Trait Theory and Personal Construct Theory Have Markedly Different Approaches to the Understanding of Individual Differences. Outline These Approaches and Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of Each. What Consequences Does Each Approach Have ...

1996 Words Oct 25th, 2008 8 Pages
Trait theory and personal construct theory have markedly different approaches to the understanding of individual differences. Outline these approaches and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each. What consequences does each approach have for understanding agency – structure dualism?

This paper commences with a brief overview of two competing influential theories that attempt to account for individual differences within the area of personality and intelligence. These are namely; Eysenck’s and Rachman’s Trait Theory (1965) and Geoerge Kelly’s Personal Construct theory, represented here through Salmon’s Phenomenological reworking of Kelly’s ideas in her approach to learning ( 2003) Following from which is
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Butt highlights the way in which Kelly’ s approach can be understood as a form of phenomenology (Butt 2004). The application of kelly’s repertory grid for example facilitates the elicitation of individual experiences thus emphasising the influential roles of one’s social and cultural environment . This lies in contrast to Eysenck’s model of a fixed personality which appears to be unaffected by external circumstance . In addition , Salmons re- working and application of kelly’s theories in the context of educational learning has shown how her intervention of the ‘Salmon Line ‘ provides a basis for facilitating change ( Salmon 1994). Salmons intentions in developing the ‘ Salmon Line’ were aimed at providing a tool that could stretch beyond kelly ‘s diagnostic model and assist the learning process. The success of Salmon’s technique has been attributed to the ways in which behaviour change and learning is enhanced through eliciting pupils and teachers experiences and identifying areas of conflict and collaboration. The approach is rich in subjective experience captivating the diversity that exists amongst individuals and allowing for reflexivity in its approach . In summary for PCT theorists , differences in personality is viewed as a reflection of the complex ways in which individuals build constructions of their world rather than a simply reflection of innate biological
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