Re: Counselor Constructs
Sun, 13 Aug 1995 11:10:26 -0400

Ted Zorn writes:
> My own work in this area has involved
>content analysis of responses to Crockett's Role Category >Questionnaire
>(see the 1988 and 1993 volumes of the IJPCP). We did find >discerible
>differences between various groups' (e.g., college students vs. adult
>members of an insurance company) uses of constructs.

I don't know how I missed this article, and it was there all the time in a
journal sitting in my bookcase! Thank you for making me aware of it. Your
discussion of the problem of measuring cognitive complexity was very helpful
for me to read. I've read a lot of the research that you cited, and I've been
trying to pull it together in some way to make sense of it.
Your finding that people tend to use the negative pole of constructs
more often in describing themselves and disliked peers than in describing
liked peers was very interesting. Particularly, since overall the categories
used to describe the self were more like those used to describe liked peers
as opposed to disliked peers. I'm wondering how this relates to Stephen
Soldz's finding that counselors tend to view clients more negatively than
they do their aquaintances. I know Stephen had the therapists rate
themselves, but I couldn't find any place where he reported a comparison
between the number of negative constructs therapists used to describe
themselves and the number of negative constructs used to describe
aquaintances or clients.
The categories used for the constructs are interesting especially the
fact that there were constructs in one domain (describing coworkers) that
weren't used in another domain (describing peers), but that there was also a
great deal of overlap between the two. When I compared the categories I
created when trying to sort a sample of constructs I obtained from counselors
with the your categories there was also a great deal of overlap, but also
some that did not fit well with your classification system for either
coworkers or peers. Those constructs would probably be context specific to
the the counseling situation.

Do you have any current ideas about how to measure cognitive complexity?

Caroline Cook