" But it can not be overemphasized – both sides of each dimension are equally important. If learners are made to feel that one type or those with certain preferences are better, many will likely become hostile to the entire theory.
bulletIt is useful to give learners scenarios to help them process the applications of cognitive type. For example you may ask them about the difficulties (and ultimately the solutions) for a teacher with type X and a student with type Y, or a two friends, or two members of a committee. Have small groups brainstorm problems and solutions and then share them with the
whole group.
bulletTailor any presentation to the needs of the group. There are limited materials that are provided with the PLSI. These materials are mainly intended for younger learners and teachers. There are excellent materials available. Consulting Psychologists Press (800-624-1765) has excellent materials available for purchase.

8. All purposes and applications of type information by facilitators should be explained to test takers. 

9. Refer to suggestions for teaching and type for ideas related to how to teach incorporating the needs of each type.


::Dr. John Shindler's Web::Dr. Harrison Yang's Web:: Western Alliance for the Study of School Climate::

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Last Update: October 25, 2004