Re: Request for advice on laddering and grids

Bob Green (
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:44:12 +1000


regarding your post:

>Two things emerged from my supervision. One supervisor suggested that it
>was inappropriate to use constructs that had been elicited from laddering
>down in a grid ("they are superordinate constructs and don't tell you anything
>more when you carry out a PCA-just use the first constructs elicited from
>the cards 3 at a time!"). Is this right?

Laddering down (asking how) usually results in subordinate constructs.
However, if you also laddered up (asking why) this should result in
superordinate/more important constructs. Robin Hill (who may still be on
this list) wrote an interesting paper using both laddering up and down.

Hill R (1995). Content Analysis for Creating and depicting Aggregated
personal Construct Derived Cognitive Maps, in Neimeyer R and Neimeyer G,
Advances in Personal Construct Psychology, v3, 101-132.

>The same chap suggested that the primary constructs elicited from the cards
>first and before the laddering are "more important" than the laddered ones.
>When we talked about this, he suggested that the constructs that are more
>immediately accesssible to a co-participant (I prefer this term to client)
>when giving constructs, are more important than ones that have to be
>laddered down. I argued that they might be more "accessible" but not more

See above
>And finally; this one will get you going!
>All three supervisors (one architect, one psychologist, one polymath) argued
>that nobody has really advanced Kelly's basic theory in 40 years and that most
>of the work carried out in PCP seems to be a refinement of techniques only.
>Is this a fair comment?
>This was related in particular to the idea that constructs are possibly
>to genetic "imprinting" that transfers cultural codes from one generation to
>the next........ has anyone challenged Kellyian notions of realism based on
>experience rather than genetics??

Read Jim Mancuso's post of 24.2.99, subject = Insularity of PCP??? I'm sure
he could offer an opinion on the above, which seems a fine example of
pre-emptive construction to say the least,


Bob Green