Gregorc, Anthony - The Mind Styles Model

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

The Mind Styles Model was developed from Anthony Gregorc’s earlier Energic Model of Styles. It is a model of individual differences in thought and learning that has had strong uptake in the educational field, and some impact on other fields. Gregorc focuses on how information is grasped perceptually, and on how that perceived information is then organized and arranged. Perception and ordering mediate our relationship to the world, and different minds thus relate to the world in different ways (Gregorc, 1982).

Our perceptual ability has two qualities: abstractness (pattern-level perception) and concreteness (instance-level perception). Our ordering ability also has two qualities: randomness and sequentialness. Each ability forms a dimension of style, with its two qualities defining the poles. Crossed, the two dimensions delineate four mind styles:

P – Concrete Sequential (CS)
Pragmatic, objective, instinctive, logical, methodical and deliberate. CS learners can be perfectionists with an eye for detail and discrepancy. They focus on tangible results, and their inventiveness is directed towards making things work better, rather than creating entirely novel things. People who are strongly CS prefer busy, stable and orderly environments, and practical pursuits. Focus on product.

A – Abstract Sequential (AS)
Reflective, analytical, conventional and methodical. AS learners view life in abstract terms, relating more to signs, symbols, knowledge, concepts and ideas than to physical events. They dissect their thoughts into branching patterns of sections and sub-sections, which seem two-dimensional. AS-style creativity expresses itself in the synthesis and development of models and theories. They prefer quiet, orderly environments and intellectual challenges. Focus on process over product.

E – Concrete Random (CR)
Intuitive, adventurous, instinctive and impulsive, “in” the physical world but looking beyond it. Able to “zoom out” from events to see the circumstances framing them. Focuses on both process and product, concerned with applications, methods and underlying causes. CR-style creativity produces original and unique inventions. They prefer experientially stimulating environments featuring change, novelty and competition.

I – Abstract Random (AR)
Sensitive, empathic, holistic, cautious, perceptive, spiritual. Abstract random learners use their feelings and emotions to make sense of their experience. They are focused on close relationships, establishing strong rapport with others. Their creativity is expressive in nature and often includes musical or artistic talent. People strong in AR thinking prefer emotionally meaningful experiences and commitments, in vibrant, active environments.

1. Gregorc, A. F. (1982). An Adult’s Guide to Style. Maynard, Massachusetts: Gabriel Systems, Inc.
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