As individuals we all have various preferred ways of doing things. We may prefer to stay up late or get up early in the morning. We may prefer to text rather than call. We may prefer to play a game rather than just watch.
Whatever our preference may be for a given situation, it is important to understand our own preferences. By understanding our particular preferences, we as learners can use these preferences to understand our learning strengths and limitations. This in turn will allow us to place ourselves in a better position to succeed academically.
Assessments for Preferences
There are several resources that can help assess an individual’s preferences. Among these are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory, Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, and Herrmann Brain Dominant Instrument.
People have a preferred learning style stemming from right mode/left mode preferences and general personality preferences.
Learning style is an individuals preferred way of learning. Different people learn in different ways. Each of us has a natural preference for the way in which we prefer to receive, process, and impart information. Some people tend to pick up information better when it is presented verbally, while others learn better when it is presented visually through pictures.
The way we communicate with one another and interpret the communication depends on the way our brains processes and/or thinks about the information. The way our brains processes information depends on our brain dominance or preferred thinking style. Some individuals may think more creatively, while others think more analytically. Also, some may think more linear, while other holistic. These preferred thinking styles also influence the way we learn.
Personality indicators, such as the MBTI, can also how you like to learn and interact with others. It will be able to give an individual insight to how they may react in a certain situation. It can help determine if you like to jump into an activity or first watch to see how it is done.
First, it is import for the individual to understand how they learn best. After you have an understanding of your preferred learning style, you want to utilize strategies to help enhance that preferred style or mode. The resources below provide tools to help assess and gauge an individual’s personal preferences.
Learning Preferences & Styles
VAK (Visual, Auditory, & Kinesthetic)
VARK (Visual, Auditory, & Kinesthetic)
Herrmann Brain Dominance
Left Brain vs. Right Brain Theory
Whole Brain Theory
Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Herrmann Brain Dominant Instrument (HBDI)
The Herrmann Brain Dominant Instrument is a based on the idea that one side of the brain is dominant over the other. The two halves of the brain are then divided into a front and back half, making four sections in the brain. Individuals are dominant in one of these four areas, which is evident by their personality type.
A: Left cerebral hemisphere – analytical
B: Left limbic system – sequential
C: Right limbic system – interpersonal
D: Right cerebral hemisphere – imaginative
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-inventory questionnaire designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on the teachings of Carl Jung and his theory of personality types. The MBTI assessment designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator categorizes results based upon four dimensions:
- extraversion versus introversion
- sensing versus intuition
- thinking versus feeling
- judging versus perceiving
Howard Gardner proposed his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. His theory suggests that all people have different kinds of “intelligences.” Gardner’s different “intelligences” represent talents, personality traits and abilities. Traditional formal education emphasizes the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences over the other areas of intellect. Gardner believed that there are several areas in which people can excel.
These areas of Multiple Intelligences include:
- bodily kinesthetic