Compare and Contrast Riding & Rayners Concept of Cognitive Styles with Biggs Concept of Learning Style

2. ‘Compare and contrast Riding and Rayner’s concept of cognitive style with Biggs concept of learning style’

The term ‘style’ was first used within psychology by Allport (1937). Since, ‘Style’ has been frequently applied to define behaviour that is constant and consistent, in most given situations (Grigorenko & Sternberg, 1995). The term has always been associated individual differences, as one’s style is personal to one’s self (Riding & Rayner, 1997). Learning style and cognitive style both have applications in educational psychology, where the concept of Style is seen as knowledge of how students learn best and how teachers should use such concepts to tailor teaching methods to maximise learning. However each differ in terms of basis and plasticity.
Riding and Rayner’s concept of cognitive style stems from a focus on individual differences in approaches to tasks (Rayner & Riding, 1997). The concept is based on observable behaviour as opposed to subjective, self-report measures, as most find it hard to assess how others perceive them (Riding & Rayner, 1997). Cognitive Style is an ‘individual’s preferred approach to organising and representing information’ (Riding & Rayner, 1997, p. 8). Riding (1997) states cognitive style cannot change; one cannot ‘switch off’ their style, therefore it is fixed. Cognitive Style is measured over two dimensions; Wholist-Analytic (whether the individual organises information in whole or in parts) and Verbal-Imagery (whether individual represents information mentally, verbally or in pictures). Cognitive style is said to rule many behavioural outcomes but is not linked to intelligence, gender or personality, as low correlations in studies disprove otherwise (Riding & Rayner, 1997).
On the other hand, Biggs (Biggs, 2001) proposed, that opposed to individuals possessing different Cognitive Styles, individuals utilise different ‘Learning Styles’. Biggs (2001) proposed two different Learning Styles; ‘deep’...