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Lopsidedness of construing
Lopsidedness of construing refers to the tendency for a person to construe many more elements at one pole rather than the other. In constructs where elements are located by rating this would be evidenced by a highly skewed distribution of elements towards one pole or the other. Kelly (1955/1991, p.270) speculated that people who used lopsided construing might be different to those who construed  in a more balanced fashion. For a time in the 1960’s lopsidedness was perceived as a problem for the analysis of grid data and led to a use of ranking to locate elements evenly across constructs (see for example, Bannister and Mair, 1968, pp.60-61). The issue had been rarely researched empirically. Bannister and Salmon (1967, unpublished, but summarized in Fransella and Bannister, 1977, pp.65-68) found it to be unrelated to several grid measures. Although not directly referred to as such, the concept underlies the theoretical delineation of hierarchical construing by Chiari and others (1990), where lopsided construing is necessary for one construct (the lopsided one) to be superordinate to another. Bell (submitted for publication) has shown that constructs with lopsided construing have stronger prediction of constructs with symmetric construing than the reverse. Lopsided construing should not be confused with polarization of construing as represented by the ordination score.

  • Bannister, D. & Mair, J. M. M. (1968). The evaluation of personal constructs . London; Academic Press.
  • Bell, R.C. (submitted for publication) Predictive Relationships in Repertory Grid data: A new elaboration of Kelly’s Organization Corollary.
  • Chiari, G, Mancini, F., Nicolo, F., and Nuzzo, M. L. (1990)  Hierarchical organization of personal construct systems in terms of the range of convenience. International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 3, 281-311.
  • Fransella, F. and Bannister, D. (1977) A manual for the repertory grid technique . London: Academic Press.
  • Kelly, G. A.  (1955/1991) The psychology of personal constructs. New York: Norton. Reprinted by Routledge, London.

Richard C. Bell

Establ. 2003
Last update: 15 February 2004