Re: Personal Projects Analysis

Travis Gee (
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 11:20:17 +1100

At 04:21 10/02/1999 -0600, you wrote:
> Chad Hagans wrote:
>"I think commonality is necessary as a basis for sociality only insofar
>as both people have in common the ability to communicate in some way.
>Kelly's original notion was that one is engaging in sociality whether or
>not one is accurate in understanding another person's constructions. The
>process of simply trying to step into the other's shoes and see the
>world from their perspective is sociality, whether or not the two people
>have anything at all in common."

I tend to agree with this perspective. I should have mentioned commonality
in my last post,because these two corollaries are intertwined. However, the
way the Kelly expressed the Comm. Corr., "his psychological processes are
to those of the other person." It seems -as Chad points out - that
"playing a role
in a social process involving the other person" is facilitated by, but does
not depend on, commonality. Rather, commonality facilitates sociality where
it exists, and creates stumbling blocks for two people who are engaged in
some kind of social process where it does not.

I can see empirical work that could be done here, such as having a group of
who work well together, and a group who do not. A comparsion of the extent
to which the individuals within each group are able to construe the
experiences of the others in his or her group would reveal much greater
commonality among those in the group that works well that in the other

<snip nice fundamentalists example>
>As Kelly says, "the warriors who sprang up from the dragon's
>teeth sown by Jason had much in common but, misconstruing each other's
>motives, they failed to share in a constructive enterprise and soon
>destroyed each other.(p.95)"

Good quote. At the end of Ch.3, sect. 7 there is another good commentary:

"Can a construct be communicated from one person to another without losing
its reality? In a sense the answer is yes...we let a communicated construct
represent the personal construct of which it is a construction. The
communicated construct is the construct of the person who 'receives' it;
one of its elements is the construct of the person who had it
beforehand....the communicated construct is a construction of the original
construct and hence not identical with it."

This suggests the idea of "information loss" in that the construct changes
in the passing on. The extent to which commonality is possible is a
function of
the degree of information loss, it would seem. This brings to mind the
of "memes" and suggests that construing of constructs and the variation
that accompanies the process is at the root of the "mutations" that memes
take on over the process of dissemination.

>One who accords with Kelly's definition of sociality may very well not
>be a member of a fundamentalist group, may not buy into fundamentalism
>at all , and in fact may be an atheistic postmodernist with a successful
>therapy practice, but is able to subsume the construction system of the
>two conservatives, such that he can transcend the rigidities of their
>outlook and substitute understanding for hostility.

Another nice example, and this, I think, captures what I like so much about
Kelly. His is not a psychology of the abnormal (e.g. Freud), but rather a
psychology of the everyday.

One last thought...both of these corollaries taken together imply the
Individuality corollary, when taken in the light of Kelly's comments about
the transfer of constructs. It is only necessary to think of the commonality
corollary as the non-submerged pole of a construct, where in "To the extent
one person employs a construction of experience which is dissimilar to that
employed by another, his psychological processes are dissimilar to those of
the other person" is the opposit pole. I think that my comments on
stumbling blocks to sociality reflect the submerged pole of the sociality


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