A factor analytic comparison of four learning-styles instruments

Barbara G. Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Four learning-styles instruments, differing in form, length, language, and conceptualization of learning style (the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales, Kolb Learning Styles Inventory, Dunn Learning Style Inventory, and Johnson Decision Making Inventory) were administered to 471 high school and community college students. The results of factor analysis were compared to the conceptualization of learning style as outlined by each of the authors of the tests. Factors were compared to types of behaviors outlined in the literature by J. W. Keefe (1979) as comprising learning style, and factors derived from each instrument were compared to those derived from the others in order to determine overlap in factors. Results contribute to the validation of only 1 of the 4 conceptualizations of learning style. All 4 instruments measured behaviors outlined by 1 conceptualization in the literature to comprise learning style, but none of the instruments measured all types of behaviors. Some overlap of factors did exist among the 4 instruments, but the instruments were clearly not measuring the same thing. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • factor analysis, 4 learning style measures, high school & community college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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