The flexibility of the intermediate vs. wholistic/analytic styles–an eye tracking study

Ortal Nitzan-Tamar, Bracha Kramarski, Eli Vakil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational system is increasingly incorporating twenty-first-century skills, such as online learning, that require learners to demonstrate cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to quickly reconfigure our minds to meet the task demands. This study investigates the degree of cognitive flexibility of the wholistic-intermediate-analytic dimensions, by classifying patterns of Eye Movements (EM) and behavioural data. Using the E-CSA-W/A test, 113 participants were classified based on their tendency towards a particular style (wholistic/intermediate/analytic). Results indicate that wholistics and intermediates demonstrated greater cognitive flexibility in adapting to the task requirements than the analytics. Analytics were slower at completing the test and made more transitions between Areas of Interest than the other groups. Finally, while the behavioural data demonstrate quantitative differences between the groups, EM provides qualitative information regarding the cognitive process that leads to the response. Theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date21 Dec 2022
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, Dr. John Nietfeld and Dr. Andrew Roberts for their kind permission to reproduce copyrighted material.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Cognitive flexibility
  • E-CSA-WA
  • eye movements
  • intermediate vs. Wholistic/analytic cognitive style


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