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Predicting diagnosis performance with measures of cognitive style

Morrison, D.L. (1988) Predicting diagnosis performance with measures of cognitive style. Current Psychology, 7 (2). pp. 136-156.

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This study examines the relationship between performance on a context-independent fault diagnosis task and two dimensions of cognitive style: field dependence/independence (D-I) and focusing/scanning (F-S). The effects on diagnosis performance of training and the ability of both dimensions of style jointly to predict fault-finding ability were considered. The results showed that field independents and focusers were superior fault diagnosticians. Training, in the form of verbal feedback messages, was uniformly effective for the D-I dimension although field independents maintained a superior level of performance, over field dependents. In general, for the F-S dimension, training had little effect on either the focusers or scanners. A combination of scores on the F-S and D-I dimensions significantly enhanced the proportion of the variance in testing efficiency that could be accounted for during fault-finding. Finally it is argued that the F-S and D-I dimensions should be recognized as measures of ability, not style. Future research should be directed at identifying between subject differences on fault diagnosis tasks with reference to theories of information processing.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Copyright: © 1988 Springer.
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