Re: Greetings everyone!

Travis Gee (
Tue, 09 Feb 1999 09:11:58 +1100

At 02:23 8/02/1999 -0800, you wrote:

>To: Jonathan Lee
>Supplied "constructs" are non-personal concepts and not personal constructs.
>Triadic comparisons are performed to evoke personal constructs.
>Applications of personal constructs, triadic or non-triadic, are performed to
>elucidate the meanings of personal constructs.

I'm not so sure about this one, especially after skimming the Korzybski
reference that James supplied the other day! The sociality corollary seems
to require the ability to share, at least somewhat, in the constructions of
others, and so a supplied construct may be perfectly usable by the respondent,
even if the personal meaning of it is only, say, 80% shared by the questioner.

If supplied constructs were meaningless, the work of Osgood & Suci on semantic
differential could never have taken off. There is also a study by
Krackhardt (1990)
where elicitation did occur, but the constructs were winnowed down to those
shared by individuals in an organization. Another study on Personal Action
Constructs (the one I mentioned as having been done by Linda Cameron last
week) found that personal constructs mapped rather well onto a number
of provided ones. Yes, there are personal meanings, but these exist in the
context of an ecology of meanings that intertwine with them to a greater or
lesser degree.

Triadic comparisons *will* get different responses, but it is only through
the comparison
of the resulting structure with the structure and mapping of the provided
ones that
we can discover the extent to which apparently-idiosyncratic systems are
shared by at least some, if not all, other people. Now my question is, has
tried having a client complete a repgrid, then have the clinician propose
some constructs
that he or she thinks summarize the grid, and subsequently have the client
complete the
proposed constructs? I think this would be a neat test of the validity of
clinical judgements!

Krackhardt, D., (1990). Friendship patterns and culture: The control of
diversity. American Anthropologist, 92, 142-154.


Travis Gee
Lecturer, School of Psychology
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351
+61 (2) 6773 2410