Re: Kelly is too cognitive???

Devi Jankowicz (
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 22:55:47 +0000

Jonathon Lee wrote

>Kelly and his Rep Grid approach have been criticised for being much too
>cognitive. Esentially you have this person thinking all the time...every
>man is a "scientist" and they are always thinking. What about feelings?
>Why arn't we interested in how these people feel about things.

Lots of stuff packed into these few sentences, on an
oldie-but-still-goodie theme (Bruner back in the 1960s, was it?) strating
a thread which I'm sure many people will have picked up on. By the time
I've waded through 78 e-mails that have accumulated in the week I've been
away, I expect lots of much more helpful responses than my own will have
appeared (I see what looks like some of these in my yet-to-be-read list!)

But, in brief, my own angle on this would be the one Don Bannister
suggested, in his gloss on the Fundamental Postulate.
If you want to ask biological questions, talk in terms of adaptation,
fight/flight, motivation, defense, and so on. If you want to ask
neurophysiological or endrocrinological questions, then by all means talk
of activation, arousal, glandular secretions, noradrenaline and so forth.

But if you want to ask psychological questions, then you tend to end up
using language which in the closed categories of the "chapter-heading"
approach may well sound like "cognition", but needn't be. So then, (as I
see Jim Mancuso has asked), the next question has to be "what do you mean
by 'cognitive'?": i.e. it could be an inappropriate label for PCP....

Bye for now!

Devi Jankowicz