George A. Kelly as scientist-professional /Adams-Webber (1980)

Citation - Adams-Webber, J. (1980). George A. Kelly as scientist-professional: an appreciation. In M. L. G. Shaw (Ed.), Recent Advances in Personal Construct Technology (pp. 1-7). Landon: Academic Press Inc.

Keyword - George Kelly, Repertory Grid Technique

Adams-Webber(p.2): Kelly's initial formulation of his system began as an attempt to develop a coherent rationale for all the working assumptions and concrete procedures which he had invented during twenty-five years of clinical experience. When he finally stated all the basic principles of this “model”, Kelly found that he had constructed a general theory of how people go about interpreting and anticipating their personal experiences.

  • I analyzed Adams-Webber's retrospect, Kelly's theory development process has three components:
    • First, Kelly's 25 years of clinical experience,
    • Second, by his experience, he came out some working assumptions and procedures.
    • Third, he then developed a coherent rationale for all assumptions & procedures. = basic principles of his “model” = constructed a general theory
  • Kelly's theory development approach
  • Similar theory by other clinical psychologists:
    • Carl Rogers
    • Abraham Maslow
  • Derive their rationale from the basic assumptions of PCT examples:
    • Credulous approach
      • Therapist must become familiar with the personal axes of reference which the client ordinarily uses in interpreting her/his own experience.
      • Professional constructs vs. personal constructs
      • Theoretical definition of “role” & “role relationship”
    • Dichotomy corollary: Contrast of client's statement
  • Psychotherapy as a research project:
    • As an investigative project designed to elucidate problems in the client's life without resorting to applied psychology.
    • The client is the principal investigator, although s/he may be somewhat reluctant at first to commit her/himself to this role.
    • The therapist more or less fulfills the role of a research supervisor.
    • A course of therapy is planned as a programme of active experimentation in which the therapist assists the client in constructing hypotheses and testing them.
    • The independent variable which the client tries to control systematically in these experiments is his/her own behaviour.
    • Quote: “Thus, the way in which Kelly employed personal construct theory to structure the process of psychotherapy was as a sort of “psychology of science” to help guide therapist and client in the conduct of personally meaningful inquiry. The goal was that the client, with some methodological assistance from the therapist (Landfield, 1971), would develop into a more effective “personal scientist” (to use Mildred Shaw's excellent term) (Shaw, 1980).
  • Man-as-scientist: All scientific inquiry as a personal undertaking:
  • PCT assumptions for researchers:
    1. [Problems were only seen by personal experiences]: All psychological problem begins with a personal construction of events. And this construction is only one of many possible ways of interpreting those events.
    2. [Ecological validity]: All psychological inquiry should relate at some level to issues in the lives of individual persons.
    3. [To review one researcher's experience is more important then what literatures he found before research]: a psychologist's own fund of personal and clinical experience with an issue is often her/his most important resource at the beginning of an investigation, usually far more useful than a review of published work on the topic.
    4. [the relationship between resarchers & subjects]: free one's mind from the “scientist/subject” dichotomy

file link - Google Schloar, XXC