re: change
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 22:00:58 +0000

Dwight Decker writes:

>These studies have brought me to a state of absolute cofusion.
>I realize there may be no answer to this question, or there may
>be a million.
>Change is a product of knowledge (If I KNEW) and of
>will power (I WOULD).
>This conclusion has lead me to a dead-end in addressing this question.
>If anyone has any suggestions that would help me understand, or
>percieve this topic, I would appreciate it.

A big question, which I'd like to address in the spirit in which you posed it.

Perhaps the sense of confusion comes from looking for a single absolute
answer, applicable to everyone, in the positivist tradition.

There are indeed, as you imply, a million "knowledges" and a million
"intentions"; in other words, a million squared answers: which just
reinforces your difficulty! But, IMHO, personal construct theory offers a
single approach (and thereby in my view resolves the dilemma).

The single approach:
That any single individual changes by experimenting with alternative
(peripheral) constructions of the phenomena s/he finds meaningful; and that
s/he defines what is meaningful with respect to his or her personal
objectives, where those objectives are expressed in terms of core
constructs (central personal values). More rarely, some but not all core
constructs may change; this distinction between change in peripheral
constructions and change in core constructs provides us with a way of
talking about "depth" of change.

The million answers:
Different people have different constructions and different core constructs.

Yet it's still possible to avoid solipsism, and generalise, by asking the
question: "If I had those core constructs", (carefully understood, and seen
from the viewpoint of the person who has them), "would I construe, and act,
in the same way?"

Is that of any use?

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz