The computer age

Kelly's distaste for labels and the attempts to categorize him has not discouraged the association of his ideas with the explosion of the information-technology age, and the expansion of the computer even in the lives of average people. One e-publication made available through the University of Calgary's Center of Personal Construct Psychology (Alberta, Canada) is entitled "Knowledge Acquisition Tools based on Personal Construct Psychology." Written by Brian R. Gaines and Mildred L. G. Shaw of the Knowledge Science Institute at Calgary, the document chronicles their research into the direct correlation between personal construct psychology and its support of modern-day technology's development. The abstract of their work specified that

Personal construct psychology is a theory of individual and group psychological and social processes that has been used extensively in knowledge acquisition research to model the cognitive processes of human experts. The psychology takes a constructivist position appropriate to the modeling of human knowledge processes but develops this through the characterization of human conceptual structures in axiomatic terms that translate directly to computational form.

Gaines and Shaw went on to show the close relationship of personal construct psychology to the foundation for artificial intelligence. These researchers have also published further discussion of research that Kelly's work has been significant in cognitive and computational knowledge representation, as "Kelly's 'Geometry of Psychological Space' and its Significance for Cognitive Modeling."

Another major outgrowth of Kelly's repertory grid has been its use for the World Wide Web. Now evolved into WebGrid III, WebGrid is a port of RepGrid/KSS0 used to operate as a service over the World Wide Web. According to its official web site through the University of Calgary, WebGrid requires its users to "define a domain of interest, a context or purpose, and some elements or entities that are a part of the domain and relevant" to the users' purpose. It then gets constructs from users that indicate how they distinguish the elements of their domains that are relevant to their purposes. The system employs a variety of methods for this task, and provides the means for users to compare constructs with other users.

Another example of the inspiration Kelly has been to scientists is the work of two faculty members from the University of the West Indies. S. Haque-Copilah of the department of physics, and S. Rollocks of the department of behavioral sciences, combined in research to determine the parallels between Kelly's theory and Einstein's theory of special relativity.

In his 1966 paper "Ontological Acceleration," Kelly offered yet another challenge for his psychology, as well as that of any. He explained that

It will not be easy for a psychology modeled on nineteenth century science—and a science that believed that evolution had leveled off, at that—to participate in the accelerated behavioral innovations that promise to change the shape of the human affairs that confront it. Did I say, "not be easy?" I should have said, "be incredible!" Yet I think it should be possible for psychologists, who are less self-conscious about being scientists, to participate in the quickening human enterprise, once they appreciate the creative role of behavior in the affairs of man.

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