Re: Checking out the grid with the subject

Devi Jankowicz (
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 08:54:08 +0000

Richard Bell writes the following:

>It seems to me many people use grids to measure change on the basis that
>the grid will show change. My question always is 'change in what?'
>1. What kind of thinking and behaviour are we starting with?
>2. What kind of thinking and behaviour do we hope to end up with?
>3. Can these kinds of thinking and behaviour be defined as structures in
>grid data?
>If we can find answers to these then by all means use grids to measure
>And if you have to ask the person what the grid analysis means, it suggests
>1. The grid was poorly designed or
>2. The analysis was inappropriate.
>Asking respondents to explain grid analysis results seems to have a flavour
>of the old kelly dictum 'if you don't know what's wrong with a person, try
>asking them'. My doctor must be a Kelly fan because every time I go to see
>him, he asks 'what's wrong?'. When I tell him he says 'there's a lot of it
>going around'. Asking people about their grid analysis results seems to
>produce a similar comforting but ultimately unhelpful use of grids.

while saying he agrees with my earlier comments... er, yes, I think I see.

Depends what you mean by "asking respondents to explain". If I've devised
some ghastly confection of inappropriate elements and then blindly
reached for the nearest computer package, it's certainly pointless of me
to turn to the respondent and ask his or her opinion: by thenm in
practice, s/he will be more confused than I am, especially as it's
probably the first time they've ever been asked questions in quite this
peculiar way.

And of course, if one's doing a research study, then there's no excuse
for doing one's design on the trot, and inventing one's hypotheses
halfway through- but this sort of mistake isn't confined to grid-based
research! (Though I spoke about it casually, I knew what I was doing, in
advance, when I did that little study with sigma d squared which I
described earlier; it was my curiosity which was trivial, not my

No, what I have in mind is that doing a grid is a social interaction in
which two parties negotiate their understanding of one party's meaning,
and I see nothing wrong in extending that negotiation to its analysis.
You have to know why you're doing it, and present it appropriately (your
discussion will in some senses be at a meta-level) if you're to give your
respondent the best chnace of helping you, that's all.

Kind regards,


PS You should meet my doctor. He's like the guy in "Catch 22": always
seems to have the same symptoms as myself...