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Tacit construing
It was Michael Polanyi (1969) who used the word "tacit" relating to knowledge. It refers to the recognition that we may not be able to put into words all that we are aware we "know". In many ways this is similar to Kelly's discussion of preverbal and non-verbal construing that, as the names suggest, do not have words to anchor them. Neimeyer (1981) suggests that construing that has been created after the development of language should be called "tacit construing" rather than "non-verbal construing". Neimeyer also describes "The Tacit Construing Technique (TCT)". McWillliams (1988) discusses the relationship between Polanyi's and Kelly's ideas in his paper "Construing comprehensively".
In practice, tacit, or non-verbal, construing plays a part in our everyday lives in a very similar way to "pre-verbal construing" except that it is not so likely to be related to dependency construing.

  • McWilliams, S. A. (1988) Construing comprehensively. International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 1, 219-228.
  • Neimeyer, R. A. (1981) The structure and meaningfulness of tacit construing. In H. Bonarius, R. Holland & S. Rosenberg (eds.) Personal Construct Psychology: Recent Advances in Theory and Practice. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Polanyi, M. (1969) Knowing and Being. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Fay Fransella

Establ. 2003
Last update: 15 February 2004