A reflection on the future of the cognitive style field: a proposed research agenda

Eva Cools


The aim of this article is to build further on previous suggestions for the advancement of the style field by focusing on six critical issues in the area of the theory, measurement, and practical relevance of cognitive styles. Summarising these critical issues, it is suggested that it is necessary to (1) provide conceptual clarification by situating cognitive styles in the individual differences field, (2) develop an overarching, contextualised individual differences model, (3) conduct longitudinal, contextual research designs to find the origins of cognitive style, (4) search for fundamental cognitive style dimensions in the myriad of cognitive style models, (5) evolve from self-report questionnaires to multi-source, multi-method approaches, and (6) bridge the relevance gap by different approaches of knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination. On the basis of an overview of past and present work, an agenda for future research in the field of cognitive styles is proposed. Ideally, cognitive style research should evolve towards ?Ǩpragmatic science?ǨѢ, which combines high theoretical rigour with high practical relevance.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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