Construct Psychology has existed for almost fifty years. In 1955, George A. Kelly published his ground-breaking
two-volume book "The Psychology of Personal Constructs". In this book he developed a theory
of personality centred around the distinctive ways in which individuals
construct and reconstruct the meanings of their lives, which he
subsequently elaborated in a series of papers. While Kelly’s original focus was
on applications to psychotherapy and counselling, personal construct concepts and
methods have been used to understand such topics as diverse as
development and breakdown of
vocational decision making,
education, bereavement and organisational behaviour.
Originating in the United States of America, PCP - as it is commonly
abbreviated - has spread to a number of countries, the UK first, then
to other English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada and New
Zealand as well as a variety of countries with other languages: Italy,
Germany, Spain. However, PCP has not routinely made it into the
required curricula of university education, neither in its country of
origin nor elsewhere, and therefore its dissemination has mainly
depended on the involvement (and the enthusiasm) of a limited number of
scholars who founded training centres, edited journals or newsletters,
wrote textbooks, translated English texts, and incorporated PCP in
their research or practice. As is common with
academic books, however, the number of copies is limited, their
is often erratic, and therefore the number of people that have been
exposed to written information on PCP have remained restricted.
Fortunately, the widespread development of the Internet in the
last few years has provided the opportunity to change this deplorable
situation in a fundamental way. Web sites devoted to PCP have been set
up, papers have been made available on the Net, but comprehensive
information on PCP has until now still not been readily accessible.
Therefore, in 2002 we
invited a number of
colleagues from all over the world to contribute to this Encyclopaedia.
happy to be able now to present a first, albeit still limited, number
of entries: the first 50 of more than 250. Eventually, the joint
of many members of the international PCP community will have resulted
in a comprehensive account of the PCP approach accessible worldwide.
The advantages of the Internet system are obvious: Once a book is
printed, it stays as it is until, hopefully, enough people have bought
it to make a revised edition economically viable. More often than not
this does not happen, though. The Internet route, on the other hand,
provides the opportunity to present a work that is continually "in
progress", or, appropriately termed, a permanent "construction site".
Entries can be revised whenever an author (or the readers) think it
appropriate, more entries can be added as developments occur etc. Thus,
up-to-date information can be presented worldwide at no (or low) costs.
This Encyclopaedia is not meant to render printed books or journals
superfluous. The reader who wants to get involved seriously in the
theory and practice of PCP will have to delve into the books, articles and papers recommended in the Encyclopaedia
entries. We have also included a list of books
that contain both introductory and comprehensive information. Most of
them are available through Internet-based booksellers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The PCP Information Centre in
Hamburg (Germany) provides more information, including links to web
sites devoted to PCP.
entries to this Encyclopaedia are "peer-reviewed" by an international Editorial Board.
Beverly Walker (Wollongong, Australia)