Document Type : Original Article


1 Teacher in the Department of Education (District No.6), Isfahan, Isfahan Province, Iran, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 Department of Medical Education, Education Development Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


BACKGROUND: Thinking styles’ effect on academic achievement is a challenging topic that has
been raised with very different results in previous studies. Since thinking styles are influenced by
the contexts, this study was conducted in the context of the occupational therapy, which is one of
the disciplines in the rehabilitation sciences in Iran and its educational studies are still developing.
The purpose of this research is to study thinking styles and their relationship with the educational
achievement of occupational therapy students at Shiraz School of Rehabilitation Sciences.
METHODS: This was a descriptive correlational study conducted at Shiraz School of Rehabilitation
Science in 2015. As sampling was considered by the census of all students in the 2nd–4th year
of Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, demographic data questionnaire and the “Short form of
Wagner‑Sternberg Thinking Styles Inventory (1992)” were distributed among all 78 students. Students’
academic achievement was also considered by grade point average obtained from the educational
office at school. The data were analyzed by descriptive and analytic statistics utilizing SPSS21
software. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and linear regression tests were used for data analysis.
RESULTS: Forty‑two students participated in this study with their personal consents. The results
revealed that hierarchic  (18.47  ± 2.54) and external  (18.47  ± 3.23) were the dominant thinking
styles of the occupational therapy students, followed by judicial, legislative, oligarchic, executive,
conservative, liberal, monarchic, anarchic, local, global, and internal thinking styles. In addition,
there was no correlation between any of the thinking styles and students’ achievement (P = 0.354).
Thinking styles predicted only 4.9% of changes in academic achievements in this study.
CONCLUSION: Thinking styles could predict only limited amount of the academic achievements
of occupational therapy students. Furthermore, as the dominant thinking styles of the occupational
therapy students are hierarchic and external, it seems that occupational therapy students prefer to
have a hierarchy of academic goals and seek tasks that provide them with the opportunity to interact
with the others.


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