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For example, if we perceive two cars as being different, we may come up with the personal construct fancy—conservative to differentiate them. On one hand, this personal construct tells something about the person who uses it, namely his or her perceptions and concerns. On the other hand, it also reveals information about the cars, that is, their attributes.

It is a table in which, apart from the outer two columns, the other columns are headed by the names of objects or people traditionally up to 21 of them. There are conventions for keeping track of the constructs. When the grid is complete, there are several ways of rating or ranking all of the elements against all the constructs, so as to permit sophisticated analysis of core constructs and underlying factors see Bannister and Mair, and of course there are programs which will do this for you.


Its aim is to describe the ways in which people give meaning to their experience in their own terms. It is not so much a test in the conventional sense of the word as a structured interview designed to make those constructs with which persons organise their world more explicit. The way in which we get to know and interpret our milieu, our understanding of ourselves and others, is guided by an implicit theory which is the result of conclusions drawn from our experiences. Because constructs represent some form of judgment or evaluation, by definition they are scalar : that is, the concept good can only exist in contrast to the concept bad, the concept gentle can only exist as a contrast to the concept harsh.

Any evaluation we make - when we describe a car as sporty, or a politician as right-wing, or a sore toe as painful - could reasonably be answered with the question 'Compared with what? The focus is on understanding, before developing theories that can be subsequently proved or disproved.

This is in contrast to most software engineering research where positivist approaches tend to dominate [ The designer has to select a series of elements that are representative of a topic. To analyze learning materials, the elements could be learning objects. To analyze perception of laptop functionalities, the elements are various laptop models. For the various kinds of knowledge elicitation interviews as described below , often cards are used. The next step is knowledge elicitation of personal constructs about these elements.

Pick the two teachers that are most similar and tell me why. The output will be contrasted attributes e. This procedure should be repeated until no more new constructs words come up.

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These constructs are then reused to rate all the elements in a matrix rating grid , usually on a simple five or seven point scale. A construct always has two poles, i. These poles represent contrasts and not necessary "real oppositions", but both are expressed with same kind of "Likert" scale. Sometimes, element elicitation, construct elicitation and rating are done in a combined fashion. The participant first enters some elements e. Also, the participant is asked to continue adding elements and constructs until every element is discriminated from each other and every construct is different in explanation from each other.

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In addition, there exist methods to aggregate individual grids, or to construct "common grids", e. In the latter case, we can't call these "personal constructs" anymore. Today we can distinguish four kinds of using repertory grids, and that depart from Kelly's original idiographic personal constructs:. This will lead to researcher-unbiased view of a topic. The researcher will get a rich dataset and which will make comparisons between participants difficult, i.

Participants are expected to build constructs about a supplied set of elements that judged to be representative of a topic by the researcher. Participants are asked to use a set of supplied constructs with a set of elements they are familiar with.

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This can be done in two steps. An other method is provide a pools i. Participants are expected to rate elements representative of a domain with constructs representative of a population. This is often used in marketing research or similar but also can be used in a stage that follows idiographic analysis in order to do confirmatory research, or exploratory nomothetic research with many individuals, or to within some kind of "group" elicitation process.

In some literature, we even found the misperception that repertory grids are fixed, e. A good summary in the context of software engineering research id provided by Edwards et al. The perception of repertory grid analysis is not the same everywhere. Below a few quotes that can illustrate our perception:. According to Feixas and Alvarez , the repertory grid is applied in four basic steps: 1 The design phase is where the parameters that define the area of application are set out.

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Elements can be elicited by either asking for role relations e. A market research study might, for example, use products representative of that market as elements e. As before, the criteria for selection depend on the researcher's objectives and on the capacities of the person to be assessed. According to Nick Milton Repertory Grid Technique the repertory grid technique includes four main stages.

Elicitation methods can vary. The basic procedures we identified from the literature are: monadic, dyadic, triadic, none, or full context form. The knowledge elicitation procedure can be stopped when the participant stops coming up with new constructs. Phrases that emerge for similarities are called the similarity pole also called emergent pole.


The opposing pole is called contrast pole or implicit pole. Numerical scale then should be consistent, e. Certain software can require a direction. Feixas and Alvarez outline the three methods to elicit constructs like this:. A Elicitation of constructs using triads of elements. This is the original method used by Kelly. It involves the presentation of three elements followed by the question, "How are two of these elements similar, and thereby different from a third element?

Epting, Schuman and Nickeson argue that more explicit contrast poles can be obtained using only two elements at a time. This procedure usually involves an initial question such as, "Do you see these people as more similar or different? Stewart and Stewart cited by Todd A. Boyle recommend a seven-step approach for administrating a repertory grid:. There are various ways to fill in repertory grid tables. The grid then can be shown for verification and editing as a simple matrix or as a table with all elements x 1 construct or as table of all constructs for one element.

In some research fixed researcher determined repertory grids are used, i. Often such grids are use in a stage-II phase, i. The following example was taken from Sarah J. Stein, Campbell J. We only will show parts of the tables in order to avoid copyright problems. The interview and survey responses were coded and categorised into a set of dipolar constructs ten consisting of terms and phrases commonly used by students about technology and the conduct of technology investigations Table 1 , and a set of elements nine of the technology process consisting of typical situations or experiences in the conduct of an investigation Table 2.


The Repertory Grid developed consisted of a seven point rating scale situated between pole positions on the individual constructs, one set for each element. A sample Repertory grid chart is shown in Table 3. Instead of presenting a new grid table for each element, one also could present participants a grid that includes the elements as a row. In this case, users have to insert numbers in the cells. This is difficult on paper, but a bit easier with a computer interface we believe.

But as we said before, such all-in-one grids are probably most often used for verification and adjustments. If you have few elements, a paper version can be done easily. For example, Steinkuehler and Derry's Repertory Grid tutorial provides the following example about teacher rating. Individual grids can be analyzed using various statistical data reduction techniques on both rows and columns. The most popular techniques seem to be cluster analysis and factor analysis principal component analysis with factor scores for elements computed.

Daniel K. Schneider imagines that one also could use correspondence analysis if scales were ordinal or nominal. A simple descriptive technique to look at multiple grids that use the same constructs e. Otherwise, with grids that differ between individuals, it gets more complicated It concerns Topics elements and aspects constructs of advanced information systems. Schneider took the data that came with example, i. If you reader don't agree with the grid elements, constructs and ratings you can go to the system and change any of these.

There purpose here is not to discuss "advanced information systems" but to present an analysis technique A picture with color codes generated by the system looks like that and allows to quickly identify high "loadings" of emergent poles which are to the right. We found that hierarchical cluster analysis seemed to be most popular. Typically, two-way clustering co-clustering or biclustering is done. Then a dendogram can be drawn on top elements and to the right constructs of the repertory grid. Data assumptions for cluster analysis are less strict than for factor analysis.

However, there exist many variants of cluster analysis and Boyle is wrong when he quotes Stewart and Steward that "it uses non-parametric statistics" and "makes no assumptions about the absolute size of the difference". Most analysis variants make such assumptions. However, there exists variants that can deal with ordinal and even nominal data.

Let's work through the example from the Web Grid III system that we introduced above in the "visual focusing" section and let's recall that these are not our data. Individuals must be prepared to change and adapt to the circumstances. Career Typology Theory of John Holland Under this offshoot of Trait and Factor Theory, career choice is not random but an expression of our personality.

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Individuals possess a combination of two or more of six personality types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Occupational environments are also a combination of these six types. Holland theorized that people in similar jobs have similar personality traits.