|"A person's processes are
psychologically channelized by the ways in which he anticipates events"
(Kelly, 1955, Vol. 1, p. 46), and these ways are in the form of constructs. The
reference to anticipation in the theory’s fundamental
postulate bears witness
to its central role in PCP.
The person is not determined by
inner drives as in Freudian psychoanalysis, or by environmental stimuli
behaviourism, or by a potential for self-realisation as in humanistic
psychologies. Rather the person, like a scientist, seeks prediction:
formulates hypotheses about the world and him/herself (by construing
and verifies them by means of behaviour. Therefore, behaviour is not the
answer: it is a way of posing a question (Kelly, 1966/1969). Rather it
experiment that can result in validation
or invalidation of what the person
Anticipation is what motivates the
person, being "both the push and pull of the psychology of personal
constructs". As a consequence, "it is the future which tantalizes
man, not the past. Always he reaches out to the future through the
the present" (Kelly, 1955, Vol. 1, p. 49).
Given that events are set apart
from each other by the construing of their replications (see construction
corollary), it is impossible not to imply prediction whenever one
anything. But anticipation should not to be confused with a rational,
communicable, process (even though Kelly uses the terms prediction and
anticipation as synonymous). Given that personal constructs can be preverbal or nonverbal,
our anticipation of
many events (the so-called
"physiological" processes in particular) can fall outside the system
we use for communication.
- Kelly, G. A.
(1955). The psychology of personal
constructs. (2 Volumes). New
York: Norton. (reprint London,
- Kelly, G. A.
(1969). Ontological acceleration. In B. Maher (Ed.), Clinical
psychology and personality: the selected papers of
(pp. 7-45) London:
Wiley. (original work 1966)
Gabriele Chiari & M. Laura Nuzzo