|CONSTRUING IN THE POLITICAL REALM -
REFLECTIONS ON THE POWER OF A THEORY
|Jörn W. Scheer
|Department of Medical Psychology, University of Giessen, Germany
At first glance, the range of
convenience of personal construct theory does not necessarily include the world
of politics which seems to be shaped by forces that are often beyond the scope
of individuals’ agency. However, Don Bannister quoted George Kelly as opting
for politics as a field where he would like personal construct theory to go, Kelly
himself travelled around the world in 1961, interviewing psychologists about
their life in their respective countries, and lately ‘constructivism’ has
become one of the theories applied in international relations. Therefore it
seems worthwhile to take a fresh look at ‘PCP and the world’ and the chances of
political action informed by personal construct theory.
Personal construct psychology, politics,
as constructs have a range of
convenience and a focus of
convenience, so have theories. And the focus or the foci of convenience of Personal
Construct Theory (PCT) are certainly (1) understanding and helping people in
trouble, (2) the modulation of constructs through education, and (3)
understanding and possibly modifying the functioning of organisations. However,
the fundamental postulate and the corollaries of PCT are worded in a much more
general way so that they seem to be applicable to a much wider area of
phenomena. Indeed, PCT has made forays into other domains, such as
architecture, marketing, the arts, and many others.
politics. In 1981, Don Bannister said:
The last conversation I had with
George Kelly was over a meal. It was a very bad chilli con carne in Columbus, Ohio.
We were discussing broadly where we would like personal construct theory to go
in an elaborative sense and I remember at the end of the meal George suddenly
and finally opting for politics. That is where the meal ended so I never did
get to find out whereabouts in politics construct theory is going. And, alas,
George died before I went back to the States. (Bannister, 2003, p. 181)
KELLY ON THE ROAD
we do know something about what Kelly might have had on his mind – from his
paper on ‘Europe’s matrix of decision’ (Kelly, 1962). This was a talk he gave,
strangely enough, at the ‘Nebraska Symposium on Motivation’ in 1961 and has
been cited occasionally. But as I am going to show, I believe that the ‘political
Kelly’ still needs to be re-discovered.
1961, Kelly and his wife travelled around much of the world; he researched and
analysed the constructs that guided the people in the countries he visited,
especially in the Soviet Union and in then
twice, just before the erection of the Berlin Wall and a short time after. In
true Kellyan fashion, he arrived at bipolar constructs such as:
was nearly 50 years ago – it is up to speculation what constructs he would have
- humanitarianism vs.
- idealism vs. materialism
- ideas vs. wealth
- (German) scholarship
vs. (American) simple-mindedness (pre WW II)
materialism vs. (American) scholarship (post WW II)
oppression vs freedom
is interesting to see how Kelly handled these constructs not just as meanings
or opinions or attitudes (although they seem to be on a very high level of
generality) but as – as the term goes now – ‘self-guiding narratives’, i. e. as
guide-lines for the vital decisions that individuals as well as nations are
required to make: hence the ‘Matrix of Decision’. One of his aims was to inform
his fellow Americans about their own impending choices, thus exhibiting a
practical political intention. Apparently, anticipating future developments on
a larger scale was an important issue for him. That is, of course, as hazardous
as a weather forecast. In hindsight, some of the predictions Kelly articulated
in 1962 did not materialise – naturally so, as Peter Cummins (2000) analysed
almost forty years later. Predictions about the future of the European countries
are limited by the failure of anticipating a number of other developments, such
as the reduced importance of a national identity – at least in the major part
of Europe – and the lessening of the influence
of World War II – which had ended only sixteen years before at the time of
Kelly’s travels. Perhaps the ‘decision matrix’ has too many components to allow
an accurate prediction. Or, long-range predictions may always lie outside the
range of convenience of a personal construing system!
what I found instructive is how Kelly talked about general matters, such as
constructs prevailing in a country
(or constructs about a country), as
well as about the choices individuals
were facing. While the former sometimes sound somewhat stereotypical the
treatment of the individual aspects appear very empathetic and realistic – at
least to a citizen of one of the countries in question who was twenty at the
time of Kelly’s expedition: me.
paper of 1981 (Bannister, 2003) (which the quote is from) is titled ‘The
psychology of politics and the politics of psychology’ and he addresses the two
ways of ‘pre-emptive construing’ indicated by this dichotomy. Is it the
environment, the circumstances that force the individual to act in a certain
way – those ‘up there’, the forces of history, the complexity of it all? Or is
it psychological matters that drive politicians to behave in a certain way –
the psychology of politics (and politicians)? Both positions he calls simplistic:
For example, from the point of view
of psychoanalytic theory radical political positions and political attacks on
social authority are sometimes seen as manifestations of unresolved oedipal
conflict with political authority structures representing ‘father’. Conversely,
radical political thinkers sometimes take the view that, say, psychoanalytic
psychology or some allied theory is merely part of the ideology of bourgeois
2003, p. 182)
the end he concludes that Personal Construct Theory is politically libertarian, politically egalitarian, politically fraternal. And of course, in doing so he
refers to the ideals of the French Revolution. He quotes an early essay of
Kelly’s titled ‘Social inheritance’ and proposes that “your construct system is not your private, isolated invention, your
desert island. It is essentially partly a fraternal gift to you and partly your
fraternal gift to others”.
This is echoed in Bill Warren’s (1996)
elaboration of the “egalitarian outlook as the underpinning of personal
Constructs that Bannister seems to think
coins a nice phrase for people who develop an “intelligent interest” in
politics but refrain from “action, involvement, personal responsibility and
personal reaction”, and are content with reading the paper and watching the
news on TV. Bannister himself, however, was at some stage in his life involved
in what is termed ‘anarcho-syndicalist’ politics and in his non-academic books
– he was an accomplished novelist – wrote about politically active workers in
the mines of Northern England.
- (politically) left vs right
- control of the means of production, distribution and exchange by state managers vs by private owners
- authority vs liberty (authoritarian vs democrat)
in 1967, he had, together with Fay Fransella, used the repertory grid technique
as a measure of political construing, namely to operationally define the
“degree of interest in politics” and to predict voting behaviour (Fransella
& Bannister, 1967). But after that, only very few papers appeared that
connected PCP and politics.
- In 1975, Nancy Mihevic wrote about
“Information, valence and cognitive complexity in the political domain”, with
students as subjects who rated political figures on bipolar scales (Mihevic,
- Larry Leitner, in 1983, investigated
construct similarity, self-meaningfulness, and presidential preferences
- Jimenez, Lopez and Moreno-Jimenez
(1985) explored the use of repertory grids in analysing electorial strategies –
unfortunately in Spanish.
- Stella Theodoulou used PCP concepts
such as transition and control in discussing economic aspects
and compared Labour and Conservative Party supporters with respect to their
construing: Labour supporters preferred the use of propositional construing over constellatory
and pre-emptive construing, with
Conservative Party supporters favouring a mixture of preemptive and constellatory
construing. Labour supporters tended to be more aggressive (in the Kellyan sense) in their construing while
Conservative Party supporters showed more hostility.
This is an interesting example of the application of Kellyan theoretical
concepts to the political field. (Theodoulou, 1996).
THEM AND US – AND ME
researchers looked at certain phenomena in the political landscape in a similar
way as other social psychologists do, albeit with a PCT mind and using PCT
tools. Some other authors seem to deal with issues that affect them more ‘personally’.
They live in countries troubled by social upheaval, political disarray and war:
Peter Du Preez in South
Africa (1972, 1975, 1979), Dušan Stojnov
(2003) in Yugoslavia,
and myself in once divided Germany
(Scheer, 1996). One important issue seems to be the construction of ‘otherness’
(Scheer, 2003) and the individual’s positioning in the complex web of socially
determined relationships – hence the title of this section.
Stojnov looks at Serbs and Croats – citizens of one country once but belonging
to two peoples that had been enemies before and after their forced unity after the
end of the Hungaro-Austrian Empire in WW I. He elaborates on the choices a Serb
was facing: going to war with Croats
means chance to survive, peace with Croats means being slaughtered; and for a Croat: going to war with Serbs means being yourself, peace with Serbs means loosing
your being. “For both sides, going to war was a rationally anticipated
decision to save their core national interests.” For someone outside the
Balkans and not involved in these tragic events it may seem difficult to
understand the notion that national (or ethnic) allegiance determines so
thoroughly how people feel about themselves and their very selves.
constructs Stojnov mentions are:
Stojnov found in a study on Serbian national identity – after the war – the “puzzling result” that the respondents chose to
consider their belonging to Serbian nationality as a peripheral social issue.
Having to choose between being ‘demonised
in the eyes of the international community’ and ‘giving up his/her national identity’, they chose the latter – as a
generation that “stated constructs such as Health, Self-Respect, Love and
Acceptance as their collective core – their social identity”. Which, of course,
sounds familiar to a member of an ‘advanced’ Western society.
- survive vs being
- being yourself vs
loosing your being
on the one hand, going to war against the neighbours was seen as inevitable for
Serbs and Croats, as Serbs and Croats,
but then, at a closer look, the individuals do
seem to have other choices. It also shows that prevailing constructs depend on
the overall context – in this case the times of war or peace.
Du Preez (1972, 1975) can be considered as a pioneer in applying PCT concepts
to political analysis. Imagine South
Africa in the Seventies: The National Party
has been ruling the country since just after the war. The world around the
country is changing while apartheid is still the guiding doctrine in domestic
politics. Du Preez published a number of studies analysing parliamentary
debates. The parliament then consisted of representatives of the ruling
National Party, with its roots in the group of ‘Afrikaner’, descendants of the
original Dutch settlers, the United Party, a modern conservative party,
representing mainly business interests, and the liberal Progressive Party. In
analysing parliamentary debate statements from 1948, 1958 and 1968 Du Preez found
a shift from ‘race’ based to ‘nation’ based constructs (which excludes the
blacks), mirroring a changing external political environment that required
accommodating to the relationship with emerging ‘black’ nations around them while
keeping the apartheid system at home. The details are now more of historical
interest, but Du Preez’ analyses are a good example of how to use PCT concepts
for describing processes on the macroscopic level of political decisions. And
it is stunning how his description of the National Party’s leading constructs
matches the Serbs’ and Croats’ public constructs that Stojnov described: for
the National party and its Boer constituency it was about ‘survival vs. lose control,
lose culture, exterminated’.
Preez cautions us:
We may construe a person’s identity
in terms of peripheral or even irrelevant constructs. That is we may simply
misunderstand him. We may think that his nationality or his race is the key to
his identity; whereas he attaches importance to his religion, the fact that he
is a good musician, and his loyalty to his family. (1979)
an involved participant, I have speculated somewhat (Scheer, 1996) about the
processes connected to the re-unification of Germany – among hundreds of
writers who did that without a PCP
perspective… I have often asked myself whether my construals of the recent
developments in my country are due to me being ‘a German’, ‘a West German’, ‘a
West German of the Left’, ‘a psychologist’, ‘being born in the war, now of
retirement age’, or is it just because I
am the person I am? Which brings us back to Don Bannister’s dialectics. So,
without ignoring the forces of destiny, I am left (or we are left) with
questions such as:
shall look at some of these issues from a Personal Construct Theory
do I make of this?
do I look at things this way?
other words, why do I construe events
choices did I have, and what did I
why did others make other choices?
RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL?
course, attempts at connecting psychology and politics haven been numerous in
the past. One may recall that, for instance, psychoanalytic scholars have
extensively analysed Hitler’s childhood and the like. When I started searching
the literature data bases I discovered to my surprise that ‘constructivism’ has
been one of the major theories in the field of ‘International Relations’ for
more than twenty years, along with ‘Realism’, ‘Liberalism’, the ‘Theory of
International Society’, and ‘International Political Economy’ (Jackson & Sörensen,
2006). The term used is ‘social constructivism’
(not constructionism) and the authors
don’t seem to refer to the ‘social constructionists’. Again it seems to be a
distinct academic ‘culture’ with little connections to obviously related
disciplines. Often quoted exponents are Alexander Wendt, Peter Katzenstein, to
name but a few. The theory posits the social construction of, e. g., power
politics, which is in this view not given by nature and hence capable of being
transformed by human practice. Another theme is that “ideas matter”. The
proponents discuss, for instance, the influence of a ‘culture’ prevailing in a
given country on its foreign politics. Of course it is never about ‘personal’
constructs, although some of what is discussed could be called ‘shared’ or ‘public’
CONTRIBUTIONS OF PERSONAL CONSTRUCT
let us have a look at what PCT might have to offer specifically to help with
understanding what makes the ‘political being’ tick, Aristotle’s ‘zoon
politikon’ participating actively in the life of the ‘polis’, the city state of
Consistency vs. fragmentation
At a conference of
academics involved in Trade Union issues that I attended recently, many
participants were puzzled by an experience they had had. Trade unions, at least
in our country, are usually involved in battling xenophobia, they are in favour
of the integration of refugees and asylum seekers, and participate in
demonstrations supporting these causes. This is in agreement with their usual
positioning on the political left. But then, some of the union officials on the
local level do just that but on the other hand are strongly opposed to giving
jobs to foreigners. This my colleagues could not understand because it seemed
Bannister in the paper mentioned above seemed to expect consistent behaviour,
too: He wondered why some “free-wheeling, libertarian, political democrat” may
be “tyrannically authoritarian within his or her family”. And people like me
are surprised that in many ‘developed’ countries majorities of a similar
magnitude support social reform and capital punishment at the same time –
attitudes that seem incompatible.
think that we – intellectuals, academics – tend to maintain what might be
called a ‘consistency myth’, in spite of the fact that many people – and us
included! – often have fragmented construct systems that seem contradictory. In
the above-mentioned issue, I came to think that some of the union officials
might have a superordinate construct of solidarity: solidarity with your own ‘mob’,
in a kind of self-help way, the way that helped the working class founding
organisations and developing strength to withstand the oppression and
exploitation by 19th century capitalists: A fighting
solidarity vs. lonely succumbing to
threat and pressure. If the perceived threat (e. g. to job security) comes
from foreigners entering the country illegally their solidarity is with their
Hierarchy and organisation
along an ‘authoritarian vs. democrat’ construct, Bannister says that
… if you are truly a democrat,
whatever that may mean to you, and if you have a very wide range of convenience
for that construction then you will be a democrat within your family, you will
be a democratic parent, a democratic family member. (2003, p. 185)
for him being ‘truly’ a democrat means having ‘authoritarian vs democrat’
as a superordinate construct (and choosing the ‘democrat’ pole for oneself).
Obviously, in the example cited above, being friendly towards foreigners was not the superordinate construct.
think that it follows that if you want to find out about someone’s political
attitudes it would be appropriate to elaborate or help him/her elaborate the
superordinate constructs rather than stick to the behavioural level.
Choice and validation
do we develop ‘political’ constructs, how do we choose? The same way we develop
all our other constructs, by experiencing validation or invalidation, by
achieving extension or definition of our constructions etc. How then would a
‘democratic’ construction be validated? Not necessarily by the results of our
democratic voting procedures…
take an example: I know people who think and say: “you are lost if you rely on
others, better make sure you are independent and got your own.” (as in Billie
Holiday’s song: God bless the child –
that got his own). If ‘rely on others
vs being independent’ is a
superordinate construct this will have far-reaching consequences. Choosing the
right hand pole may reflect a deep distrust of human interaction, based in a
lifetime’s experience – ‘validation’. It may result in a selfish manner of
dealing with others, ignoring their interests and needs. Circumstances
allowing, an authoritarian political attitude and behaviour may result.
However, the choice, in order to avoid being lost, really seems to be in favour
of ‘being in control of my circumstances and conditions’ – but does that mean
‘being in control of others’? I.e., being
authoritarian? Not necessarily. Other influences (and other choices) may have
to be added to go that way.
One of my jobs in the context
of union work was to help selecting students (and later tutoring them during their studies) who
had applied for a scholarship granted by a union-based foundation. In Germany we have
a number of such foundations that are linked to the political parties, to the
major churches, and to the federation of trade unions. The scholarships are
granted to gifted students whose political, moral and other convictions put
them in the vicinity of one of these organisations and who had shown involvement
in some sort of community, social, or political activities. Most of the students
I had to do with came from a working class background, had achieved their General
Certificate of Education not through a standard high school career and had been
involved in some sort of political activity. In the given context, it is interesting to see
how they got involved in politics. Some followed a path paved by family
tradition, with parents being Labour party or Union officials. Others had met
with injustice and irregularities during their earlier vocational training and
consequently had ‘taken up arms’ against that. Still others had experienced
some other ethical dilemma and made their choices, had engaged in environmental
(such as Greenpeace) or prosocial activity (e. g. working with disadvantaged or
this question is a much wider one: Why is
it that some people oppose pressure, fascism, suppression – and others
don’t? Why do some people get involved in politics and or prosocial volunteer
activities? (I am not talking about professional activities here – that would
raise other interesting questions: why does someone choose to become a
politician?). Why do some people leave the armchair perspective of “taking an
intelligent interest” behind and get involved?
have asked this myself for a long time because I have been involved in
political activities since I joined a pacifist organisation at the age of
fourteen. That was in line with family values although my family was neither
actively involved nor pushy about it. Most of my friends did nothing of this
kind, except later maybe donating to Amnesty International or Greenpeace.
Others did volunteering work for Rotary, Animal Shelters or Environmental
Groups. Many just lived their lives. I still do not have a stringent answer –
need to do some laddering to find out about my superordinate constructs....
Change of public constructs
Public constructs may be called constructs that are
shared by large proportions of a society or by society as a whole, constructs
that guide political action. Such constructs and construct systems may change
as part of a historical process. The ‘Freedom of a Christian’ as promoted by
Martin Luther and ‘Freedom from oppression’ as advanced in the French
Revolution are separated by almost three centuries. But they may also change in
shorter periods of time.
interesting example is the term ‘reform’ (see. Fig. 1). Or is it a construct?
As a construct it will be determined by its opposite pole. During the second
half of the 19th century there was a dichotomy of changing the intolerable social and
economic conditions vs conserving the
status quo. Change meaning advancing, hence progressive
vs. reaction to it to re-establish the status quo ante, i. e. reactionary. On the ‘change pole’, there
was a dispute between people preferring a radical revolutionary way and others preferring a slower, more evolutionary
reformist way. So on the social change pole there were was a
subordinate construct about how to go about it.
Fig. 1: The strange fate of a construct
we have been witnessing a change of perspective, hence a change of constructs.
With an ageing population in the developed countries, extended life span,
reduced life-time working age etc., the systems of social security may at some
stage get into financial hassles. Rather than looking for ways of reducing
expenses for military equipment, space research, road construction etc., the
dominant political forces in the Western countries are intent on reducing the ‘costs
of social security’. Hence the proponents of maintaining and defending the achievements
of earlier generations with respect to social reforms are labelled conservative.
On the other hand, reducing pensions, privatising superannuation, reducing
benefits of the health care system, reducing job security is labelled reform: health reform, job reform,
superannuation reform, railway reform etc. In social-psychological terms this seems
to be a matter of semantics. But I think that would be much too weak a term. It
is really about changing ways how things (in this case social conditions) are construed.
in this case we don’t really choose. I think I am not too paranoid to suspect
that constructs of this sort, for use in public, political discourse, are
consciously manipulated by the makers (and shakers) of public opinion.
Ways of construing
mentioned that the concepts of ‘preemptive’, ‘constellatory’ and
‘propositional’ construing have been used in studies about supporters of
political parties in the UK.
And it is not difficult to observe preemptive construing in some representatives
of the governments (or ‘administrations’) of certain states. Bill Warren (1996,
p. 108) encourages the concept of cycles in analysing political action:
In the authoritarian outlook,
preemption reigns. The cycle of circumspection-preemption-control (the CPC
cycle) in which the person first considers a range of possible options, then
narrows the options to a single dichotomous option before choosing a pole of
that dichotomy, proceeds in a distorted fashion.
THE POWER OF A THEORY: THE POTENTIAL
OF AND CHALLENGES TO PCT
am sure that there are many phenomena in what happens in the political sphere
can be described using PCT concepts. But
beyond mere description PCT could help understand
the processes and the reasons why actors act in a given way. Du Preez maintains
that people – including political actors – often continue to act in ways which
seem futile and unproductive because the alternatives to current action, as
they construe them, are worse. They then reconstrue and change the matrix of
decision. If they are political actors, their – personal – construction systems
are converted into policy and law. Mass media publicise the constructs of key
political leaders until they became public constructs. (Du Preez, 1975, p. 267).
Fransella in the chapter on “New avenues to explore” that concludes her
handbook (2003, p. 450) quotes the historian David Gillard that we
… can assume that foreign policy
consists of the construing by a small number of identifiable individuals of the
behaviour of their counterparts in other states. This they do through
identifying their opponents’ personal constructs and trying to change or
reinforce them by a wide choice of methods, which can range from intimate
discussion to total war.
recurs to an analysis of the Munich
crisis of 1938, and a day-to-day analysis of the months before and after the
By diplomacy and propaganda those
policy-makers [about 20 British politicians, diplomats, service chiefs] relied
on their own constructions of Hitler’s personal constructs in their bid to
change them – and those of his subjects. Hitler, of course, was doing the same
kind of thing. Both sides got it wrong.
people would probably find this kind of approach inappropriate, as too
‘person-centred’ or ‘psychologising’. But if one looks at the foreign politics
of the major powers in our times the temptation to construe politicians’
construing this way seems very attractive. In Gillard’s view, “of all possible
approaches to the problem of international history, the theory of personal
constructs comes closest to being scientific”. This is of course not to deny
the impact of economical, societal, geostrategic forces that have to be dealt
with in the relations between countries. Maybe PCT could complement the notion of
the political social constructivists mentioned above that “ideas matter” by
extending this approach to include personal constructs and construction
PCT then have an impact in the realm of politics? I would say that PCP
certainly could not change the course of history. But we might try to imagine
how the world of politics (and politicians!) would look like if they were
inspired and informed by the spirit and the accumulated body of knowledge – or
should we say: wisdom? – of PCP. For instance:
it would certainly need more examples of how a PCP approach would work. For
now, as not more than maybe a dozen or two articles have been published during
the last forty years, this may seem absolutely futile. So PCP scholars and
practitioners would have to do their home work first. This would be a major
task if we look at the – as it was called in the olden days – manpower (or now
person power) of the PCP movement. There are about 300 members of the PCP email
discussion lists and nearly 600 subscribers to the e-journal Personal Construct Theory & Practice.
If we double that number arbitrarily, we arrive at maybe 1.000 PCP supporters.
But there is more potential: the most popular entries in the Internet Encyclopaedia of PCP, ‘personal
construct theory’ and ‘repertory grid methods’ have nearly 5.000 ‘hits’ or
‘visits’ per year!
- PCT concepts like search for
definition, extension, validation/invalidation maybe helpful in understanding
political construing and acting.
- PCP can teach us to accept
complexity, fragmentation, contradictions – and help us search for
- All this while being aware of the
range (and limits) of convenience of PCT, i. e. remember that PCP is about
psychological processes, including
those of political actors, but not about political forces.
A FINAL FANTASY
personal fantasy is something like a ‘personal construct think tank’. I am
aware that there are a lot of ‘think tanks’ operating in the world of politics.
They are financed by governments, the military, big corporations; they hold
expensive meetings and produce glossy reports (or secret dossiers) – something the
PCP community could only dream of (íf it is deemed desirable at all, that is).
what about a ‘virtual think tank’: a kind of ‘brain trust’ operating in the Internet?
In fact, some time ago, I invited a small group of people involved in PCP whom
I knew to be interested in politics to join in a network for ‘PCP and politics’.
The aims would have to be modest for the time being. But for the PCP community
who share more than Bannister’s ‘intelligent interest’ in politics, this might
be an option, and a start. And the URL is:
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W. Scheer (Ed.) The person in society –
challenges to a constructivist theory. (pp. 29-43)
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analysis of political debates, Journal of Social Psychology, 95,
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D. Bannister (Eds.) Constructs of
sociality and individuality. (pp. 341-364)
F. & Bannister, D. (1967) A validation of repertory grid technique as a
measure of political construing, Acta Psychologica, 26, 97-106
R. & Sörensen, G. (2006). Introduction
to International Relations. Theories and Approaches, 3rd Ed., Oxford:
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G. A. (1962). Europe’s matrix of decision. In:
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L. M. (1983). Construct similarity, self-meaningfulness, and presidential
preference, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 890-894.
N. T. (1978) Information, valence, and cognitive complexity in the political
domain, Journal of Psychology, 99, 163-177
J. W. (1996). After the Wall – Construct systems in divided Germany. In J.
W. Scheer & A. Catina (Eds.). Empirical
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J. W. (Ed.) (2003), Crossing borders – going places. Personal constructions of
otherness. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag.
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PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Medical
Psychology at the University of Giessen, Germany. He has published
in the fields of psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy, medical and
psychology, and of course in personal construct psychology. He now
lives in his
home town of Hamburg and devotes much of his time to promoting
personal construct psychology, mainly through the Internet. He
first introduction to the repertory grid technique in German and is
of the e-journal Personal Construct
Theory & Practice and the Internet
Encyclopaedia of Personal Construct Psychology. His latest edited
dealt with cross-cultural aspects of PCP and with PCP and the arts.
Home Page: http://www.joern-scheer.de
Scheer, J. W. (2008). Construing in the political realm - Reflections on the power of a theory. Personal
Construct Theory & Practice, 5, 76-85
(Retrieved from http://www.pcp-net.org/journal/pctp08/scheer08.html)
|Received: 23 December 2007 – Accepted: 30 July 2008 –
Published: 23 December 2008