Re: Counselor Constructs

(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 08 Aug 1995 21:31:52 -0400 (EDT)


Your description of your thinking about the kinds of constructs, and
the ordering of those constructs, developed by counselors gives a good base for
others to respond. I am sure that someone out there can send you into some
useful directions.

I would like to make a comment about the idea of "The Big Five," to
which you referred. If you go back to the work of Osgood, you will find that
he pulled three superordinate constructs out of the systems of the general
population. Seymour Rosenberg and his associates did some fine work
elaborating the idea of those "Big Three." Then, there has been this rash of
work on "The Big Five."
Many of the advocates of "The Big Five" proceed as if the "The Big
Five" names TRAITS that are REALLY out there, and that people HAVE.
As a personal construct theorist, I would hold that "The Big Five"
represents the category systems which we use as we attempt to categorize those
events which we know as persons. Further, I would relate the idea of a "Big
Five" to Miller's magic number seven, plus or minus two!! Seven minus two,
being five, as we know (???).
In other words, for most people, five good categories takes up most of
the variance in our person judgments.

I know that it might violate the idea of PERSONAL CONSTRUCT psychology
to pool the data from a sample of counselors, but, in that we operate in a
world which is dominated by the kinds of statistical procedures which have
become hallowed, you might get a dissertation approved by going ahead and using
the kinds of statistical procedures that will meet with the approval of your

I am not up on this kind of literature. Would there be any value in
asking: How many factors, clusters, etc., would be needed to take up a
significant portion of the variance in the judgments made by counselors? Do
counselors use superordinates which match those found as "The Big Five??"

Let's see what happens with that set of ideas???

Jim Mancuso