This study explored the relationships between roughly 330 participants' tolerance of ambiguity and their preference for either an inductive or deductive presentation of grammar by means of an online survey. Most participants were college students. Other variables examined included years of study, in-country experience, proficiency, age, year in school, and language of choice. A new instrument for measuring inductive vs. deductive preference was also created based on Cohen, Oxford, and Chi's (2001) Learning Style Survey (LSS). Results showed weak correlations between: tolerance of ambiguity and inductive preference (.25), tolerance of ambiguity and proficiency (.25), and inductive preference and proficiency (.20). Additional findings include: a correlation (.62) between proficiency and years of instruction received, a slight correlation (.22) between age and tolerance of ambiguity, no correlation between years of language instruction and tolerance of ambiguity, no correlation between studying abroad and ambiguity tolerance or inductive/deductive preference, and no correlation between age and inductive vs. deductive preference. Lastly, data was analyzed to determine whether language was a contributing factor or not, and only the participants learning Japanese were significantly different (p = .004), with a higher preference for inductive learning.
College and Department
Humanities; Center for Language Studies
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bledsoe, Jordan Ray, "Tolerance of Ambiguity and Inductive vs. Deductive Preference Across Languages and Proficiency Levels at BYU: A Correlational Study" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2657.
ambiguity tolerance, tolerance of ambiguity, AT, inductive, deductive, learning styles, proficiency, foreign language