Re: A stimulating article

(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 25 Sep 1995 22:24:10 -0400 (EDT)


I wonder if you could comment on a few things for me?

1. Would you agree that the notion of Bipolarity and Dichotomy should be
distinguished as seperate concepts? In my view Bipolarity is about meaning
whereas Dichotomy is about the way in which one rates that meaning.
Sometimes the two are coincident. Further a person may choose to rate an
element in a dichotomous way but this need not mean that the constuct is
Bipolar. It just means that the construct is meaningful as a dimension.

2. What do you think about the idea of treating constructs as fuzzy sets
named according to the emergent pole as long as the implicit pole is either
the semantic opposite (Bipolar) or is meaningful as a dimension for the

3. Would you agree that if a construct is not a meaningful dimension then it
could be split into two fuzzy sets onr for the explicit pole and one for the
implicit pole and rated accordingly without necessarily eliciting the
implicit pole?

The kinds of questions you raise stand as exemplars of the
considerations which would encourage us to think of our theory as "neo-pcp."
We can try to turn to areas of study which will prompt coherent responses to
such questions.

I would need to think carefully before I would answer your questions.
At this immediate moment, however, I would ask you to indicate the conceptual
basis of your view that bipolarity is about MEANING whereas dichotomy is about
THE WAY IN WHICH ONE RATES THAT MEANING. What occasions your distinction? Do
you want us to agree with an inference that seems to lie behind this
distinction, namely, that the way in which one rates meaning is not necessarily
coincident with the meaning which the construct [and its poles] have within
that person's system? Also, what is your concept of BIPOLAR ? Do you mean that
the construct stands as a straightforward NEGATIVE-POSITIVE? That there are no
gradations along the construct?
My construction of bipolarity forms around the idea that a construct
MUST be marked by two ends -- and both ends MUST stand as applicabale to inputs
which the person then construes. If you look at my discussion of the range
corollary, you will see that I assume that fuzziness diminishes as the
certainty of placing the input at one or the other end of construct increases.
As I read you questions, this construction would match what seems to be
suggested in your second question.

My immediate reaction to your third question would be something like
this. If a construct cannot be validated, it becomes less and less useful.
The person then, in a process someting like metaphor making, can invent a new
pair of constructs from the construct that once acted to provide effecive
anticipation for certain inputs. The new pair of constructs, however, will NOT
emerge unless both ends of each resulting construct can clearly function to
categorize and then to anticipate the flow of inputs surrounding the
[putative?] situations in which those constructs are applied.

I said that I would need to "think about" your questions -- There!!! I
did some rather rapid thinking. Now, I should dig out some good studies of
cognitive processes that could stand as useful to support my rapidly formed

Do I provide some frame for the issues you raise?

Best wishes
Jim M. . . .