This unit’s assignment is to explore Kelly’s Rep test and your own personal construct system.
Begin by filling out a list of role titles similar to the ones in Table 18.1 in the textbook (page 565). The number of people on the list should be around 15 to 25. Next, take three names from the list and decide which two people are alike and yet different from the third. Then, report why the two are alike and yet different from the third. The reason given for judging the similarity and the contrast constitutes one of your personal constructs.
After repeating this procedure with several other combinations, you should transfer the information on to a repertory grid similar to the one found in Figure 18.2 (page 566), which is the matrix of one of Kelly’s clients. This particular grid includes 19 people important to that client, but you can have a different number and may choose different people.
In the example in Figure 18.2 (page 566), the first construct (belief in God), Kelly’s client saw a happy person and a successful person as similar because neither believed in God, but they were contrasted to an ethical person who the client saw as very religious. After making 22 such comparisons and contrasts, the client placed checkmarks in the squares of other people seen as similar to the successful person and the happy person. In this case, an ex-flame, a rejected person, and a threatening person were seen as similar to the successful person and the happy person in that they, too, did not believe in God. The client saw the remaining people—including himself—as believing in God. By measuring personal constructs in this fashion, you will be able to see how you construe important people in your life.
The Rep test, of course, also yields clues concerning your view of self. Consider Kelly’s client as seen in Figure 18.2. In looking at the “self” column, we can see that this client saw himself as similar to his brother in that they both think alike and very different from his sister (see Row 17). From Row 3, we know that he saw himself somewhat like a rejecting person and an attractive person and as not being athletic. In addition, he saw himself as being different from a pitied person, who he regarded as athletic. If we look at Row 6, we see that the client saw the accepted teacher and the happy person as both understanding him, an attitude in contrast to that of his sister, who he believed did not understand him. From this repertory grid, we can learn a good deal about the client’s perception of self and others.
In completing your own Rep test, you should gain some insight into your own personal constructs regarding other people and yourself. As you reflect on this exercise, answer the following questions:
- Is the Rep test a useful tool for exploring personality?
- Are there any advantages to identifying and understanding your personal construct system?
- Is there a downside to the Rep test?
Please put your answer into a cohesive paragraph; in other words, do not simply list your answers to the questions – you should write a couple of paragraphs that address the relevant information. You do not have to turn in your completed Rep test.