Cognitive style, set and sorting strategy


Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.

Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Cognitive style was examined as a predictor of subjects' preference for response strategy, as opposed to attainment of a given response level, in a sorting task. Frame dependence, as scored by Nyborg's analysis of rod and frame test performance, and morphophilic sorting behaviour were compared in 20 normal subjects, and found to be correlated at the P < 0.001 level of significance. From further analysis of the sorting task it is argued that differences in attentional ‘set’ selection can account for different sorting strategies employed. Field-dependent subjects prefer to adopt a stimulus set and field-independents, a response set, in selective attention.