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What is Personal Construct Psychology Pt 2

What is Personal Construct Psychology Pt 2


In Kelly’s terms, a construct is any discrimination a person can make.  The personal constructs provides the person with hypotheses which may be tested and then the system modified as a result of the feedback received in the ‘experiment’.  The constructs are seen as bipolar; e.g. ‘nice-nasty’ or ‘good-bad’.  Some of the constructs can be unconscious and may not be capable of being expressed in words, so these are more difficult to work with.


The theory is formally stated as a fundamental postulate and eleven corollaries.

Fundamental Postulate  This states that our psychological processes are channelled by the ways in which we anticipate events.  It is more a way of reaching out to the future than reacting to the past.

Construction Corollary  A person anticipates events by construing their replication.  We make sense of our life by recognition of repeated themes.  We have a construct of a pencil, of dinner, and more abstract ones like ‘beauty’ or ‘truth’.  Some we may not have verbal labels for though we do discriminate and can be shown to do so experimentally as with different shades of colour.  This is where Kelly would take issue with Behaviourists saying that people do not respond to a stimulus per se, they respond to what they believe the stimulus to be.  This in turn is a function of how they view the universe.

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