Hello everybody from Finn Tschudi!

Finn Tschudi (finn.tschudi@psykologi.uio.no)
Tue, 10 Jan 1995 16:30:35 +0000

Greetings everybody!

Recently my son Per came across this list when cruising INTERNET,
and I have just enjoyed browsing through the content which Per was
happy to dump on our laser printer for my leisurely perusal.

I'm teaching psychology at the University of Oslo, and have been
concerned with PCP on and off for the last twenty years.

I've spent excessive amount of time working at grid programs, (an
addictive habit hard to kick), and will be happy to send information
about FLEXGRID and MULTIGRID (give your snail-mail address if you
are interested).

However, by way of introductory remarks it seems more fitting to say
a few words about how grids may fit into a broader context. I've
been struck by a bifurcation of interests, some are enchanted by a
"narrative" approach, while others continue exploring grids. But
few if any seem to try to get the best of both worlds. The Dutch
psychologist Hubert Hermans has, however, provided a valuable lead
where he as "elements" elicits what he calls "valuations", and these
can in fact be anything, a memory, a dream, hopes and fears, a
happening etc, and Hermans propose a list of 'emotion terms' as
fixed constructs.

I thought this looked interesting and persuaded a
student (Martin Ekelund) interested in understanding male batterers
to try the approach. During the long months Martin pondered the
grids both of us grew increasingly fascinated by the work of the
late Silvan Tomkins, and the grids proved a fascinating avenue to
constructing a picture of the dominant stories (themes) of their
lives. There is a brief article about this in the recent EPCA
newsletter (Devi, have you made sure that all the beautiful people
out there know about your newsletter?). I should also mention that
Sigrid Sandsberg is currently using a similar approach in an in
depth study of a "representative sample" of women with debilitating
diffuse muscular pains (sometimes referred to as 'fibromyalgia'). So
here is one invitation to dialogue; anyone else interested in
pursuing joint exploration of a narrative and a grid approach?

The recent interchange on 'gut' (grand unified theory) is a fertile
ground for 'constructive alternativism' . My 'gut' reaction (pun
intended) is that it is high time to give emotion a much more
central place in theories, and Tomkins not only does this but also
offers a far-reaching theoretical perspective ranging from detailed
neurophysiological considerations to analysis of cultures. Is it
heretical to suggest that his root metaphor of the person as a
dramatist (Chaplin is his cherished prototype) replace/subsume our
local "personal scientist"? Going further, Jim Mancuso once
shortened the fundamental postulate to "anticipations channelize
processes", this might be replaced with "emotions channelize
processes" (something like this was proposed years ago in an article
in British Journal of Medical Psychology, but I have not seen this
developed further). Perhaps it is a bit stifling to just reiterate
the Kellian scripture that "emotions deal with transitions" PERIOD

I take the point that PCP could still come out on top as
"metatheory", but we do not live by metatheory alone..

Hopefully hitting the "invitational" mood; anyone else interested in
exploring what might happen if we replaced "anticipation" with
"emotion"? And why has no one in our tribe (to the best of my
knowledge) referred to Tomkins?

Tomkins view of ideology as "ideo-affective" resonance just might
invigorate recent attempts to map our epistemological positions.
There may be deep seated personal reasons why we feel at home in
certain ideologies and alienated in others. But while
"constructivist" over "positivist" might have been like a spring of
fresh water in the fifties, I'm now a bit miffed over the unanimity
in the responses.

Are there others out there feeling cramped by our current
dichotomies? Might it be the case that new dogma are replacing old
dogma, and that we loose something by the new 'constructivist
litany'? (perhaps curiosity in pursuing Goffmann's question, "What
the hell is going on out there")

I'd better stop here (is this 'introduction', my 'hello', too long?)

Looking further to participate in further dialogues!!

Finn Tschudi

telephone home:+47-22657483, job +47-22855222, fax +47-22854419