tight construct is
one which leads to
(Kelly, 1955/1991, Vol. 2, p. 7/1991)
The tight-loose dimension of construing
seen by Kelly as one of the most important in his theoretical system.
about the process of
construing rather than its structure
Construing tightly leads to unvarying predictions which means we can be
certain that a spade is a spade. Of course, it is not an absolute term.
Constructs can be used in a relatively tight as opposed to a relatively
way. It is our tight use of constructs that gives our lives a sense of
predictability and permanence.
As with all aspects of personal construct
theory, we have problems if we construe in some extreme manner.
construe in an extremely tight are at psychological risk since any
evidence that they are wrong may have the effect of causing the whole
construing system to collapse like the proverbial pack of cards. The
psychological disorder that is sometimes associated with overly tight
is that of paranoia. Here the
predictions are indeed unvarying. In fact, a
psychiatric definition of paranoid delusions is that they are totally
to invalidation. In his series of experiments on schizophrenic thought
disorder, Bannister found that the first response of those who were
consistently invalidated in their construing of people was to tighten
loosening to "try and get it right". Bannister and Fransella (2003)
leaves open the question of why, if paranoia is the bus stop on the way
schizophrenic thought disorder, some get off the bus there, while
others go on
to schizophrenic thought disorder" (p.150). Kelly was, however,
not keen on the
use of the psychiatric label of paranoia but, if it was to be used, he
it more with over-dilated rather than tight
construing. Indeed, there are no
specific disorders in Kelly's theorising that are based on extremely
construing. Except, of course, as Kelly puts it: "If construing is tight, one
runs the risk of being shattered on the uncompromising rocks of reality"
(Kelly, 1955, p. 849/1991, Vol 2, p. 20).
Tightening plays a central role in the Creativity
Cycle. Tightening must take place after loose
construing to complete the Cycle.
The Cycle starts off with "letting the mind wander" or day-dreaming.
nothing creative comes of that unless we are able to tighten up on
that has struck us as interesting. We tighten our construing so that we
look at the idea conceptually to see if it is as good as it looked when
flashed through our mind's eye.
sense of ourselves tends to be
tightly construed. We like to have a stable sense of the sort of person
fundamentally are. Any loosening here can make us feel quite anxious
the reduction in predictability.
- Bannister, D.
& Fransella, F. (2003) Inquiring
Man (3rd edition) Ebook: Taylor & Francis. http://www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk
G.A. (1955). The psychology of personal constructs. (2
volumes) New York: Norton.