Cools, Eva; Armstrong, Steven John; Verbrigghe, Jasmijn (2014)
This study provides insights and recommendations concerning methodological practices of cognitive style research applied to the field of business and psychology. Based on a carefully designed selection process, 139 style-related articles published between 1986 and 2010 were content-analysed. In terms of research design, we found the field to be dominated by quantitative, cross-sectional, and single-source designs that relied heavily on self-reports, sample surveys, and student samples. While this might indicate a potential vulnerability in terms of internal and external validity, a strong emphasis on construct validity was also found, exemplified by high attention to reliability, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. With regard to construct measurement, although more than 30 different instruments were used, the field was dominated by three of these. Regarding data analysis, traditional approaches have been mainly used and more advanced and novel approaches have not yet permeated through the cognitive style field. Implications and suggestions for future research are offered. This is the first review of methodological practices in cognitive style research and represents an important step in the advancement of the field.
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