GLOSSARY

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Cluster Analysis: a statistical technique for highlighting the pattern of

relationships in a repertory grid by grouping elements (and then constructs)

on the basis of the similarity of individual ratings. Produces outputs which

are, arguably, more client-friendly than those provided by a principal

components analysis, q.v. p. 118.

Construct: one of the four components of a repertory grid; an attribute which

an individual uses to make sense of his or her experience. Expressed as two

contrasted poles; constitutes a choice about that experience or a preference

with respect to that experience, p. 10.

Content Analysis: the only feasible way of aggregating the information

present in a large set of repertory grids, by collecting and categorising the

different meanings of constructs present in the set. Honey’s technique

makes use of some of the information available in the ratings as well,

pp. 146, 169.

Constructivism: the epistemological position which asserts that the significance

and usefulness (not ‘truth’) of a proposition is established by an

agreement between individuals about the meaning of the observations they

make. The main concern is therefore for the extent of shared assumptions

and the reliability of observations made in order to understand what is

going on, p. 44. Contrast with Positivism, q.v.

Core Construct: a construct which is central to the individual, around which

s/he builds his or her personal identity and its place in the wider scheme of

existence. All core constructs have a relationship to an individual’s values,

though not all personal values are core constructs, p. 83.

Corollary: a proposition which supplements a fundamental statement. In

Kelly’s personal construct theory (see Appendix 6) there are 11 of them, all

amplifying his fundamental postulate about human psychological

functioning, p. 59.

C-P-C Cycle: one of three models for describing change in construing, and

particularly those which relate to decision making. People change their

minds by engaging in Circumspection, Pre-emption, and Control, in that

order, pp. 219–220.

Creativity Cycle: another of the three models for describing change in

construing; views the creative process as one in which implicational

connections between constructs are successively loosened and tightened,

p. 219.

Dendrogram: a diagram, which looks like a tree, whose branches represent the

relationships between adjacent elements (or adjacent constructs) as

produced in a cluster analysis, pp. 121, 122.

Elaborative Choice: a decision among alternative ways of construing a

situation which results in permanent changes in a person’s construct

system, p. 231.

Element: one of the four components of a repertory grid; an example of,

sampling of, instance of, or occurrence within, a given Topic, p. 13.

Emergent Pole: that part of a construct to which the individual explicitly

refers; for example, the meaning of ‘tense’ when the individual is using the

construct ‘tense versus relaxed’ and talks about being tense. In triadic grid

elicitation it is normally identified as the characteristic which two of the

triad of elements have in common, and is written down on the left of the

grid-sheet, p. 48. Contrast with Implicit Pole, q.v.

Experience Cycle: one of three models for describing change in construing;

consists of stages of Anticipation, Investment, Encounter, Assessment and

Constructive Revisions. Managers and business students will recognise the

similarity to Kolb’s Cycle, p. 219.

Implicit Pole: that part of a construct which is left tacit by the individual; for

example, the meaning of ‘relaxed’ when the individual is using the

construct ‘tense versus relaxed’ and talks about being tense. In triadic

elicitation it is normally identified as the contrast – the characteristic

pertaining to the odd one out of the elements, and is written down on the

right of the grid sheet, p. 48. Contrast with Emergent Pole, q.v.

Negotiation of Meaning: the process underlying construct elicitation by

which you arrive at a precise understanding of the individual’s personal

meaning, p. 11.

GLOSSARY 293

Ontological Choices: decisions made by individuals, in line with their

personal values, through which their priorities in life and existence are

expressed. What’s your bottom line? Are justice and the rule of law

important, or should human frailty be allowed for? Are business

organisations run for their employees, their shareholders or their

customers? Is education fundamentally about preparing people to make a

contribution to society, or is it basically about personal growth and

development? Each of these alternatives represents an ontological choice,

p. 191.

Personal Repertoire: the totality of constructs which a particular individual

uses, p. 12.

Positivism: the epistemological position which asserts that the truth of a

proposition can be established by facts which exist independently of the

observer, waiting to be discovered and to be put into use. The main concern

is therefore for the validity and reliability of observations made in order to

explain what is going on, p. 44. Contrast with Constructivism, q.v.

Principal Components Analysis: a statistical technique for highlighting the

pattern or relationships in a repertory grid, by identifying hypothetical

underlying components on the basis of patterns of variability in the ratings.

Outputs are, arguably, less client-friendly than those produced by a cluster

analysis, q.v., but more useful in identifying ‘what needs to change’ in a

counselling or guidance application, pp. 127–130.

Range of Convenience: the set of various realms of discourse within which a

particular construct can be usefully applied. Constructs like ‘Comfortable–

Painful’ have a wide range of convenience (you can use them in a wide

variety of contexts), while those like ‘Incandescent–Luminescent’ have a

very narrow range of convenience (you can’t use them to talk about much,

other than light sources), p. 12.

Ratings: one of the four components of a repertory grid; a number on a scale

applied to each element on each construct, by which an individual

expresses a meaning, pp. 13–14.

Realm of Discourse: the general field of personal knowledge within which the

Topic of a grid is situated, p. 12.

Resistance-to-Change Technique: a way of helping a person to decide on

their value priorities: those which represent ontological bedrock, and those

over which s/he’s prepared to compromise a little bit, p. 197.

Social Desirability Effect: the tendency for people to express their attitudes,

opinions, beliefs, and values in a socially acceptable manner. When working

with personal values, Resistance-to-Change Technique, q.v., can control the

effect to some extent, p. 197.

Topic: one of the four components of a repertory grid; the subject-matter of a

particular repertory grid, pp. 12–13.

GLOSSARY 295

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