سبک های تفکر، عزت نفس و وضعیت اجتماعی-اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|30422||2001||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 31, Issue 8, December 2001, Pages 1333–1346
The present study aimed at examining the nature of thinking styles. Six hundred and ninety-four students (ages ranging from 17–45) from the University of Hong Kong participated in the study. The participants responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory and the Self-Esteem Inventory (Adult Form) and provided a range of socio-economic status (SES) indicators. It was found that when age was controlled, thinking styles and self-esteem overlap. Furthermore, regardless of age, those students who reported using thinking styles that are creativity-generating and more complex, and those who reported higher self-esteem tend to be students from higher SES families. Discussion was made in relation to these findings' practical implications for teachers.
For decades, scholars have been investigating the roles of styles in human performance. Between the late 1950s and mid 1970s, numerous theories and models of styles have been proposed. However, this proliferation of theories and research on styles subsided partially due to the overwhelming output from the field and partially due to its lack of internal dialogue (Jones, 1997). By 1991, when Riding and Cheema reviewed the styles literature, they discovered over thirty labels for the style construct. Thus, we were left with a research field that encompasses a variety of seemingly different, yet similar constructs. In the past decade or so, there has been renewed interest in the work of styles. One major type of work is to conceptually integrate the style labels. Three of the most prominent works in this endeavor are Curry's (1983) three-layer 'onion' model of style measures, Riding and Cheema's (1991) model of two style dimensions and one family of learning strategies, and Grigorenko and Sternberg's (1995) three traditions of the study of styles. All three works have been illustrated in Zhang's (2000a) recent research paper. In addition, efforts have also been made in trying to distinguish the most commonly used terms with the root word “style” in the literature. For example, Sternberg (1997) discussed the differences among cognitive styles, learning styles, and thinking styles. Cognitive styles might be used to characterize ways of cognizing certain information. Learning styles might be used to characterize how one prefers to learn about certain information. Thinking styles might be used to characterize how one prefers to think about the material as one is learning it or after one already knows it. These three types of styles, although different, have one thing in common. That is, styles are not abilities, but rather, they are individuals' preferred ways of processing information and of using the abilities that they have. Sternberg, 1988 and Sternberg, 1997 also proposed his own theory of thinking styles, a theory he named as the “theory of mental self-government”. Sternberg used the metaphor “mental self-government” to portray the way the human mind works. Just as there are many ways of governing our society, there are many ways of governing or managing our daily activities. These different ways of governing or managing our activities are what Sternberg, 1988 and Sternberg, 1997 called “thinking styles”. This theory postulated 13 thinking styles that fall along five dimensions. These are functions (including the legislative, executive, and judicial thinking styles), forms (including the hierarchical, oligarchic, monarchic, and anarchic thinking styles), levels (including the global and local thinking styles), scopes (including the internal and external thinking styles), and leaning (including the liberal and conservative thinking styles) of the mental self-government. In the Appendix, each thinking style is briefly described. In our opinion, these 13 styles can be classified into two types of styles. The first type of thinking styles (e.g. legislative, judicial, global, hierarchical, and liberal) are creativity-generating and require complex information processing (referred to as Type I thinking styles hereafter). People who employ Type I thinking styles tend to be norm-challenging and risk-taking. The second type of thinking styles (e.g. executive, local, and conservative) require simplistic information processing (referred to as Type II thinking styles hereafter). People who employ Type II thinking styles tend to be norm-favoring and/or authority-oriented. Compared with previous models and theories of styles, the theory of mental self-government possesses three major strengths. First, the styles delineated in the theory fall along multiple dimensions rather than on just a single dimension. Second, unlike the traditional models and theories of styles, the styles in the theory of mental self-government are not “good” or “bad”, but rather, they are time-, task-, and situation-dependent. Third, unlike traditional style theorists who argued that styles are mostly fixed, Sternberg (1997) contended that thinking styles are socialized. The theory of mental self-government has been operationalized through several instruments, including the Thinking Styles Inventory (Sternberg & Wagner, 1992). Two types of work have been carried out in Hong Kong, Mainland China, as well as in the United States. The first is to validate the theory. This research resulted in sufficient reliability and validity data for the inventory in all three cultures. The second type of work is to investigate the nature of thinking styles by testing the thinking styles against both personal characteristics and against relevant constructs proposed in other style theories. So far, all studies using the theory of mental self-government have been conducted in educational settings. Results of this research are summarized briefly. First, students differ in their thinking styles depending on their personal characteristics (e.g. age, birth-order, and gender) and their learning environments. Second, teachers' thinking styles vary as a function of both their personal characteristics and their teaching experiences. Third, students tend to obtain better academic achievement scores when their thinking styles match the thinking styles of their teachers. Fourth, thinking styles overlap with personality types. Fifth, thinking styles and learning approaches are significantly correlated. Detailed results of this research are reported in Sternberg & Grigorenko, 1995, Zhang, 1999, Zhang, 2000a and Zhang, 2000b, and Zhang and Sternberg (1998). The present study sought to understand the nature of thinking styles as defined in the theory of mental self-government. We gained this understanding through testing thinking styles against two different variables, these are self-esteem and socio-economic status (SES). Self-esteem is one's value judgement of one's personal worthiness (Coopersmith, 1967). This judgement expresses the degree of approval or disapproval of oneself. It indicates the extent to which an individual believes him or herself capable, significant, and successful. Self-esteem, as an individual-difference variable in human performance, especially in the context of student learning, has also been researched extensively. In general, research on self-esteem has revealed the following: first, higher self-esteem is related to better academic achievement (e.g. Leondari et al., 1998 and Watkins & Gutierrez, 1990) and to stronger motivation for learning (e.g. Chapman, 1988 and Dweck, 1986). Second, higher self-esteem affects peer relationship in a positive way (e.g. Connor, 1994 and O’Dell et al., 1994). Third, the development of self-esteem has to do with both personal factors and environmental factors (e.g. Lazarowitz, 1994 and Watkins, 1993). Fourth and most importantly, self-esteem can be enhanced through training programs (e.g. Chung & Watkins, 1992, Connor, 1994 and O’Dell et al., 1994). Only a paucity of research, however, has been conducted to investigate the relationship between styles and self-esteem. We briefly review the ones identified in the literature. Bhatnager and Rastogi (1986) found that field-independent university students had a more positive and psychologically better developed sense of identity than did those who were field-dependent (see also Jain, Bhatnager & Rastogi, 1988). In a study of 32 American female university students, Shain, Farber and Barry (1989) found that participants identified as using an analytical cognitive style were more likely to achieve identity formation than were those with a more global cognitive style. In a more recent study of 63 sixth-grade students in a southwestern Ontario city, Bosacki, Innerd and Towson (1997) discovered that field independence and self-esteem was correlated negatively for girls and positively for boys. So far, there is no published work concerning the relationship between thinking styles and self-esteem that is based on Sternberg's theory of mental self-government. The present study attempts to investigate this relationship. Furthermore, the present study tests both thinking styles and self-esteem against a third variable — SES. We are interested in introducing the variable SES into the examination of the relationships between thinking styles and self-esteem for three major reasons. First, the impact of SES on human growth has been extensively researched in many fields of study. Most notably, the relationships of SES to such student learning-relevant variables as academic performance, career aspiration, and classroom behaviors, have been examined. This research has indicated that SES plays an important role in each of the student learning-relevant variables. Because both thinking styles and self-esteem are also important in student learning, we intended to find out if SES is related to thinking styles and self-esteem in certain predicted ways. Second, as discussed earlier, according to Sternberg, the thinking styles defined in his theory are socialized. SES has long been recognized as one of the major socializing factors (e.g. Bourdieu, 1984 and Collins, 1971) in schools. We, therefore, believe that students from different SES families should tend to employ different thinking styles. Third, in a study of US secondary school students, Sternberg and Grigorenko (1995) found that SES is positively related to the legislative and judicial thinking style, but negatively to the conservative and local thinking styles. We were interested in finding out if a similar relationship could be identified among Hong Kong university students. Furthermore, in this study, we use more than just one SES indicator. In the present study, we made three predictions. First, Type I thinking styles are significantly positively related to self-esteem whereas Type II thinking styles are significantly negatively related to self-esteem. Second, Type I thinking styles are significantly positively related to SES whereas Type II thinking styles are significantly negatively related to SES. Third, self-esteem and SES are positively correlated.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The present study contributed to the literature on styles in two ways. First, it provided empirical evidence for the relationships of self-esteem to the thinking styles that are defined by the latest theoretical model of styles. Second, this study provided empirical evidence for Sternberg's argument that styles are socialized (also see Saracho, 1993), as manifested in the relationship between thinking styles and socio-economic status. A by-product of this study is its finding that self-esteem is significantly related to SES, which confirmed previous research findings. It should be noted that the present study is the first of its kind, and thus, it serves only as an exploratory study. The nature of the relationships of thinking styles to self-esteem and to socio-economic status requires further investigation. A question that arises is: what are the practical implications of these findings for teachers? Two implications are discussed. First, teachers could make good use of the relationships between thinking styles and self-esteem either in cultivating Type I thinking styles or in enhancing students' self-esteem. Because thinking styles and self-esteem are significantly related, changes in one variable are likely to lead to changes in the other. For instance, teachers could facilitate activities that are aimed at promoting students' self-esteem. With higher self-esteem, students will become more confident in what they do. This self-confidence would stimulate students to think more creatively and become more risk-taking and norm-challenging in their task performance. Complementarily, teachers could promote Type I thinking styles by instructing and assessing students in ways that allow for creative and complex thinking. If their creative and norm-challenging thinking styles are rewarded by their educational institutions, students would achieve a sense of self-worthiness and become more confident about themselves. In other words, their self-esteem would be enhanced. Second, teachers should also be informed about the relationships of socio-economic status to thinking styles and to self-esteem. Knowing that Type I thinking styles and higher self-esteem are more likely to be identified among students from higher socio-economic status families, whereas teachers cannot change the SES of students, they could provide more encouragement to students from lower SES families so that these students also develop Type I thinking styles and higher self-esteem.