Relevance to modern readers

As has already been emphasized, Kelly's psychology has become more widely accepted as an important tool for humans than it was when he introduced it in 1955. America and its people have been through a lot of experiences since that spring day nearly 50 years ago. The national consciousness has had the opportunity to experience its life virtually on a television screen, and through a journey into cyberspace. Though the misconception of the 1950s as simply an ethereal era of stay-at-home mothers and idyllic lives in the suburbs has long been addressed as a misconception, one factor remains true. The presumably "golden age" when Kelly published his new psychology was not only blasted out of range by President Kennedy's assassination, the Vietnam war, and the new age of sexual freedom—as well as the diseases such as AIDS that ultimately came with it. It was, as Kelly would note, altered by years of experience. That being said, why it took so long for so many of his ideas to take hold might be debated for decades to come. In an era when people throughout the world stand against such vivid threats as terrorism or nuclear holocaust, there might be an emerging sense that taking control of life is what is required. At a time when people have so many choices for their lives, when technology offers both caution and promise for the thresholds of new careers, perhaps individuals are ready to face reconstructing their world in order to better partake of the larger one around them.

Kelly once commented that, "To construe is to invent, pure and simple. As far as discovery is concerned, all that one ever discovers is whether or not the predictions, to which his invention has led him, pan out." In the early years of the twenty-first century, the opportunities to find meaning in his theories seem unbounded. Among them, Fransella discussed the several aspects of life that could be explained through the use of personal construct psychology— from music to literary criticism to construing historic decisions.

Fransella wrote in 2003 in her essay, "New Avenues to Explore and Questions to Ask," for the International Handbook, that, "One of the few accounts of Kelly's ideas being applied to the world of music comes from Kelly himself in his description of the construction corollary." She noted that every time a person listens to a familiar piece of music, the melody is still recognizable whether it has changed key or rhythm or volume. "Construing is about prediction and anticipation," wrote Fransella, "and a piece of music can only be recognized by our being able to predict those notes that are about to follow."

She has cited a study from Davies (1976) wherein the account of how brass and string players in an orchestra construed each other. Based on the idea that string plays determined that brass players were not as smart, who liked to be in the spotlight, and were often the clowns of the group. The string players were construed by the brass players to be "like a flock of sheep," overly sensitive, and considering themselves to be the true blessings of the musical world. Music exists in the context of movement. Whether it is the experimental jazz of a musician like Sun Ra, or the studied perfection of a classic of Mozart, no piece of music is totally predictable. Numerous studies have been conducted and will continue to be conducted on music and its effects. Should those studies include construing, the revelations about this medium might continue to stun, as well.

With its many implications for an endless range of disciplines and subject, personal construct psychology remains a fascinating tool of exploration. In the political world of a shrinking globe, the way in which the theory could affect insight into history-making decisions was explored by David Gillard in 2002. He said that society "can assume that foreign policy consists of the construing by a small number of identifiable individuals of the behavior of their counterparts in other states," according to Fransella, who went on to explain that, "This they do through identifying their opponents' personal constructs and trying to change of reinforce them by a wide choice of methods, which can range from intimate discussion to total war." The world has witnessed throughout history the way in which some leaders are able to join forces and others are not. Political dispositions, or "constructs," also play a role in the way wars are fought, and laws are made. Gillard's book to be published after 2003, Why Guarantee Poland? explores the decision of Britain's Prime Minister in World War II: if Germany attacked Poland, Britain would go to Poland's aid. The controversial matter has long been a subject for discussion of those early war years. Hitler quickly invaded Poland before Britain was ready to join the war—though join the war they did—so such a decision was moot. It was Gillard's opinion that if any approach to understanding international history is valid, it is the theory of personal constructs. Such a notion opens up another possible venue for the future of personal construct psychology. To imagine such a possibility is to imagine that perhaps world diplomacy could be improved through a mutual understanding that leaders would hold for their own constructs as well as those of the others.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Stop Anxiety Attacks

Stop Anxiety Attacks

Here's How You Could End Anxiety and Panic Attacks For Good Prevent Anxiety in Your Golden Years Without Harmful Prescription Drugs. If You Give Me 15 minutes, I Will Show You a Breakthrough That Will Change The Way You Think About Anxiety and Panic Attacks Forever! If you are still suffering because your doctor can't help you, here's some great news...!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment