Re: Constructs and attitudes

Robin Hill (BSRAH@TWP.AC.NZ)
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 09:14:13 +1300

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have held the impression that
behaviours represent the subordinate constructs in a person's system -
the behavioural reflections of abstract, conceptual superordinate constructs,
and linked to them by implications (in the sense of Hinkle). The bipolar
construct that I tend to use to construe these subordinate, behavioural
constructs has something to do with "approach --- avoidance." Hence I
tend to see behaviours in terms of the the objects, symbols, environments,
and circumstances we choose to approach versus avoid, and the actions
we engage in in this regard. I tend to see them also as the
behaviours we might predictably engage in, should we know what the
superordinate constructs are. (I have a sympathy for construing some
people's personal stress, or "troubles" in terms of "approach --- avoidance
conflicts." )

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that I view behaviours as
subordinate manifestations directly linked (albeit in a step-wise
fashion - identified through Laddering Technique or similar) with
superordinate constructs (core constructs, values etc.). When I can
identify and illustrate a person's construct system, as related to a
specific context, showing their superordinate constructs, the
behaviours they choose to engage in, plus alternative behaviours
that they might engage in, then I tend to feel that I have _their_
personal (implicit?) motivation theory set out in front of me. It
seems to me that this should be fairly predicitive of the behaviours
they actually engage in.

If you think this is just blurb, then thats OK. I'm not sure if
there is any theoretical support for this. I think its just an
impression I've picked up along the way. I've never put any of these
ideas to the test (formally as research - maybe I have personally),
but thought I'd pitch my feelings into the ring, anyway.

Dr. Robin Hill

Senior Lecturer & Research Leader
Department of Business Studies
The Waikato Polytechnic
Private Bag 3036
Hamilton 2020
New Zealand