Help with the laddering procedure

John Mayes (
Sun, 11 Apr 1999 08:04:08 +1200

Jonathan Lee asks:

Hi there everybody. I haven't been here for a while. To refresh everyone's
memory, I am examining the personal constructs of high and low
procrastinators with regards to their academic tasks. I am also going to
be laddering upwards. I did a pilot test today and when I started
laddering, I said "I see that you used the constructs boring versus
interesting, with the latter being described as the more positive of the
two. Why is it important/advantageous (I used the two interchangeably
that a no-no?) that something is interesting?"
Is that the proper way to prompt the person or am I missing something
here? Thanks in advance.

Valerie Stewart responds:

That's good. There are basically two ways of laddering up: the one you
chose (which pole do you prefer - relating back to the purpose) and then
why, or can you tell me more about ... The other way is to ask 'why is
that an important distinction to make between (name the element class)' and
then ask why. You can go up a level with a question like 'and why is that
important?' which will get you closer to core constructs, but it depends on
the kind of contract you have with the interviewee as to how much you
explore these.

Well done and good luck.

Valerie Stewart

John Mayes