Re: Constructs and attitudes

Wed, 26 Jun 1996 10:20:23 +0200 (METDST)

Dear Lindsay,

Fishbein & Ajzen (1975) regard attitudes as a function of salient beliefs
about an attitude object and the evaluation of these beliefs. This is
a classic expectancy value model. I don't think that evaluation here
is neccessarily affective it may have more or less cognitive
components. In terms of PCT there are two constructions involved here:
the construction of an attitude object (element in repgrid) and the
construction of constructs (in terms of good-bad, like-dislike etc.

Concerning the relation between constructs and behavior, you ask why
predictions of behavior are made from PCT. They are made, because
behavior may be regarded as an important outcome of psychological
processes, which in PCT are channelized by personal constructs (e.g.,
in many cases of psychological therapy or treatment, the aspect of
behavioral change may be important). Unfortunately, little research
has been devoted to the question of how behavior is related to
personal constructs. This may be a result of the clinical focus of
PCT, since in therapy it may be more effective to rely on the
psychologists 'art' to discover this relationship, instead of relying
on general rules, which may not apply to the individual case. The
situation in attitude behavior research is different. In this field
you aim at changing the behaviors of many people (taking into account
that you won't 'reach' each individuum) by changing there attitudes.

In conclusion, I think, that PCT provides a frame, in which theories,
like the theory of reasoned action, can be integrated. But for
specific purposes and specific phenomena, we need elaborations of the
theory, which can not simply be deduced from the basic PCT (e.g., the

Kind regards

Rainer Riemann Phone: <0>521 106 4529
Universitaet Bielefeld Fax: <0>521 106 5844
Fakultaet fuer Psychologie e-mail:
und Sportwissenschaft
Postfach 100131
D-33501 Bielefeld