Originally published in 1976, here is a comprehensive account of the role of cognitive styles in early childhood. The author considers the possible precursors of these styles in infancy, and offers a new classification scheme that helps to clarify the relation of cognitive styles to ability and intelligence. In separate chapters, field independence–dependence, reflection–impulsivity, breadth of categorization, and styles of conceptualization are examined, along with a chapter on the interrelationships between these styles. The final chapter integrates and critically summarizes the significance of cognitive styles during the early years of life. Throughout the volume the author attempts to link cognitive styles with other theoretical constructs (for example, unilinear versus multilinear models of development, Inhelder and Piaget’s studies of classification stages), and finally, the author advances a set of seven conclusions to reflect the contemporary state of knowledge in regard to the character and function of cognitive styles during the early years of life.
This volume provides information about the beginnings of cognitive styles in infancy and the course of their development in preschool years. Research is examined both from the viewpoint of developmental change and individual differences among children. The role of sex differences in cognitive styles is thoroughly examined, and, contrary to earlier claims of ‘no difference’, the author convincingly demonstrates that females manifest clear-cut superiority across a wide band of cognitive functions during the pre-school years.