Stalemate or Peace
Mon, 4 Mar 1996 11:18:57 -0500
Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain

Attach file peace.
Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

To All:
Kelly said that our experience is based on our recognition =

of order in real events. The coordinate grid uses ordinal =

scales to disclose such orders. In many places through =

out his work, Kelly defined and extended the notion of =

systems as organizations in which inferential incompatibilities =

have been minimized, particularly at the core levels.
When orders contradict one another, there is conflict in
the construct system. This inhibits the generation and =

prediction of the elaborative choices that Kelly identified
as the motivational dynamic in personal constructs. A =

divided house or construct system is not maintained and
it falls. This has been a central theme in most theories of =

personality and clinical psychology. This of course does =

not mean that a system must be undifferentiated and =

static in order to be internally harmonious. A system
can be integratively complex- allowing for the elaboration =

of the meaning of many elements and constructs- and
logical-as in the Mandala grid. =

Over the years my students and I conducted many studies.
We found that the coordinate grid could reflect simulated =

contradictions and lies. Arguing that such are the =

foundations of conflict, we went on to find that young
children and the mentally ill are less logical. Those
who found less meaning in their lives were also less
logical on coordinate grids. Those who expressed =

uncertainty in their constructions were also less logical.
These results suggest that the fundamental assumption
of science, that logical consistency is necessary for
any particular theory, has some connection with the =

human experience.
We believe Kelly would have been pleased with these =

results. Especially since the coordinate grid assesses
logical consistency from the persons own system.
Through out the histories of psychiatry, psychology
and philosophy, people have diagnosed others on the
basis of the authority's judgement of the others logical
consistency. The coordinate grid starts with the person's
own judgements of general similarity and then simply
reflects the mathematical consistency of the clients =

judgements. This is a potentially great advance in =

psychometrics. In the past, a doctor or inquistor or who
ever was restricted very much to his own opinions about
what is reasonable. It is true that the coordinate grid
assumes that the mathematics used is reasonable, but
this mathematics, being general in its relationship to all
content, stands a much greater chance of producing
objective evaluations than does the opinion of the authority
figure. There is generally too much involved in a person's
constructions for most people to be able or to bother to
understand the internal contradictions and conflicts of =

particular people. This is especially a problem in
psychotherapy, where explicit or implicit judgements of
logical inconsistency are ubiquitous.
The integrative complexity measure in the coordinate grid
reflects the eveness of the selelction of experiences that
are used in the elaboration of experience. Generally, the
more even the elaboration, the more likely the elaboration
will also be logical. But not always. Using a faster computer
than was available before, I recently wrote a program that
generates all the possible coordinate grids of size 4x4. I
discovered that there were a very small number of the
possibilities that were perfectly integratively complex but
not perfectly logical. The following is just such a grid- =

translated into the 8x8 dimensions that I have presented in
my previous postings. The following grid is called the
StaleMate Grid. Two contrasting orders (a-d vs e-h), each
perfectly logical within their own subsystems, and each
equally well elaborated, are none the less not logically =

consisent with one another. =

The StaleMate Grid

a b c d e f g h =

a 1 2 3 4 5 8 6 7
b 2 1 4 3 8 5 7 6
c 3 4 1 2 6 7 5 8
d 4 3 2 1 7 6 8 5
e 5 8 6 7 1 2 3 4
f 8 5 7 6 2 1 4 3
g 6 7 5 8 3 4 1 2
h 7 6 8 5 4 3 2 1
The stalemate pattern characterizes a construct system =

fragmented along party lines. Further balanced extension
of these contrasting orders will only magnify the same
pattern, and the conflict will increase without resolution. =

You may have noticed something like this occurring
recently on Nightingale's net. In fact, there is little to
be gained by expanding the Stalemate- after it is
recognized as such. =

The impulsive thing to do when a stalemate grid occurs
is just to brake the contasting systems into isolation-
make two grids or camps that have no interaction. This
would prevent any eventual resolution of conflict and it =

would steilize the growth of the personal construct system.
The solution rests in the recognition that the criteria
for judgements of similarity are failing to take into account =

the relevance of the other systems' logics. With the =

recogition, instead of suppression of the contrasting =

system's logic, a kind of authentic dialogue can be =

initiated, in which the integrative complexity of both orders =

is respected (no stereotyping, demonizing, shunning) .
By asking subjects to do coordinate grids containing =

stereotyped figures among better elaborated figures =

we discovered that stereotypes lower integrative =

complexity. Integrative complexity exists when each row =

is equal to its corresponding column. In other words figure =

A may be judged 5th like figure E. With integrative complexity, =

Figure E will also be judged 5th like figure A. If, on the other =

hand, figure A is 5th like E and D 8th like A, then A is more =

like E than E is like A. This implies that A contains more =

of the information implicit in E than E contains of the =

information of A. Draw a bigger circle overlapping with a =

small circle. The big one is A, the small one is E. A =

overlaps more of E than E overlaps A. This is not integrative
complexity. A is elaborated more than is E. With integrative
complexity, the circles are all of equal size.
In the StaleMate grid there is equal elaboration, but still
there is conflict. There is a break in common ground in the =

StaleMate grid. Seeking common ground is the way such =

conflicts are resolved. In clinical sciences, this has been
achieved by a dialectical synthesis of the different parties
strengths. Methodologists/scientists, clinicians and =

philosophers work together and as a result, a much better
(more inclusive, extensive, open and logically consistent) =

system emerges. This requires mutual respect and agreement
on base rules of conduct and validation. In as much as =

Kelly suggested that we treat patients as fellow scientists, =

who simply lack some of the doctor's skills, we should be
able to accomplish a synthesis of science and clinical
concerns- if Kelly was correct. It is not my reading of
construct theory that we should treat scientists as therapy
patients. Patients are people asking for help in gaining their
own personal integrity. Scientists abide by rules of inquiry =

and test theories, not people, at least not the "essence of =

people". Hence ad hominems are outlawed in science. =

A good way to facilitate the synthesis of clinical and =

methodological elaborations is to come together in =

colleagial discourse about the fundamental assumptions
of contrasting points of view. Historically, those who =

agree to do this, tend to find common ground and =

successfully elaborate their joint core ventures. Showing
our ability now to do this- even after so much pain and
acrimony- will demonstrate to all that we Personal
Construct Psychologists really are onto something =

good. Let the common ground in our core adventures
now emerge from our hearts and minds. =

William Chambers, PhD =