In our faculty orientation last year, we had the opportunity to have a workshop with Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”) about Mind Styles. I’ve been meaning to blog on it for over a year now but just kept talking about other things instead (which says something about my Mind Style). Anyway, I found the program extremely helpful and most everyone I’ve explained it to has as well.
Before I explain the Mind Styles, you should know that the best way to know your Mind Style is to buy the test instrument from the guy that pioneered the research, Anthony Gregorc. From the descriptions below you might be able to get a good idea of where you land. However, and this was reiterated to us in the workshop, everyone is capable of using all four mind styles, we just usually have a preferred mode of operation. So in other words, if you take the test, you get a score on all four, but your highest and second highest scores show your preferred styles. As you read the descriptions, you’ll see some of yourself in all of them, but if you have a really strong preference for one of them, you’ll feel more like the vague description is actually targeting you personally.
All that being said, here’s how the styles break down:
- Concrete Sequential
- Abstract Sequential
- Abstract Random
- Concrete Random
“Concrete” vs “Abstract” refers to perceptual qualities and “Sequential” vs “Random” refers to ordering abilities. People who are predominantly “concrete” in their mind style like things at face value and process information primarily through the five senses. Those who are “abstract” are more likely to visualize and imagine concepts and ideas that are not right in front of them. It was summarized to us, concrete perception says, “It is what it is,” while abstract perception says, “It is not always what it seems,” or “What else could it be?” As you can imagine, abstract thinkers have field day with philosophical inquiry.
In terms of ordering abilities, sequential thinkers will prefer linear, step-by-step processes. They also love lists. Random thinkers on the other hand are more likely to “chunk” data, and not necessarily start at step 1 and move in order from there. They also are more spontaneous and well, random. You can probably imagine there are no shortage of marital conflicts that stem from a spouse that is hard sequential in their approach to life and is married to one who is hard random in their approach to life.
Now, if you want, you can take an on-line version of the assessment by clicking here. Then, you read the more complete descriptions of the different mind styles here and here. When you’ve done that, let me know how you scored and we can talk more in the comments about how helpful this tool is for everyday life as well as for learning styles. I would tell you mine, but I’m more curious to see what you would guess. I think it is beyond obvious if you read the short explanations of each style.
But then again, maybe that’s just how my mind style works…