Re: core constructs

Jones, John WEN (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 9:43

From: Gary F. Blanchard, MPA
To: pcp
Subject: Re: core constructs
Date: Thursday, December 19, 1996 6:35PM

Gary F. Blanchard wrote

>Dear John-

>Thanks very much for the lucid example of 'construct.' I got a much
>clearer idea of what is meant by it from your message.

>If you are willing to entertain a follow-up question, I would appreciate
>your help in grasping the nature of the phenomenon which, evidently,
>precedes or presences a construct, namely, 'an individual's
>distinctions.' Would you comment on the nature of these?

>Thanks again very much.
>Sincerely yours,
>Gary F. Blanchard

Dear Gary,

Probably some of the best people to read on the idea of similarity and
contrast would be Kelly, W. E. Weimer, and perhaps even some of F. A.
Hayek's work on the sensory order. A constructivist model of the mind seems
to be based on our understanding of how the central nervous system works.
Humans organize their experience via similarity and contrasts in a way that
is personally meaningful to them. In addition, when we characterize
something, e.g. aggressive, there is an implied opposite, e.g. passive.
Such a contrast allows the person to anticipate a chart a course of action.
For example, I cannot come to the conclusion that I need to be more
assertive unless I have the construct, assertive-nonassertive (others may
supply different language), that allows me to assess where I'm at in
relation to the bipolarity and chart a plan of action. If you have Kelly's
work, read his section on the Construction Corollary. Also J. Rychlak has
written some pieces on the nature of bipolarity in constructivism. I hope
this helps. Other collegues out there may have better input than this.

Vic Jones
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