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A Primer in Personal Construct Psychology

Michael F. Mascolo

Merrimack College

This presentation will contain an introduction to George Kelly’s personal construct psychology for those who may not be familiar with it.  It will start with the concepts of constructivism, constructive alternativism, and the person-as-scientist metaphor – the idea that persons are always open to construe the world in alternative ways.  I will then explore the various forms of constructivism (radical constructivism, constructivism, social constructionism) and identify where Kelly stands within the range of these various approaches.  The presentation will then turn to an analysis of Kelly’s theory of personality as it is embodied in his fundamental postulate and 11 corollaries, and how his model addresses core issues in psychology, personality theory, psychotherapy and social sciences in general.  I will conclude with a critical analysis of the strengths and challenges of Kelly’s theory, and its relevance to the interdisciplinary matrix in the 21st century.



Michael F. Mascolo is Professor of Psychology at…well, uh… do you really care about that? Don’t your eyes glaze over when you read biographies?  Michael F. Mascolo is a person – just like you.  He has thoughts, emotions and dreams.  He has a bunch of insecurities and some delusions of grandeur.  He trusts that you will not call attention to his insecurities, and hopes that you will provide just enough validation to feed his pathetic delusions. He’s written this and that, but what’s more important is the dialogue that arises among us that results, possibly, from what he has to say.


Introduction to Repertory Grids Workshop

Roland van Oostveen

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, UOIT · Director, EILAB

This workshop will serve as an introductory exploration of the WebGrid Plus (Repertory Grid) suite of tools that are available on a couple of Canadian university websites. The suite of tools was developed by Drs. Mildred Shaw and Brian Gaines and can be used in a variety of ways to support individual, group or community elicitation and analyses of elements, constructs and related mental representations within a specific domain. The workshop will explore the tools and make suggestions regarding their use within the social sciences domain. Bring along a digital device so that you can try it out for yourself.


Dr. van Oostveen currently serves as the Director of the Educational Informatics Laboratory (EILab) at the Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, an innovative research facility focused on Human Computer Human Interactions (HCHI). Dr. van Oostveen’s major research interests lie in the use of technology and its assistance in learning and he is presently studying human interactions mediated through online learning environments. Capitalizing on his extensive hardware and software support experience, Dr. van Oostveen is particularly interested in creating educational learning environments to concentrate on problems that are set in 'real world', ill structured, and open-ended contexts.    

Introducing Qualitative Grids: Construing Sibling Relationships

Harry Procter

Visiting Professor, University of Hertfordshire, UK    

Personal Construct Psychology looks at how people uniquely make sense of their worlds, situations, themselves, other people or any issue of interest. This is achieved most simply by using Qualitative Grids (QGs). These tools allow people to tell how they see things in their own words or drawings. The grids enable us to see how views change across time or situation and to look at differences between people’s views. The Perceiver Element Grid (PEG) will be included. This examines how a family or team of people see themselves and each other, throwing a lot of light on their interactions. We will focus on sibling relationships as an example and Personal Construct Psychologist Dorothy Rowe’s difficult experiences (from her book “My Dearest Enemy, My Dangerous Friend”) will help participants to learn to use the grids and apply them in their own lives and in explorations of their clients’ or subjects’ experiences. 


Harry Procter is a Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He conducted his doctoral research in the early 1970’s at the Department of Mental Health, University of Bristol, applying Personal Construct Psychology to family processes and beginning the development of a Systemic Constructivist approach to family therapy. He worked as Clinical Psychologist in Adult and then Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Somerset before retiring from the NHS in 2004. Currently, he teaches in a number of countries. He has published over 50 papers and chapters covering a variety of topics including family therapy for children and adults with mental health and learning disabilities, schizophrenia, autism, hypnotherapy, reflective practice, formulation and is currently engaged in researching the philosophical background of his approach.

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