Personal Constructs and Social Perspectives

Explain the concept of personal constructs. What is a personal construct?

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I would compare a personal construct to a ruler. What are we really doing when we measure something with a ruler really? We are comparing the distance between the notches on the ruler with the distance of the object. In the same way, personal constructs are the ruler by which we measure (compare) social behavior. We might compare objects of our construct ruler and estimate that they are alike or different in metaphorical length.

How are personal constructs related to social perspectives?

I have scoured the text to find what exactly social perspectives are. I could not find a section on that particular topic. So I will be using the definition that social perspectives are the way in which we view our social world, including all of its social interactions. In that case, personal constructs would also determine our social perspectives, because they would decide the basic comparison basis between people. If we truly do understand social information through the means of comparison and difference, then how we interacted with others in social environments would be heavily jaded by those comparisons. Constructs would serve as our standard by which to ascertain our idea of the other/ideal self.

What is the relationship between personal constructs and behavior?

Personal constructs, at least to some extent, determine behavior. These constructs are the filter that we see our world through. It is our standard of measurement for comparison. I would not say that personal constructs directly determine our behavior, but rather that constructs give us a framework to operate within. Without the framework of constructs, the behavior would remain sporadic at best. Personal constructs allow social continuity throughout our lives.

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McAdams, D.P. (2006). The person: A new introduction to personality psychology. Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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