International Handbook of Personal Construct Psychology

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But here, instead of dealing with the semantic space of particular words or collocations, we 1 describe and explain the meaning of each category of associations and 2 reconstruct the distribution of categories in two dimensions, separately for associations of world and self. Acquired data in form of individual words or short phrases were analyzed separately for the cue words world and self.

Firstly, the data were sorted by frequency of occurrence of particular words. No data pooling was employed, so singulars and plurals, various verb tenses etc. The most frequent words with particular meanings were suggested as category names.

Secondly, data were categorized by the meaning of each association. For associations of both cue words, world and self , two separate categorization systems were developed. The exhaustive categorization process left no associations uncategorized. All categories were derived from an examination of the data e. In the case, when a word can be assigned to more than one category, the prevailing meaning of the given word was employed. In each matrix related to the mentioned cue words, rows represented respondents and columns represented particular categories.

Incidental matrices act as an entry for two types of analysis borrowed from psychometrics and multivariate statistics. These two methods are designated for mapping statistical connections of the mutual occurrence of particular categories. The first method is factor analysis PCA Kline, , and the second is the technique of Inverse covariance matrix Whittaker, Coordinates in this space allow each particular item to be described as the vector of several factors with sufficient individual exactness maintained.

The goal of an inverse covariance matrix is to distinguish direct statistical dependencies of particular items categories from transmitted, indirect correlations. The output is a network of direct statistical dependencies on the level of a statistically typical respondent, which allows a pathway or more pathways of inter-category dependencies to be reconstructed between more indirectly dependent categories.

The number of factors in the factor analysis was defined using the technique of point of curve-break of descending eigenvalues. For both cue-words, the corresponding break-value of the eigenvalue was 1. For both of the cue words, world and self , this allowed a given items to be mapped by two factors. Varimax rotation was used for the resulting two-dimensional maps. Two discrete categorization systems were developed, one for associations of the cue word world , second for associations of the cue word self.

International Handbook Of Personal Construct Psychology

Both of these descriptions in the Czech language have also been provided to an independent rater for the ex-post sorting of the associations into categories. Special meaning was dedicated to the element water. Civilization and its achievements — or an anthropocentric paradigm — were sorted in more less extensive categories, with respect to different meanings of associations. The word self strongly reflected individualism, including personal settings and various states of being. To display the various ranges of how people associate the world and themselves, PCA data analyses were conducted, separately for the cues world and self.

The iWorld category in the central position represents the point of origin of vertical and horizontal axes, which correspond to following ranges: a vertical axis with polarities Nature vs. Culture and a horizontal axis, where the range is triangulated by concrete categories People, Space, Aqua on the left side and by abstract categories Challenge, Positive, Negative, Big and Wow! The vertical range demarcated by the categories Nature on one side and Culture on the other side shows the two opposite directions of how people associate the world.

The central position of the iWorld category corresponds very well to the basic postulates of PCT, where the individual is the key determinant of how people reflect the world and the self. Although the iWorld category occurred only rarely, its position marks the center about which personal constructs for the world oscillated. Category network approximates real dependence structures, which are generated from the standardized inverse covariance matrix. On the basis of the inverse covariance matrix, which analyzes data on the level of individual respondents, two networks of categories were modeled, one for the categories of the world associations, second for the associations of self.

The individual is the numerator of the links. The purpose of the inverse covariance matrix method is to distinguish two types of dependencies, direct and mediated dependencies. An edge connects the nodes directly. Lines display the direct not-mediated probability dependence. The probability of a common occurrence is independent of other category constellations. The only lone-standing category is Culture.

This means that Culture, even if this is the fourth most commonly occurring category, has no probability dependence to be found with another specific category more or less as with others. Such a category does not elicit any category more than any other. The present theory-driven study provides new empirical evidence that contributes significantly to the development of PCT. Aside from this; our results also have implications for other fields, such as psycholinguistics, associative priming, or philosophical psychology.

These implications will be presented within the particular subsections, but at the beginning we will briefly summarize the main findings of the present study.

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First, the results provide us with the associative ranges for the constructs of the world and the self. The results showed that some associative dimensions are defined by semantic polarities e. Culture, everyday life vs. All of these findings help us to better understand the way that our respondents constructed verbal associations with the constructs of the world and the self , but also the mechanism of personal construction in general.


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We assume, in line with our results, that such rediscovering, especially when conducted with the use of empirical methods, will broaden PCT and the possibilities of its implications. Even after half a century, some scholars e. The present study used a dynamic way of categorization, which allowed us to work with each arbitrary association, expressed as a word or collocation.

Subsequent statistical operations enabled the data to be visualized, separately for associations of self and world , and opened a space for interpretation of the displayed distributions and relations. Although the present study is not working with a large language corpus, as many recent studies have e.

The results of our study led us to reconsider three of the eleven ground stones on which Kelly elaborated the fundamental postulate see the section PCT of his PCT. Firstly, we broaden the basic concept of the dichotomous foundations of the construct that Kelly stated and named as a dichotomy corollary; secondly, we reformulate his definition of the choice corollary; and, thirdly, we suggest reducing the number of ground stones of PCT to 10, via complete removal of the range corollary.

This point was strongly criticized, e.

We assume that Kelly partially anticipates the fact that the foundations of constructs which are not dichotomous also exist. In other words, the number of dichotomous constructs is limited, which can elicit the question of whether there are also other, non-dichotomous constructs. Further, the need for the upgrade of another ground stone, the choice corollary, stems from previous reformulation of the dichotomy corollary, which is considered to be the most important such ground stone.

The main contribution of this update is the broadening of the space where alternatives other than the dichotomized can be considered. The distributions of categories, as shown by the results of our PCA analyses, as well as the number of categories — 18 for each of the cue words — show a higher complexity of constructs, where groups of categories were identified, including their central or peripheral positions.

Regarding the above-mentioned, we suggest removing the word dichotomized from the definition of the choice corollary. The definition will thus read: A person chooses for himself the alternative in a construct through which he anticipates the greater possibility for the elaboration of his system see Kelly, , p.

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Last, but not least, the range corollary, which deals with the issue of a limited number of dichotomous constructs, is groundless in the light of reformulating the previous two fundaments of the PCT. Indeed I doubt that anyone has ever devised a construct that could cover the entire range of events of which he was aware. We understand this quoted paragraph also as a collision with how Kelly delimited the borders of his theory. One of the large topics in contemporary psycholinguistics relates to the term mental lexicon.

The unflagging interest of scholars about this subject has been elicited by Aitchison , who called it a human word-store. Within such a delimitation, the present study gathered words from a free association task, where associative recall was primed by the cues word and self. Therefore, our study also extends the theoretical assumption of Bruza et al.

So, according to our analysis, we may rephrase the above-mentioned definition for the level of categories: categories with coherent semantic meanings emerging from human associating are so interconnected with each other that they meet the qualifications of a network of small world of associations , wherein it takes only a few steps to move from any one category to any other category.

The links shown between the categories in our analysis showed probability dependences, indeed, as explained in the Category network section. Thus, the present study provides innovative insights into the deep structure of the mental lexicon , especially for the instance of associate reasoning and subsequent recall of verbal concepts. When discussing results concerning the semantic meanings of words, we can also turn our attention to classical authorities in the field.

One of first sources of inspiration is the work of Osgood et al. The task of measuring semantic differential requires analyzing the given words in opposite dualities; Kelly also worked with bipolar dimensions of constructs in his PCT. The results of the present study indicate that some of the associative dimensions that emerged from the associations of our respondents also have the character of opposite dualities. Culture, concrete vs. On the other hand, the horizontal dimension in the associative range for the self does not show such distribution.

One may ask: what does this mean?

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It is necessary to distinguish two levels of analyzed data: first, the level of associations, and second, the superordinate level of categories. On the first level, it is possible to place associations in the form of accusatives and verbs between two polarities, if it is not a polarity itself. In other words, the position of each such association is definable by its position in the range between corresponding polarities, defined by Kelly as the extreme points of constructs. In linguistic categorization, nouns, adjectives and various types of verbs are the basis for sorting words on the scale concreteness—abstractness e.

Our data are not sufficient to conclude that people construct the world and the self in the manner of opposite dualities, but analysis of the acquired data is able to show that respondents do employ non-opposite mechanisms of semantic construction when associating the given cue words. Nonetheless, it is too early to make such a general conclusion, and the fact that this interpretation is supported only by the results of one empirical study should be taken into account.

On the second level of the analyzed data, some very significant opposite dualities are illustrated among the categories by the PCA method. Further, it is also necessary to stress that the experimental design used in the present study involves the effect of priming.

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