Title

A CRITIQUE OF COGNITIVE STYLES THEORY AND RESEARCH

Abstract

Within the past decade many writers and researchers have recognized the importance of including psychological characteristics in managerial decision models. Cognitive styles have been singled out for research attention to determine their importance in information use and the acceptance of the recommendations made by management scientists. Despite the evidence that cognitive styles influence information processing in these contexts, conceptual and methodological weaknesses have seriously hampered the conclusiveness of cognitive syles research. Among the weaknesses evident in cognitive styles research studies are: 1) inadequately formulated theory of cognitive styles, 2) the use of a great many inadequately validated measuring instruments for assessing cognitive styles, and 3) faulty research designs. A review of the cognitive styles literature is presented; then these three problems are discussed and suggestions are made for correcting these limitations in cognitive styles research.

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