Field independence versus field dependence refers to a cognitive style which is probably the most well known style. It refers to a tendency to approach the environment in an analytical, as opposed to global, fashion. At a perceptual level, field independent personalities are able to distinguish figures as discrete from their backgrounds compared to field dependent individuals who experience events in an undifferentiated way. In addition, field dependent individuals have a greater social orientation relative to field independent personalities. Studies have identified a number connections between this cognitive style and learning (see Messick, 1978). For example, field independent individuals are likely to learn more effectively under conditions of instrinstic motivation (e.g., self -study) and are influenced less by social reinforcement . Field independence versus field dependence is also known as FD/FI or Field dependence/Field independence .

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