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					               George Kelly
              Construct Theory

• Early Cognitive Personality Theorist
• Phenomonological
  –Subjective experience
• Clinician
  –Emphasis on interpretation not content of
  interpretation
  George Kelly’s Construct Theory
• Fundamental Motivation: to understand,
  explain, and predict our world
  – People are scientists
• Constructive Alternativism: All
  explanations are equally valid
  – Phenomonological view; reality is in the head
   Fundamental Postulate and Corollaries


• Fundamental Postulate: A person’s processes
  are psychologically channelized by the ways in
  which he anticipates events
• Construction: A person anticipates events by
  construing their replications
• Individuality: Persons differ from each other in
  their constructions of events
• Organization: Each person characteristically
  evolves a construction system embracing ordinal
  relationships between constructs
              Corollaries continued

• Dichotomy: A person’s construction system is
  composed of a finite number of dichotomous
  constructs
• Experience: A person’s construction system
  varies as he successfully construes the
  replications of events
• Modulation: The variation in a person’s
  construction system is limited by the
  permeability of the constructs within whose
  ranges of convenience
• Sociality: To the extent one person construes
  the construction processes of another, he may
  play a role in a social process involving the other
  person
  George Kelly’s Construct Theory
• Act on the basis of interpretations
  – Action follows cognition
• Interpretation requires categorization
• Categorize with constructs
• Constructs bipolar categories
  – Good-bad    work-play      friendly-unfriendly
• Constructs automatically applied
 George Kelly’s Construct Theory
• Constructs develop over time as people
  notice similarities and differences
• Individual Differences
  – Construct content
    • E.g., intelligent-unintelligent vs. friendly-unfriendly
  – Construct endpoints
    • Friendly-unfriendly vs. friendly-hostile
  – Number of constructs
      Construct Assessment
• Rep Role Grid
• Used by researchers and clinicians
• Respondents generate a list of role names
  and words regarding their differences and
  similarities
                Rep Role Grid
• Part A Instructions: Please write the name
  of the persons indicated in the blanks
  provided below. Do not repeat names. If
  any role title appears to call for a duplicate
  name, substitute the name of another
  person whom the second role title
  suggests to you.
                Rep Role Grid Part A

1.   Your mother or person who has played the part of
     mother in your life. _________________
2.   Your father or person who has played the part of father
     in your life. _________________
3.   Your brother nearest your age (or person who is most
     like a brother). ______________
4.   Your sister nearest your age (or person who is most
     like a sister). ______________
5.   A teacher you like. _________________
6.   A teacher you dislike. _______________
                  Rep Role continued

•   7. Your last closest girl(boy) friend (ex-flame). _______
•   8. Your spouse or present boy(girl) friend. __________
•   9. An employer during a period of stress. ___________
•   10. A person who dislikes you (for no apparent reason) _
•   11. A person you would like to know better. ________
•   12. A person you would like to help. _______
•   13. The most intelligent person you know. _________
•   14. The most successful person you know. ________
•   15. The most interesting person you know. ________
             Rep Role Grid Part B

• Part B Instructions: The set of three numbers in
  the following sorts refer to numbers 1-15 in part
  A. For each sort, consider the three people for
  whom you have listed for these numbers. In
  what important way are two of these people alike
  and different from the third? Write that word
  down in the construct column. Then, write down
  what you believe to be the opposite of that in the
  contrast column.
          Rep Role Grid Part B

• Sort   Persons     Construct   Contrast
• 1      9, 11, 14   _______     _______
• 2      10,12,13    _______     _______
• 3       2, 5, 12   _______     _______
• 4       1, 4, 8    _______     _______
• 5       7, 8, 12   _______     _______
• 6       3, 13, 6   _______     _______
        Construct Theory and
          Psychopathology
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Schizophrenia
          Construct Theory
• Criticisms
  – Too cognitive
  – Limits of language

				
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