Questions stimulated by interaction at IXth PCP Congress

(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 09:26:56 -0400 (EDT)

Hello to all the PCP net participants:

Once again, by attending the IX International Congress
on Personal Construct Psychology, I had the opportunity to
interact with social scientists who take seriously the task
of making good theory. Can one assume that social
scientists who have moved to personal construct theory have
done so as a result of an effort to gain theoretical
cohesion; and, as a result, make greater efforts to maintain
such cohesion????

At any rate, those who seek to elaborate personal
construct theory did have ample opportunity to consider the
relationship of PCP to other theories which work from an
assumptive base which would support constructivism.

After listening to comments by scholars who come at
constructivist thought from other angles, I do have some
questions. In raising these questions, I must, perforce,
rely on my crude notes. [If my reconstruction of the
speaker s text seems to be off the mark, perhaps someone can
check a recording of the speaker s comments.]

In attempting to illustrate a social constructivist
position, one of the speakers set up a scenario in which one
of the dialogists put into effect his/her construction of
ANGER. In drawing out the scenario, the speaker indicated
that the enactments done by the dialogists would need to
meet the social requirement of MAKING SENSE to the

[As I try to recount the text produced by the speaker, I
have some difficulty in refraining from covering his
language with my constructions. I am certain, however, that
the speaker used terms such as BECOME ANGRY, and MAKE SENSE.]

One can say, of course, that the use of these terms in a
rather extemporaneous discourse merely reflects everyday
Considering, however, the constant social
constructionist admonitions against reifying the referent of
person-describing terms; I would want some clarification on
how a social constructionist might frame the terms BECOME
Additionally, how would a social constructionist explain
the constraints on MAKING SENSE of a dialogist s enactments?

Is there a social constructionist lurking somewhere on
this net? Does one of the network participants have enough
of a grasp of social constructionist formulations to offer a
social constructionist solution to this personal construct
psychologist s puzzles?

Moreover, would a personal construct psychologist feel
comfortable describing a social interaction by incorporating
the terms BECOMING ANGRY and MAKING SENSE? Can a social
constructionist, adhering to the assumptions which are
regularly explicated in social constructionist writing,
offer a construction for these terms which would induce a
personal construct psychologist to abandon a part of or all
of his/her assumptions???

In that I would come up with a personal construct
construction that could be referenced by the term MAKING
SENSE, I do not hedge at saying, "I hope that these
ruminations MAKE SENSE, to you!!!!"

Jim Mancuso