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Cognitive style matching in human relations training * digital download * free * Diversity

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1980 Doctoral Dissertation on how differences in thinking styles affects learning outcomes in Human Relations Training. This seminal project launched ODT into creating hundreds of resources for corporate cultural diversity training.

We can increase the effectiveness of human relations training (HRT) by recognizing the differential effectiveness of various kinds of training with different "types" of participants. This doctoral dissertation (1980) by ODT founder Bob (Mezoff) Abramms helps to explain why one kind of HRT may be effective for some people yet unproductive for others. The individual difference variable explored here is the cognitive style known as field-dependence-independence (FDI). The literature on FDI is reviewed for two purposes: (1) to understand interpersonal behavior in the HRT setting better and (2) to hypothesize the relationship s that might make for successful or unsuccessful matches between participants of varying cognitive styles and HRT programs of varying degrees of structure. FDI has been found to be a crucial differentiating variable in determining the effectiveness of matching strategies in the fields of education and psychotherapy. Two questions are (1) Are participant satisfaction and learning influenced by cognitive style? (2) What behaviors or interpersonal styles might we expect from persons of varying cognitive styles?

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The salient features of the dissertation, along with pertinent conclusions were later published in a Journal article, Cognitive Style and Interpersonal Behavior: A Review with Implications for Human Relations Training, published in  Group & Organization Management  (Volume: 7 issue: 1, pp 13-34,  March 1, 1982).

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