re: what kinds of exchanges: a playground for loose constructs

Devi (
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 13:42:56 +0100

Duane Steward wrote, inter al. to ask:

>Does anyone know of other attempts to merge personal construct theory with
>>the utility theory of economics and decision analysis or utility assessment?

My information on this is _very_ outdated, but the following references
will provide a starting point: I suggest writing to the authors concerned.
Patrick Humphreys was last at the Decision Support Unit, London School of
Economics (and not at Brunel University as stated on some of his papers);
and Colin Eden is at the Department of Management Systems, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (_not_ at the University of Bath as stated
in the papers referenced below).

My own reference is probably more readily available to you, and summarises
the difference between their approaches: basically, Humphreys was using
utility data to arrive at recommendations along the lines of "if this is
how you construe and these are your preference choices, this is what you
should do"; Eden preferred the opportunity for learning about one's
construing/preference systems, and the reflective amendment to them, that
comes from requesting the user to mull over the implications of personal
preference structures rather than having them computed automatically. Dunno
what they're up to now!

Finally, you might like to look at the Expert Systems literature: I suspect
that some of the ideas listed below will have been taken up by IKBS
designers and developed further, given their interest in using repertory
grids for initial knowledge capture in Expert System design. Contact me if
you need more information on this aspect: one of my PhD students is working
in a related field and if she were willing, I'd put you in direct touch.

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz


Boose, J.H. "A knowledge acquisition program for expert systems based on
personal construct psychology" _International Journal of Man-Machine
Studies_ 1985, 23, 495-525.
Eden, C. Jones, S. "Using repertory grids for problem construction"
_Journal of the Operational Research Society_ 1984, 35, 779-790.
Eden, C., Williams, H. & Smithin, T. "Synthetic wisdom: designing a mixed
mode modelling system for organisational decision making" Report No. 01/84,
School of Management, University of Bath.
Hart A. _Knowledge Acquisition for Expert Systems_ London: Kogan Page 1986.
Humphreys P. & Macfadden W. "Experiences with MAUD: aiding decision
structuring versus boot-strapping the decision maker". _Acta Psychologica_
1980, 45, 51-69.
Humphreys P. & Wisudha A. "MAUD: an interactive computer programme for the
structuring, decomposition and recomposition of preferences between
multiattributed alternatives" Decision Analysis Unit Report No. 79-2,
Brunel University 1979.
Jankowicz, A.D. 1989 "Applications of personal construct psychology in
business practice"| in Neimeyer, G. & Neimeyer R. (eds.) _Advances in
Personal Construct Psychology vol 1._ Greenwich CONN: JAI Press.