Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of auditory stimulation on learners with different learning styles
by McCarter, Kimberly M., Ph.D., Capella University, 2008, 188; 3320827
Abstract (Summary)

When the role of auditory stimulation is examined closely in cognitive theory, learning style theory, and multiple intelligences theory, conflicts emerge about the role auditory stimulation plays in the learning process. This research study sought to determine whether there was a link between learning style and the effect that auditory stimulation, various sounds that learners experience in a learning situation, has on learners. Specifically, the study focused on four research questions: (1) What is the opinion of learners with different learning styles about auditory stimulation during learning? (2) How do learners with different learning styles react to different forms of auditory stimulation? (3) Why do some learners prefer to have auditory stimulation in a learning environment? and (4) Why do some learners prefer not to have auditory stimulation in a learning environment. This mixed-methods study combined quantitative inventories with a series of case studies to delve more deeply into how learners felt about auditory stimulation. All 87 participants completed a learning styles inventory and an auditory preference inventory. Then, 5 participants completed a qualitative questionnaire and participated in an interview. The results were analyzed for trends and learning-style-based consistencies. The participants, adults with considerable experience as learners, represented an unexpected concentration of visual learning styles. In spite of the high concentration of visual learners, the results indicated no link between learning style and auditory stimulation. Of the participants, 25% identified silence as the optimum auditory stimulation; an additional 41% could tolerate specific sounds though they found voice-based stimulation particularly distracting. Ninety-three percent found music distracting. The study also revealed that some learners are very sensitive to auditory stimulation and that auditory stimulation can be a very emotional issue. Ultimately, the study indicates that auditory stimulation can be an extreme disruption to many learners and, because of this, should not be an integral part of instructional experiences where critical thought or concentration is required. Auditory stimulation should be an option during instruction that learners can accept or decline, as their individual needs dictate.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, Molly
Commitee: Czelusniak, Vernon, Hruskocy, Carole
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Curricula, Teaching
Keywords: Auditory, Auditory stimulation, Learning, Music, Sound, Stimulation, Styles
Publication Number: 3320827
ISBN: 9780549746393
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