A Critical Review of Kelly’s Personality Theory in Personality Development

2225 Words 9 Pages
1. Introduction
Personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that gives both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior (Feist & Feist, 2008).
For centuries, philosophers, personality theorists and other thinkers have been trying to answer: what personalities are like, how personalities are developed, why different personalities are developed and how personalities can be changed (Pervin & Cervone, 2013). George A. Kelly, an American psychologist born in 1905 in Kansa, is one of those major contributors in the field of personality psychology (Warren, 1998). In this paper, I am writing to critically review George A. Kelly's perspective on personality. I will first review Kelly's philosophy of
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They are namely a.) "Structure" which concerns what personalities are like; b.) "Process" which concerns why people behave that way; c.) "Development" which concerns how personalities are developed over life course; d.) "Psychopathology" which concerns why some personalities are maladaptive and e.) "Change" which concern how personalities, especially abnormal personalities, can be changed.
3.1. Structure: What Personalities Are Like?
In describing what personalities are like, Kelly abandons the classical threefold division of psychological phenomena: cognition, affection and conation (Kelly, 1955, p.130). Instead, he formulates his own personality theory with a single structure named "Construct". In this section, let's review the concept of construct and some of its features.
3.1.1. Core Structure: Construct
Construct is defined as "a representation of the universe, a representation erected by a living creature and then tested against the reality of that universe" (Kelly, 1955, p.12). According to Kelly, people make sense of the world by formulating their own models. They interpret things happened around them and organize those interpretations to construe their own models of reality. These models are called "constructs" by Kelly.
3.1.2. Dichotomy of Construct
"All constructs follow the bipolar or dichotomous form" (Kelly, 1955, p.59). Kelly believes that people formulate constructs by distinguishing similarities and contrasts. For example, we find…

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