PSY FPX 7411 Assessment 3 Current Debate in Learning Theory
Phillip April 22, 2024 No Comments

PSY FPX 7411 Assessment 3 Current Debate in Learning Theory

PSY FPX 7411 Assessment 3 Current Debate in Learning Theory


Capella university

PSY FPX 7411 Learning Theories in Psychology

Prof. Name


Debunking the Learning Styles Theory Myth

In his work, Newton (2015) highlights the pervasive belief in the learning style theory, which has entrenched itself within educational practices despite being debunked as a “neuromyth.” The theory suggests that learners can be classified into specific styles, such as visual, auditory, converger, or kinesthetic, and that tailoring teaching methods accordingly would enhance learning outcomes (Newton, 2017). However, the evidence overwhelmingly refutes this notion, revealing it as a myth perpetuated by a lack of awareness rather than empirical support.

The Persistence of a Debunked Theory

Despite numerous studies discrediting the learning style theory, it continues to proliferate among educators and learners alike (Newton, 2015). This persistence stems from decades of indoctrination and a dearth of critical examination. Even though some educators may find anecdotal support for its application, the empirical evidence contradicts its efficacy. Surprisingly, recent research papers still endorse its use, indicating a concerning disregard for scientific findings (Newton, 2015).

Understanding the Learning Style Theory

The learning style theory posits that individuals possess distinct preferences for learning, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, and that teaching methods should align with these preferences (Newton, 2017). However, this simplistic categorization overlooks the complexity of human learning, which often involves a combination of multiple styles. While some individuals may exhibit a preference for certain modalities, rigid adherence to these categories undermines the richness of the learning process.

Origins and Spread of the Theory

The origins of the learning style theory trace back to the 1980s, fueled by misconceptions about behavior and cognition (American Psychological Association, 2019). Its rapid dissemination can be attributed to a culture that values individualized approaches to education without scrutinizing their efficacy. Despite mounting evidence against its validity, a significant portion of educators still endorse its use, perpetuating a cycle of misinformation (Digest, 2021).

The Potential and Pitfalls of the Theory

Proponents of the learning style theory argue for its flexibility and adaptability, suggesting that it may have utility under certain circumstances (Nancekivell et al., 2020). However, this view overlooks the lack of empirical support and the potential harm it poses. While proponents argue that its widespread acceptance may not have immediate negative consequences, it perpetuates a flawed understanding of learning and teaching strategies (Digest, 2021).

PSY FPX 7411 Assessment 3 Current Debate in Learning Theory

Unraveling the Myth

Critical examination reveals fundamental flaws in the learning style theory. Kirschner (2017) argues that the theory conflates learning preferences with fixed learning styles, leading to misguided educational practices. Moreover, studies purporting to support the theory often fail to meet scientific standards, casting doubt on their validity (Kirschner, 2017). The ambiguity inherent in the theory’s constructs further complicates its assessment, fostering misconceptions among educators and learners (Digest, 2021).

Implications for Education and Beyond

The perpetuation of the learning style theory has far-reaching consequences, particularly in fields reliant on evidence-based practices such as psychology (APA, 2019). Embracing a more nuanced understanding of learning, one that acknowledges the diversity of cognitive processes, is imperative for effective education and professional practice (Newton, 2017). By dispelling the myth of learning styles, educators can adopt more inclusive and evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning.


Despite its widespread acceptance, the learning style theory remains a myth unsupported by empirical evidence. Educators and learners must critically evaluate its validity and embrace a more nuanced understanding of learning processes. By debunking this myth, educators can foster more effective and inclusive educational practices, grounded in empirical evidence and tailored to individual needs.


American Psychological Association. (2019). Belief in learning styles myth may be detrimental [Press release]. Retrieved from

Digest. (2021). The “Learning styles” myth is still prevalent among educators — and it shows no sign of going away. Retrieved from

PSY FPX 7411 Assessment 3 Current Debate in Learning Theory

Kirschner, P. A. (2017). Stop propagating the learning styles myth. Computers & Education, 106, 166–171.

Nancekivell, S. E., Shah, P., & Gelman, S. A. (2020). Maybe they’re born with it, or maybe it’s experience: Toward a deeper understanding of the learning style myth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(2), 221–235.

Newton. (2017). Evidence-Based Higher Education – Is the Learning Styles “Myth” Important? Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 444–444.

Newton, P. M. (2015). The Learning Styles Myth is Thriving in Higher Education. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.