A cognitive style characterized by the propensity to differentiate perceptual and other experiences from their backgrounds or contexts, a person with a weak propensity of this kind being field dependent and a person with a strong propensity field independent. Men tend on average to be more field independent than women, adults than children, and people who score high on abstract reasoning subtests of IQ tests (as opposed to vocabulary, information, and comprehension subtests) than those who score low on such subtests. It was discovered in 1950 by the US psychologist Herman A. Witkin (1916–79) and is usually measured by the rod-and-frame test, the embedded-figures test, or the tilting-room test. Field independence is also called psychological differentiation. FD-I abbrev.