Re: Bannister (1981)

Devi Jankowicz (
Tue, 26 Aug 97 21:27:18 +0100

To Robin Hill and All,

>So, again, thank-you Devi for alerting me to this paper. And... if
>anyone else out there is struggling with issues regarding the
>philosophy of social science and research and your own place, or
>stance in the various paradigm debates going around at present - then
>you too might gain some confirmation from reading this chapter.

I'm so glad I was useful to you. Yes, I know what you mean: colleagues
can be a bugger when they oversimplify things, and it's particularly
infuriating to have one's position misrepresented!

>In my discomfort with this, some of my collegues have accused me of
>being a typical psychologist, and therefore a logical positivist, using
>reasoning in the study of social events. In other words, first of
>all, stereotyped, and second, its as if my colleagues believed that if
>you weren't in one camp then you must be firmly in the other camp.
>Of course this has made me bristle a bit, because I have simultaneously
>had great discomfort with research of the tight construing type that
>Bannister described as "specifically irrelevant." Very precise
>research on such a minutely defined issue that, again the outcome is
>hardly useful.

I had much the same reactions a few years ago, and addressed the issue in
a paper I presented at the 1990 PCP Conference at York (the one Helen
Jones organised as a precursor to the European Personal Construct
Association conferences). I've enclosed the paper, and some more recent
thoughts, to yourself Robin (the text is in Word for Windows2 format and
the graphics are as saved directly in my Macintosh version of Pagemaker;
I believe that saves as RTF format, but if you and your techie can't
decode it, please shout and I'll send you a hard copy printout by

If anyone else wants a copy, please let me know.

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz