Re:measuring distances in grid space

Tony Downing (
Fri, 28 May 1999 23:35:43 +0100

Re Devi's comments on my comments about the whole enterprise of doing a
grid being a bit probabalistic:

My comments were made in the context of trying to see what J. Maxwell Legg
might be meaning in refering to a probabalistic procedure of Patrick
Slater's for calculating distances between elements. In so far as I
understand it, I can't see where the probabilistic aspect comes in - unless
it's to do with the general problem of sampling error, that afflicts all
data-sampling, but especially small samples - as occur in rep grids.

That aspect of Rep. grid work does worry me. Where else would you see PCA
being done with N=10 (elements)? I do hope that Devi is right. His urging
that the person whose construing has produced the grid should be able to
recognise their construct system in the analysis does, perhaps, go a long
way towards keeping the problem under control, if not eliminating it.

Thinking of the use of grids outside a counselling context, e.g., (I pluck
the example out of the air!) in a research project aiming to assess changes
in construing as a result of a parent sensitivity training program, does
Devi's point imply that we should regard it as bad practise not to check
out the analysis with the participant? Fels like a good idea, but
immediately I'm thinking - Go back to the lab and do the analysis, then
another appointment, another home visit ... Good argument for doing it all
on a lap-top, I suppose, so as to be able to look at the the anlysis with
the research paticipant immediately.

What do people think?

Supplementary point; good agrument for doint he grid analuysis on
"palm-top", too! Anyone know of rep grid analysis programs for the Psion,
especially the Psion 3a?! Or any other palmtops ...

Tony Downing,
Dept. of Psychology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.