This study investigated two dimensions of cognitive style, including Verbalizer/Imager and Field Dependent/ Field Independent and their influence on user perceived quality of multimedia video. Perceived user quality was characterised using the Quality of Perception (QoP) metric, which captures the infotainment duality of multimedia presentations. Results indicate that, generally, clip dynamism impacts on user QoP; in particular, it is worthwhile to remark that in the clips with strong and medium dynamism, Field Dependent users performed worse than the other two groups, while Field Dependent users had a (slightly) better performance than Field Independent users in clips with weak dynamism.
User Cognitive Styles
Cognitive style refers to a user’s information processing habits, representing an individual user’s typical mode of perceiving, thinking, remembering, and problem solving (Messick 1976). Jonassen and Grabowski (1993) defined cognitive style as inbuilt and relatively consistent preferences in organising and representing information. It is notable that there is a number of dimensions of cognitive styles, such as Holism/Serialism (Pask, 1976), Divergent/Convergent (Hudson, 1966), Field Dependence/Independence (Witkin et al., 1977), and Verbalizer/Imager (Riding, 1991). Among these, Field Dependence/Independence and Verbalizer/Imager are related to perceptual multimedia. The former concerns how users process and organize information, whereas the latter emphasises how users perceive the presentation of information.
Field Dependence/Independence is related to the degree to which a user’s perception or comprehension of information is influenced by the context (Jonassen and Grabowski, 1993). The key issue of Field Dependence lies within the differences between Field Dependent and Field Independent learners, which are presented below:
Field Dependence: the individuals are considered to have a more social orientation than Field Independent persons since they are more likely to make use of externally developed social frameworks. They tend to seek out external referents for processing and structuring their information, are better at learning material with human content, are more readily influenced by the opinions of others, and are affected by the approval or disapproval of authority figures.
Field Independence: the individuals tend to exhibit more individualistic behaviors since they are not in need of external referents to aide in the processing of information. They are more capable of developing their own internal referents and restructuring their knowledge, are better at learning impersonal abstract material, are not easily influenced by others, and are not overly affected by the approval or disapproval of superiors (Witkin et al. 1977).
The Imagers/Verbalizer dimension describes the tendency for individuals to represent information being processed in the form of text or in the form of images (Riding and Cheema, 1991). Their different characteristics are: