Cognitive styles of personality: analysis of individual differences, multifunctional approach

  • O. Bogataia G.S. Kostiuk Institute of Psychology of the NAPS of Ukraine
  • S. Kolokolov G.S. Kostiuk Institute of Psychology of the NAPS of Ukraine
Keywords: cognitive style; personality; cognitive processes; activity; reflection; field independency; impulsiveness.


The article proves that there are at least three main motivations which induce a psychologist to study cognitive styles: first, establishing connections between domains of cognition and personality; second, understanding, prognostication and improvement of educational environment; and third, improvement of professional selection and further employment. Research work in cognitive-centered approach is based on determination of cognitive styles as concepts of individual abilities, which are often measured by tests of maximal efficiency, using "right" and "wrong" answers. Majority of scientific work in this approach emerges as a result of a necessity to understand of qualitative modes of cognitive functioning, but not simply to receive a general quantitative estimation (IQ for example). Reflexivity is  viewed as tendency to consideration and reflection on alternative variants to solve a problem. Reflexive individuals stop to think before they start to perform some task or making some decision, and also spend some time on estimation of available variants. Accordingly impulsiveness as axial opposite entity is described as tendency to impulsive reactions without sufficient previous thinking. Concept of filed dependency – field independency, usually based on works of Witkin et al. and also known as "psychological differentiation", marks the extent of one’s dependency/independency on organization of external perceptive field. Whereas cognitive styles based on cognitive-centered approach seem synonymous to abilities concept, styles within personality-centered approach are interpreted rather as personality traits. Moreover, styles in this approach are measured by tests of typical (average) efficiency instead of maximal values of the latter. The third approach (activity-centered) to cognitive styles is focused on the concept of cognitive style as a mediator of various forms and types of human activity, which can include different aspects of cognition and personality. Thus this approach aims to offer more dynamic and flexible conceptualization of cognitive styles.


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Bogataia, O., & Kolokolov, S. (2018). Cognitive styles of personality: analysis of individual differences, multifunctional approach. Fundamental and Applied Researches in Practice of Leading Scientific Schools, 30(6), 87-92. Retrieved from