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George Kelly. The Cognitive Movement. History. Formed theory from clinical experience Clients in counseling centers Able to discuss concerns rationally Express problems in intellectual terms Depends heavily on cognitive information processing abilities. Personal Construct Theory.

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George kelly

George Kelly

The Cognitive Movement


  • Formed theory from clinical experience

  • Clients in counseling centers

    • Able to discuss concerns rationally

    • Express problems in intellectual terms

  • Depends heavily on cognitive information processing abilities

Personal construct theory
Personal Construct Theory

  • Each person creates a set of cognitive constructs about the environment

  • Interpret and organize events in a pattern

  • Use this to guide behavior and make predictions about others’ behavior

Personal construct theory1
Personal Construct Theory

  • Construct:

    • Unique way of looking at life

    • Intellectual hypothesis

    • Dichotomous

  • Constructive alternativism:

    • Free to revise/replace constructs


  • Fundamental principle: Psychological processes are directed by the ways in which we anticipate life events

  • 11 Corrolaries


  • Construction

  • Individuality

  • Organization

  • Dichotomy

  • Choice

  • Range

    • Range of convenience

  • Experience


  • Modulation

    • Permeability

  • Fragmentation

  • Commonality

  • Sociality


  • Interview

  • Self-characterization sketches

    • Used to assess personal construct system

  • Role Construct Repertory Test

    • Used to assess constructs we apply to important people in our lives

  • Fixed Role Therapy

    • Act out constructs

    • Abandon old for new, more effective constructs


  • REP test:

    • Constructs remain stable over time

    • Pattern becomes more complex across the lifespan

    • We seek friends with constructs similar to our own

    • Married couples with more similar constructs report greater happiness

Outgrowth of kelly s theory
Outgrowth of Kelly’s Theory

  • Cognitive Styles

    • Differences in how we perceive elements of the environment

    • Styles:

      • Cognitive complexity

        • Better able to make predictions about others’ behavior

        • Increases with age

      • Cognitive simplicity

Contributions of kelly
Contributions of Kelly

  • Unique theory

  • Gaining acceptance

Criticisms of kelly
Criticisms of Kelly

  • Exclusion of emotional aspects

  • Biased sample

Spontaneity survey
Spontaneity Survey

  • Components of spontaneity:

  • Moreno (1953) characterized spontaneity in terms of the “variable degree of adequate response to a situation of variable degree of novelty” (p. 722).

  • One component of spontaneity is the absence of both rigidity and impulsiveness. Impulsive individuals, however, act too quickly, and their solutions are not appropriate to the situation.

  • Howell (1992) suggested that experts often operate at the level of unconscious competence - where one has practiced the skill for so long that one no longer need to think about using them effectively.

    • Flow

Spontaneity survey1
Spontaneity Survey

  • Spontaneity defined: (a) it is novel and creative; (b) it is immediate; (c) it is adequate and appropriate; (d) it occurs easily and effortlessly; (e) the individual acts with total involvement; and (f) the individual is in control of his/her actions.

  • Former research on the PAS II – R gives us some idea of where you fall on the concept of spontaneity.


  • The PAS II-R has a mean score of 225.24 and a standard deviation of 29.85 (N=544).

  • Mean score for males was 232.38 and standard deviation 29.50;

  • Mean score for females was 222.65 and standard deviation 29.55.

  • High scores on the PAS II-R indicate an aptitude for spontaneity, and a likeliness to be spontaneous often and in across a broad spectrum of situations.

  • Low scores on the PAS II-R indicate a spontaneity limitation. The person with low spontaneity scores is unlikely to be spontaneous and may only be able to spontaneous under certain circumstances.

  • Mean score for Psy 257 = 223.73 SD = 21.90. Range of scores = 180 – 263.