Inquiring Man: Theory of Personal Constructs by Donald Bannister, Fay Fransella

By Donald Bannister, Fay Fransella

A very revised and up to date variation of the vintage creation to Kelly's idea of non-public Constructs.

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A grid is a way of getting individuals to tell you, in mathematical terms, the coherent picture they have of, say, teachers. The first task, if this were your aim, might be to ask a particular pupil to think of three teachers and tell you some important way in which she sees two as being alike and thereby different from the third teacher. The pupil may differentiate between them in terms of sex. With three more teachers, the construct discrimination could be in terms of Exploring the Person 49 lively versus boring; next intelligent versus stupid; another being doddering versus young; and yet another bossy versus free-andeasy and so on until different combinations of teachers can produce no more new constructs.

Kelly also had something to say on creativity but approached it from a very different angle. Since movement and change are the very essence of the psychology of personal constructs, Kelly saw creativity as being a cyclic phenomenon. The cycle ‘starts with loosened construction and terminates with tightened and validated construction’ (1955, p. 528). When we construe tightly, all events coming within the range of convenience of a particular construct are assigned very definitely to one pole of that construct or the other— there are no shades of grey.

Thus we transcend the obvious! By construing we reach beyond anything that man has heretofore known—often reach in vain, to be sure, but sometimes with remarkable prescience. (Kelly, 1977, p. 4) 28 The Psychology of Personal Constructs Psychology and Values A theoretical framework in psychology inevitably proposes values. Incantatory insistence on being purely ‘objective’ does not enable us to escape the moral issues which are implicit in psychology. The declared aims of science—prediction and control—have moral connotations immediately we realise that it is human beings that psychologists are proposing to predict and control.

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