|Although personal construct theory does not employ
nosological categories such as schizophrenia, there have been numerous
personal construct studies of people diagnosed as schizophrenic. George
Kelly (1955) suggested that such individuals may be characterised by loose construing, and this was examined by
(1960, 1962) in a series of studies associating schizophrenic thought
with weak relationships between constructs and inconsistencies in the
of these relationships. His ‘serial invalidation hypothesis’
1963, 1965) proposed that thought disorder arises as a response to
invalidation of a person’s construing, but his attempt to reverse this
by serial validation of construing resulted in a ‘not proven’ verdict
et al., 1975). These studies led to the development of a diagnostic
for schizophrenic thought disorder using repertory
grid technique (Bannister and Fransella, 1966); and a large body
subsequent research (Winter, 1992). Arguably their most important
has been that the predicament of the person diagnosed as schizophrenic
be viewed in terms of the same processes of construing as characterise
functioning of the ‘normal’ individual.
More recent explorations from the personal construct theory perspective
of people diagnosed as schizophrenic have focused upon their poorly
elaborated self-construing (Gara et al., 1989).
D. (1960). Conceptual structure in thought-disordered schizophrenics. Journal
of Mental Science, 106, 1230-49.
D. (1962). The nature and measurement of schizophrenic
thought disorder. Journal of Mental Science, 108, 825-42.
D. (1963). The genesis of schizophrenic thought disorder: a
serial invalidation hypothesis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 109,
D. (1965). The genesis of schizophrenic thought disorder:
re-test of the serial invalidation hypothesis. British Journal of
Psychiatry, 111, 377-82.
D., Adams-Webber, J.R., Penn, W.I., and Radley, A.R. (1975).
the process of thought disorder: a serial validation experiment. British
Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, 169-80.
D. and Fransella, F. (1966). A grid test of schizophrenic
thought disorder. British Journal of Social and Clinical
M.A., Rosenberg, S., and Mueller, D.R. (1989), Perception of self
and other in schizophrenia. International Journal of Personal
Construct Psychology, 2, 253-70.
G.A. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New
D.A. (1992). Personal Construct Psychology in Clinical
Practice: Theory, Research and Applications. London: Routledge.