An alternative approach to analyze ipsative data. Revisiting experiential learning theory
Batista-Foguet, Joan M.
Boyatzis, Richard E.
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The ritualistic use of statistical models regardless of the type of data actually available is a common practice across disciplines which we dare to call type zero error. Statistical models involve a series of assumptions whose existence is often neglected altogether, this is specially the case with
ipsative data. This paper illustrates the consequences of this ritualistic practice within Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) operationalized through its Learning Style Inventory (KLSI). We show how using a well-known methodology in other disciplines—compositional data analysis (CODA) and log ratio transformations—KLSI data can be properly analyzed. In addition, the method has theoretical implications: a third dimension of the KLSI is unveiled providing room for future research. This third dimension describes an individual's relative preference for learning by prehension rather than by transformation. Using a sample of international MBA students, we relate this dimension with another self-assessment instrument, the Philosophical Orientation Questionnaire (POQ), and with an observer-assessed instrument, the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI-U). Both show plausible statistical relationships. An intellectual operating philosophy (IOP) is linked to a preference for prehension, whereas a pragmatic operating philosophy (POP) is linked to transformation. Self-management and social awareness competencies are linked to a learning preference for transforming knowledge, whereas relationship management and cognitive competencies are more related to approaching learning by prehension.
Is part ofFrontiers in Psychology, 2015, vol. 6, núm. 1742, p. 1-10
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