CHAPTER 4 QUESTIONS ABOUT GRID WORK

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This chapter is closely linked to the previous one, which dealt with the bare

bones of grid elicitation. Here, we build on your learning by addressing a

number of questions which may have occurred to you when you were eliciting

your first grid, or possibly, when you discussed the process with your

interviewee. I hope you wrote them down as suggested.

Next comes flexibility. I outline some common variants of the elicitation

procedure. This raises a question. Do we actually need the repertory grids to

understand a person’s constructs? Can people be understood in other ways?

These issues are briefly considered in the third section of this chapter.

Finally, two further techniques are outlined, using which you can increase the

precision and detail of the constructs obtained during a basic grid interview.

These form an introduction to the idea that in eliciting a grid, you’re not

simply obtaining a description of how a person thinks about an issue per se

but, rather, you’re opening a window on their entire mental world. A grid is

just a small part of a more complex data and meaning structure. The thought is

developed later in this guide, and particularly in Chapter 8.

You are invited to complete two more exercises. The first is particularly

important if you’re a beginner, learning about grids for the first time. It gives

you a feeling for the grids which you elicited in the previous chapter, allowing

you to assess your own experience, in the light of an interview transcript of a

4.1 Simple Procedural Issues: Questions and Answers. . . . . . . 42

4.2 Capturing Meaning by Using a Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

4.3 Capturing Meaning Without Using a Grid. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

4.4 Increasing Detail and Variety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Things to Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Things to Read. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

grid interview done by an experienced user. The second exercise gives you an

opportunity to practise further elicitation techniques.