Re: To Jim on Weaving

Hemant Desai (
Mon, 11 Mar 1996 18:57:21 -0600 (CST)

Rue Cromwell wrote (previous posts/responses cut):

> From an entirely different vantage point, I have long been struck by the
> fact that PCP (within the narrow range that I know it) attends to one kind
> of constructive relationship but not to another. Stated simply, the
> structure of languages all over humankind characterize transitive and
> intransitive relationships. Stated more concretely, they involve sentences
> with either (a) forms of the verb "to be," (b) forms of the verb "to have"
> (which in fact can be a variation of the verb "to be"), and (c) action verbs
> (whether in the active or passive voice grammar does not seem to be
> important). To me, the Kelly rp grid approach, as so far applied, deals
> essentially with the first two of these but not with the third. Yet, to me,
> it is the third which reflects the heart of how people conceptualize cause
> and effect. To me, the latter is distinctly different from dealing with the
> associations among attributes (wherein PCP and rep grid have made great
> strides. But, when I have made pleas for analytic procedures and rep grids
> which deal with cause effect (action verb propositions), I tend to get a non
> response. I am led to conclude that I am naive and overlooking some
> development in PCP so that this particular idea is outmoded, or that I have
> not made myself clear. I find it difficult to believe that the idea is so
> new or ahead of its time that it is hard for others to fathom.

Rue, your third comment may be relates to the work of Kluckhohn and Strodbeck.
Their framework tried to distill the causal bases of constructs in five
distinct cultures. They concluded that a basic "linguistic schema" or
cultural worldview is composed of attributions that pertain to ideas such as:

The relative importance of time (past v/s present v/s future)

The essence of humankind (good v/s bad v/s neither good nor bad) etc.

Also, factor two above can be seen to be similar to that from semantic
differential work (Osgood, Suci & Tannenbaum, 1956)* which sees the
Evaluative aspect of attitudes to be a primary component, in terms of
shared variance, with Action and Potency (or strength: weak-strong)
to be the second and third factors respectively.

In any case, do you think that perhaps the reliance on the dichotomy
corollary (and the issue of action verbs you mention) in some way has
restricted the scope of the repertory grid method?**

Hemant Desai


* O,S, & T also cite Kelly's rep test as a method similar to their own
but with different purposes. O,S, & T are interested in the nomothethic
commonalities that underly semantic space while the rep measures the
idiographic nature of construct-element relations.

** J.Bonarius (1984) has tackled the dichotomy issue quite thoroughly,
IMHO. Has anyone seen any later work by him?