Mancuso, James C. (
Tue, 13 Oct 1998 11:24:14 -0400


I'm leaving the entire message, below, in that I wish to make my comments
about both messages.
I had seen the query posted by Daragh O'Reilly, but I did not respond, also
assuming that this would get response from others.
I would emphasize Chris Evans' observation that PCP cannot be regarded as
"merely" a theory of cognition. In that [in my view] PCP offers a foundation
for discussing the ways in which a person constructs inputs, PCP [from my
perspective on cognition] does allow one to use the work of cognitive psychology
to elaborate the ways in which a person constructs the putative events in
his/her world. Thus, I have no idea what could be meant by "assign[ing] it[PCP}
a more limited role as a theory of cognition."
If the writers mean that it someone has claimed that PCP is "only" a theory
of cognition, then I would want to understand what is left once one applies a
thorough theory of cognition to psychological functioning!!!!
It seems to me that the writers continue to work with the great Aristotelan
trichotomy -- volition, cognition, emotion. If they are willing to continue to
regard psychology in that framework, then I doubt if we can carry on a
conversation -- unless they wish to discuss the epistemology of their
constructions: e. g., What leads you to continue to use those constructions?
Why have you failed to consider that other constructions might have greater
utility? etc., etc.
It would seem to me that the best way to respond to the writers would be to
suggest that they read the works of current personal construct psychologists,
and that they attempt to understand the ways in which constructivists would
redefine human functioning so that psychologists might break loose from
formulations that have been part of the "commons sense" for about 2500 years.

Jim Mancuso

Chris Evans wrote:

> On 8 Oct 98, at 10:29, DARAGH O'REILLY wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > I came across the statement below in the management literature, and am
> > curious to know if this is in fact accurate. Has the PCP community in
> > general re-framed Kelly's work in this way?
> >
> >
> > "Personal construct theory was first postulated as a theory of personality
> > (Kelly, 1955); but later adherents assign it a more limited role as a
> > theory of cognition (Fransella and Bannister, 1977)." in Reger, R, and
> > Huff, A. (1993),Strategic Groups: A Cognitive Perspective, Strategic
> > Management Journal, Vol.14, 103-124.
> >
> Hi Daragh & PCPers!
> I'm surprised not to see any other responses to this. I'd say that
> "later adherents" which must surely include most of this list, would
> disagree with that strongly. Outside PCP I suspect there has been
> a widespread misconstruction that PCP is cognitive. Funny how
> these things stick tenaciously. I'm sure the real interest for me in
> PCP is the extent to which it successfully avoids being _merely_ a
> theory of cognition, emotion, personality or social interaction but
> brings a unifying way of thinking to all these. I suspect that's
> rather uncomfortable to the conventional organisation of the
> "psycho" (and "psychi") industries.
> What do others think? Is the outside perception of PCP shifting?
> Anyone else got revealing asides like this one from Huff?
> Best wishes all!
> Chris
> Chris Evans, R&D Consultant,
> Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust

James C. Mancuso        Dept. of Psychology
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A website dedicated to a personal view of Per-
sonal Construct Psychology