An introduction to grid-based methods



Publication Details

Caputi, P. (2012). An introduction to grid-based methods. In P. Caputi, L. L. Viney, B. M. Walker & N. Crittenden (Eds.), Personal Construct Methodology (pp. 149-158). United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.


In 1961, George Kelly delivered a paper titled "A mathematical approach to psychology" to the Moscow Psychological Society (cited in Maher, 1988). In this paper Kelly argued that the concept of a personal construct (a concept that is central in his theory) could be viewed as a mathematical entity. He argued that people dealt with the events and experiences in their world through a system of "dichotomous differentiating and integrating" units or personal constructs (cited in Maher, 1988, p. 1 04). It is this bipolar feature of constructs that provides them with their mathematical nature. Moreover, Kelly argued that these discriminating and integrating dichotomies are the fundamental components of a personal psychological geometry. Kelly's use of the term "geometry" and his position on the mathematical "qualities" of personal constructs is deliberate. He believed that the complexities and subtleties of these personal psychological geometries could be "captured" and investigated in some systematic way. To meet this aim, Kelly developed the role construct repertory test, a technique that evolved into the repertory grid, as it is now known. This chapter serves as an introduction to the repertory grid and other grid-based methods that have emerged in the Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) literature. The chapter begins with a brief discussion of a repertory grid. It then describes the various forms of grids and response scales associated with various grid forms or types and concludes with a section on some considerations for analyses of grid forms.

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