Motor Skills, Motivation, and Musical Practice
Edited By Adina Mornell
The role of Cognitive Style in the Activity of Performing Musicians (Michał Zagrodzki)
The role of Cognitive Style in the Activity of Performing Musicians Introduction Cognitive style is a significant element of the human mind. Together with intelligence and knowledge plus skills, it forms the basic threefold frame- work of our cognitive functioning. While intelligence as well as knowl- edge and skills are commonly known and understood, cognitive style may need some explanation to those who are not psychologists. It was discovered quite recently, as late as the 1950s (although some precursory mentions of the term can be found in the earlier literature). It receives renewed attention in today’s psychology (Kozhevnikov 2007; Zhang & Sternberg, 2009). Cognitive style can be defined as a mode, manner, way, form or shape of cognitive functioning preferred by the individual and serving his or her needs. It is therefore regarded as an individual difference, and related to personality. It is stable across situations and tasks. Contrary to intelligence or knowledge and skills it cannot be measured on a simple number scale. It has a qualitative character and is measured on a bipolar dimension. Examples of such dimensions, serving at the same time as the labels for the cognitive styles, are abstractness-concreteness, impulsivity-reflec- tiveness, or field dependence-independence. Abstract individuals prefer to use abstract categories while concrete ones choose concrete catego- ries. Impulsive persons tend to act on a first impulse, unlike the reflective ones, who insist on reflecting on the performed tasks. Field dependent individuals perceive the visual field as an indivisible whole, whereas field independent individuals can quite...
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