Individual learning differences under competitive and co-operative methods of instruction were investigated. It was hypothesised that: (a) students would learn more when the method was matched to the student's preference and that (b) the co-operative (and tutorial) methods would promote more favourable attitudes toward peer students. One hundred and thirty-two female students participated in the experiment. In the first part of the experiment they were asked to state their preferences and in the second part, half of the students received their preferred method of instruction. Both hypotheses were confirmed. In addition, it was found that students who preferred competition had better initial knowledge of the material, learned more during the learning experience and held somewhat less favourable attitudes toward their peers. The analysis of the results suggests that the interaction between goal, individual, subject-matter and learning methods needs to be taken into account when determining an optimal method of instruction.