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Honey & mumford learning styles

Updated February 21, 2017

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed a learning assessment tool that is known as the Learning Style Questionnaire. The questionnaire evaluates a person's preferred learning style. When the preferred learning style is known, the person can improve their learning capabilities by approaching new information in a way that best complements their natural learning style. In the Honey & Mumford model, there are four different learning styles. An individual may register as a combination of the styles, but there will be one style that stands out as preferred.

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People who test as activists prefer a concrete, hands-on learning experience. They want to learn by doing and by trial and error. They will immerse themselves fully in the present and in the activity at hand. They like to be the centre of the activity and at time, they tend to act before thinking. They are also flexible, show a great deal of enthusiasm, and tend to be open-minded.


Reflectors like to learn by observing and then reflecting on what they have observed. They want to be told things and to have full information before proceeding. They are more cautious than other learners, preferring to gather all the data before making a decision and tend to reach conclusions slowly. They use their past and present experiences to inform their decision making and to help keep an overall "big picture" perspective on situations.


The theorist learning style is characterised by using logic to come to conclusions. Theorists want to be convinced that what you are telling them is true based on understanding the reasons, concepts and relationships behind what you are teaching them. They value rational, objective thought based on known principles, theories or systems. They are good at creating coherent theories from seemingly unrelated facts and are disciplined and able to create rational order from things.


A person with a pragmatist learning style wants a recognised expert to show him how things work, or he wants to run an experiment himself to try things and see what happens. Pragmatists are confident and like to get to the point of testing ideas rather than talking about them for a long time. They want to try new ideas and things and find out what works best.

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About the Author

Jean Asta has been a freelance writer for domestic and international clients since 2005. She also acts as a training consultant to businesses and nonprofit organizations in the southeast United States. Asta holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, both from the University of Georgia.

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