Re: ruminations on the big 5; two-thirds-- and 3!

(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 07 Oct 1995 16:15:47 -0400 (EDT)

Which got me pondering on all the psychonumerological mnemonics we know and

a) The big 5 in multivariate personality analyses because of the way in
which we chunk information, 7 + / - 2? (Weeell, I'd like to see an account
of the mechanisms that make the former a function of the latter!)

I am not quite not not uncertain (four negatives, what now???) of what
you seek! Do you seek affirmation of the 7 + or - 2 formulation, or do you
seek a discussion of how one accounts for the idea of "the big five" by
reference to the well established (I hope) proposition that humans function
most effecively when using 7 + or - 2 categories???
Here goes an effort to consider the second of the above options --
there are two options up threre -- that should be easy to follow.
When we run about trying to make sense of all those putative objects
out there, which we discuss as PEOPLE, we do it effectively by locating them at
one or another end of our two-poled construct systems [here's where you might
want to work with your ideas of the three way mirror -- we place roughly
two-thirds of those objects at one end oa a two-poled judgment scale and
another third at the other end].
Every construct is hierarchically ordered within a system which is
eventually subsumed under a superordinate two-poled construct.
At best, most of us can barely manage a system which include five
superordinates. Osgood tried to land us on three -- BAD-GOOD, WEAK-STRONG, and
SLOW-FAST. I think those findings were artifacts of including far too many
persons in the analyses from which he extracted the superordinate. If he had
concentrated more on individuals, as PERSONAL construct psychologists are wont
to do, he might have found -- as a rule -- that 7 + or - 2 would have been the
standard number of superordinates -- and he would have found, as Rosenberg, et.
al, have repeatedly found, that many individuals have other superordinates
[though very few of us give up on the utility of the BAD-GOOD construct].

Is that what you had wanted to evoke -- or is there a third option,
which I have missed. Or are there 7 + or - two options???

My late response comes about as a result of having been seduced by the
idea that a 28800 modem should be included at the GOOD end of the BAD-GOOD
construct. For the past few days, as I have tried to adapted to this new
technology, I have discovered that one must construe new modems in other terms.

Jim Mancuso