George Kelly?s Personality Theory
George Kellys Personality Theory
The study of Professor Kelly resulted in one of the hottest controversies in the psychological science.
Firstly, the concept of constructive alternativitism is positioned as one of the strongest points of Kellys theory. Under this principle, the unified definition of good or bad cannot be reached, since everyone perceives the world differently, or following the quotation of Kelly, everyone has his/ her own constructs (Frager & Fadiman, 2012). Therefore, the definitions and understanding of the evaluated concepts alter in alongside with the one, who perceives. Another his legitimate point is the concept of transitional construction, which purports that the way people perceive the reality changes in the course of the developments of social and biological creatures (Frager & Fadiman, 2012). For instance, higher education can change the attitude of the one to the death penalty or to affiliation to a particular political party.
The theory is, however, far from being impeccable. Firstly, the author designed the concept of opposite polarity, but failed to provide sufficient probative evidence in this regard. Secondly, the author vigorously advocated the idea that psychotherapists should not intervene into the treatment process, but should rather facilitate their clients to figure out how their own mindset work, and what can be done to remove the problem (Frager & Fadiman, 2012). In my opinion, this technique is absolutely non-applicable to serious clinical cases, like schizophrenia and double identity crisis. Besides, the author fervently argued that idea that scientists are humans in the first turn, and, therefore, their studies are subject to personal bias. However, contemporary academic practice explicitly illustrates that although this statement is relevant, the majority of academic workers aspire to conduct their research neutrally, and deliberate attempts are taken to ensure that the findings are legitimate.
As far as practical implementation of his approach is concerned, I firmly believe that his practical guidance should be utilized in the events when all other remedies failed. There is no explicit evidence that this theory led to positive results regularly. Occasional improvements of someones psychological states were reported to take place, although this approach did not obtain widespread recognition. Overall, my firm opinion is that in terms practice it should be used supplementary.
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The way the world develops, in particular, the activity of the social institutions and individuals explicitly illustrate that the theory of Professor Kelly is indeed partially valid. Most indisputably, everyone has its own mindset and number of constructs, which a person uses to interpret the world and to predict the way events would develop further. Unless intentional actions are taken, this process is not controllable and evolves naturally in each individual case.
The most exemplary illustration is the court practice and the way the judges interpret the law. The construct, in this case, is how a particular judge interprets a particular legal definition. For instance, similar statutes in Texas and Alabama are enforced differently, since different judges have their own perception of what the term malicious intent may imply in each individual case. Lack of uniformity in individual perception results in different sentences adjudicated different jurisdictions for the same offenses. Kelly argued that scientists and judges are humans and, therefore, it does not matter how explicit the law may be, individual understanding and interpretation remains the issues of paramount importance in the law enforcement and correction systems.
Secondly, religion demonstrates that individual constructs can be effectively attributed even to the prophets, visionaries and other infallible personalities. The Lord explicitly proscribed murdering other human beings, while the popes sanctioned inquisition, and the Muslims every year proclaim jihad against the Christians. It is natural to assume that on the individual level, the religious leaders interpreted the commandments of the gospel and the Koran differently, and these different constructs resulted in the bloody crusades, inquisition raids in the Americas and other cruel barbaric hostilities.
Thirdly, the concept of constructive alternativitism can be traced in the biographies of the most remarkable personalities of the history. Konrad Adenauer once was the member of Hitlerjugend and preached Hitler, while eventually he evolved into the architects of the West Germany Democratic Republic. It is reported for sure that he sincerely believed in the both systems, the Third Reich initially and the democracy subsequently.
Psychological practice of the United States clearly demonstrated that individual constructs have become a tremendous problem. Very often the patients declared to their psychotherapists that they were prone to killing some person. Under the law, in the event, a therapist identifies that his patient endangers directly or indirectly any other citizens health or well-being, doctor-patient privilege must be broken and law enforcement agencies should be notified respectively. The practice, however, demonstrates that in 85% of the cases no true malicious intent to commit unlawful actions was present, and the declarations should have been interpreted as hatred against another person, but not as a desire to violate the law and to kill someone. Clearly, this dichotomy illustrates that patients have their own constructs, which do not match the constructs of their therapists.
Considering the fact that the problem of different reality perceptions has been identified by the community, the public subliminally decided to eradicate this problem. Kelly remarkably mentioned that the adoption of the laws, the creation of the educational system among many others pursues the goal of creating unanimity in understanding and thinking.
Overall, my firm opinion is that the conceptual framework developed by Kelly can be effectively applied to explicate the gravest problems of reality, but it is hardly applicable for the therapeutic needs. I am strongly convinced that it should be referred to the event of urgent necessity, when other available therapeutic techniques happen to be of no avail for the specific patient.