|Just as with suicide,
several possible pathways which may lead an individual to commit
and these pathways may be viewed in personal construct theory terms, as
may those which are associated with non-fatal violence (Winter, 2003).
such pathway was observed by Howells (1983), who found that the repertory grids of "one-off" violent
were characterised by a "positivity bias" in their construing of
In Howells’ view, the negative poles of these individuals’ constructs
were submerged, but in situations in which
construct systems were undermined they "slot rattled", taking a very
view of, and committing extreme violence towards, their victim. Other
personal construct studies of perpetrators of homicide have mostly
focused upon single cases, some using repertory grid technique and
others the analysis of narratives.
There have also been reports of personal construct approaches to the
treatment of violent offenders, including in some cases those who have
committed homicide (Houston, 1998; Winter, 2003).
J. (1998). Making Sense with Offenders: Personal Constructs,
and Change. Chichester: Wiley.
K. (1978). Social construing and violent behavior in mentally
offenders. In J.W. Hinton ed., Dangerousness: Problems of
and Prediction. London: Allen and Unwin.
D.A. (2003). A credulous approach to violence and homicide. In
J. Horley (ed.), Personal Construct Perspectives on Forensic
Psychology. London: Routledge.
David A. Winter