Mind Styles - Anthony Gregorc



Background of Anthony Gregorc

Anthony F. Gregorc, Ph. D., is a phenomenological (this links to Phenomenography-Noel Entwistle) researcher, lecturer, consultant, author and President of Gregorc Associates, Inc.  His career has included positions as a teacher, professor, and lecturer throughout the world. 

He is internationally recognized for his work in learning styles which began in 1969 with the introduction of his Energic Model of Styles. This work evolved into the Mind Styles Model in 1984.






Theory Behind the Model

Gregorc's Mind Styles model provides an organized way to consider how the mind works. 


Perceptual Quality

§         Concrete: This quality enables you to register information directly through your five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. When you are using your concrete ability, you are dealing with the obvious, the "here and now." You are not looking for hidden meanings, or making relationships between ideas or concepts. "It is what it is."


§         Abstract: This quality allows you to visualize, to conceive ideas, to understand or believe that which you cannot actually see. When you are using your abstract quality, you are using your intuition, your imagination, and you are looking beyond “what is” to the more subtle implications. "It is not always what it seems."


Although all people have both concrete and abstract perceptual abilities to some extent, each person is usually comfortable using one more than the other. The person whose natural strength in the concrete, for example, may communicate in a direct, literal, no-nonsense manner. The person whose natural strength is the abstract may use more subtle ways to get a point across.


Ordering Ability

§         Sequential: Allows your mind to organize information in a linear, step-by-step manner. When using your sequential ability, you are following a logical train of thought, a traditional approach to dealing with information. You may also prefer to have a plan and to follow it, rather than relying on impulse.


§         Random: Lets your mind organize information by chunks, and in no particular order. When you are using your random ability, you may often be able to skip steps in a procedure and still produce the desired result. You may even start in the middle, or at the end, and work backwards. You may also prefer your life to be more impulsive, or spur of the moment, than planned.


Both ordering abilities are present in each person, but usually a pattern emerges for using one over the other more comfortably.   There are four combinations of the strongest perceptual and ordering ability in each individual:

1.       Concrete Sequential (CS)

2.       Abstract Random (AR)

3.       Abstract Sequential (AS)

4.       Concrete Random (CR)

No one is a "pure" style. Each of us have a unique combination of natural strengths and abilities









This learner likes:

§         order

§         logical sequence

§         following directions, predictability

§         getting facts

They learn best when:

§         they have a structured environment

§         they can rely on others to complete this task

§         are faced with predictable situations

§         can apply ideas in pragmatic ways

What's hard for them?

§           Working in groups

§           Discussions that seem to have no specific point

§           Working in an unorganized environment

§           Following incomplete or unclear directions

§           Working with unpredictable people

§           Dealing with abstract ideas

§           Demands to "use your imagination"

§           Questions with no right or wrong answers


This learner likes:

§         his/her point to be heard

§         analyzing situations before making a decision or acting

§         applying logic in solving or finding solutions to problems

They learn best when:

§        they have access to experts or references

§        placed in stimulating environments

§        able to work alone

What's hard for them?

§        Being forced to work with those of differing views

§        Too little time to deal with a subject thoroughly

§        Repeating the same tasks over and over

§        Lots of specific rules and regulations

§        "sentimental" thinking

§        Expressing their emotions

§        Being diplomatic when convincing others

§        Not monopolizing a conversation







This learner likes:

§experimenting to find answers

§take risks

§use their intuition

§solving problems independently

They learn best when:

§they are able to use trial-and-error approaches

§able to compete with others

§given the opportunity to work through the problems by themselves.

What's hard for them?

§            Restrictions and limitations

§            Formal reports

§            Routines

§            Re-doing anything once it’s done

§            Keeping detailed records

§            Showing how they got an answer

§            Choosing only one answer

§            Having no options


This learner likes:

§        to listen to others

§        bringing harmony to group situations

§        establishing healthy relationships with others

§        focusing on the issues at hand

They learn best when:

§        in a personalized environment

§        given broad or general guidelines

§        able to maintain friendly relationships

§        able to participate in group activities

What's hard for them?

§        Having to explain or justify feelings

§        Competition

§        Working with dictatorial/authoritarian personalities

§        Working in a restrictive environment

§        Working with people who don’t seem friendly

§        Concentrating on one thing at a time

§        Giving exact details

§        Accepting even positive criticism