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Linking cognitive styles and values


  • Herman Van den Broeck


  • Karlien Vanderheyden


  • Eva Cools

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cognitive styles and values. Cognitive styles and values are both frequently studied domains, but the relationship between these concepts has been investigated rarely. Individuals increasingly become points of reference in the shaping of values and attitudes. Moreover, people are confronted with more alternatives. Hence, cognitive styles are becoming more important, since they are the vehicles for choosing relevant information and for building our value system. To study differences in cognitive styles the profoundly investigated analytic-holistic dimension was used. Examination of values was based on the theory of Schwarz (1992, 1994). 15,616 Belgian citizens filled out our self-developed questionnaire. The results revealed different value patterns for analytic and holistic thinkers, indicating that analytic people were more conservative, while holistic people were more open to change. Moreover, two types of analytic thinkers (knowing and planning style) were identified, each attaching importance to different values. As to the dimension of self-transcendence versus self-enhancement, a significant difference was found between the two types of analytic thinkers, as well as between analytic and holistic individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Herman Van den Broeck & Karlien Vanderheyden & Eva Cools, 2003. "Linking cognitive styles and values," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2003-9, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2003-9

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    cognitive styles; values; individual differences;

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