The 12 Learning Styles That Exist According To Psychology

Depending on different aspects of our personality, we will prefer some learning styles than others.

The 12 learning styles that exist according to psychology

As a reflection that we do as parents about the discovery of the abilities of our children, or as people interested in learning styles that may exist, what is clear is that there is not only one way of standardized learning by which we incorporate new knowledge.

If that were not enough, there is one more reason to give it the importance it deserves, so we should realize that: when it comes to learning, we do not only talk about the early years, and it is not something exclusive of the school period of our children either, each one of us will spend all our lives continually learning, whether we are aware of it or not.

For this reason, wouldn't it be interesting to know how the mechanism of our mind works as well as discovering which are the types of learning that exist? In this article, we talk about 12 different ones. But before going into them, we will tell you what this process of our brain consists of.

What is learning?

Before talking about learning styles, let's understand what learning is. 

It is a process through which we incorporate some knowledge, abilities and personal competence. These can be the result of studying a specific topic, or they can be acquired continuously throughout our lives through exposure to diverse and complex situations, in which the people involved have to have the mental resources at their disposal to face difficulties.

Our learning will be what we incorporate in our baggage from the trace that is left of those moments.

The first 4 learning styles according to pioneering authors 

Alonso, Gallego, and Honey were the pioneer psychologists that classified the learning styles that exist in four, depending on some personality traits. 

1. Theorist

Among all the types of learning styles,  this one is the one for rational people, whose way of processing their thoughts is somewhat sequential. When it comes to interiorizing new knowledge, they need to do it step by step, following a specific order as if they were going down a path. They look for coherence between the new things they summarize and the theories on which they could be based.

They are people with a very strong critical and analytical sense, with a methodic and perfectionist personality.

2. Activist

Imagine those participative people, able to improvise and motivate themselves, proactive in their way of getting involved in those experiences from which they will learn something new with great enthusiasm because their open mind is eager to discover and incorporate new things regularly. Among the types of learning, this is the activist one, the one for people who most enjoy this mental process.

3. Pragmatist

This one is the one of all those who get their knowledge from practical experience. Among the learning styles, this is the one that belongs to people who have the most realistic and objective personality, the same ones that need to prove a theory to understand and validate it. They avoid the abstract by looking for the concrete and tangible part of ideas.

4. Reflector

The reflector style is for people who take their time when contemplating a situation from different points of view to observe and analyze thoroughly before getting their conclusions. 

Other learning styles considered by psychology

Apart from the learning styles mentioned previously, other authors classified them differently, paying attention to the different kinds of intelligence that exist:

5. Visual learning 

Among the known types of learners, visual learning is the one for the people whose  best way to incorporate new knowledge is through sight, images, symbols, and graphics, although they do not assimilate the information from texts very well.

They prefer to learn by using visual materials (such as videos and photographs) and the representation of diagrams that favor the connection of ideas with images.

A visual learner incorporates knowledge through images, symbols and graphics.
A visual learner incorporates knowledge through images, symbols, and graphics.


6. Auditory learning

This learning style is for people who connect more with types of learning in which active listening is the basis for the acquisition of information.

They usually prefer verbal interaction through arguments, debates... when incorporating knowledge naturally, with great ease to remember the essential ideas they have listened to. 

7. Kinesthetic learning

Kinesthetic learners  need movement, interaction, and real experience to understand and assimilate new knowledge. Theorizing is not useful for them.

8. Logical-mathematical learning

People who connect the most with this learning style are those who need to use logical reasoning to understand what they are discovering and to be able to internalize more naturally. 

9. Verbal learning

The verbal learning or also known as linguistic learning is the one for people who connect with the idea of retaining information by  reading texts or writing their own notes.

10. Solitary (intrapersonal) learning

People who study on their own because they feel it is more favorable because it favors concentration and introspection, prefer the solitary or intrapersonal type of learning. 

11. Social (interpersonal) learning

In contrast to the previous case, those who best connect with the interpersonal or social learning style are those who enjoy group interaction when studying.

12. Multimodal learning

And finally, among the existing learning styles, if there is one that adapts different types of learning according to the kind of knowledge that is to be incorporated, this would be the case of the so-called multimodal learning, and  it is typical of flexible people who also resort to this flexibility when it comes to internalizing new information.

The function of the learning styles inventory

Every person is different, and so they will have their own way of incorporating new information. Among the different learning styles that exist, there will be some who adapt more than others to their way of being, of understanding, of remembering, and of putting into practice what they have learned.

Wouldn't it be ideal to be able to discover which learning style adapts better to each person? In this way, it would be more viable to provide the right means to foster the incorporation of new knowledge. 

The function of the learning styles inventory is to  be able to unveil the way of learning that best suits each person, looking into some aspects of their personality.

A handy tool for those who wish to optimize time investment and resources dedicated to acquiring knowledge.