Everyone is impacted differently by what they experience throughout their lifetime. Our experiences and reactions to those experiences are most often unique




  • Everyone is impacted differently by what they experience throughout their lifetime. Our experiences and reactions to those experiences are most often unique. The book mentions that George Kelly believed that people develop and modify theories in order to accomplish the goals of explanation and prediction, or personal constructs (Lecci & Magnavita, 2013). If someone cannot properly understand their own construct system often anxiety can immerge. “The constructionist view is one that focuses more on the idea that reality is not revealed to individuals but instead it is reached through a process of construction (Vall Castello , 2016). Constructionists believe that meaning-making should be intraindividual, or should occur within someone (Vall Castello , p.2, 2016). They carry the belief that “language is not a tool for representing reality but is a means to make sense of reality in a social context” (Vall Castello , p.2, 2016). The author of one article explained that bridging allows everyone to be able to comprehend these complexities (Vall Castello , 2016). One commonality is that one’s past plays a role in their current and future choices. This can also be described as an attitude of learning from one’s mistakes and experiences.

    Lecci, L.B. & Magnavita, J.J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

    Vall Castello, B. Bridging constructivism and social constructionism: The journey from narrative to dialogical approaches and towards synchrony. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, Vol 26(2), Jun, 2016 pp. 129-143.

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    • H. R.
    • Constructivists asserted that learning was not a passive intake of information and knowledge.  They rather believed that experiences and opportunities are present that allow an individual to build meaning and create knowledge.  In gaining knowledge, they have context and interaction with the information rather than just having it programmed into them.  By constructivist belief, tabula rasa (a blank slate) is nonexistent.  Everyone is a learner and each learner bring their unique combination of experiences and culture to the way they encounter life.  Their personalized point of view is what gives different individuals differing knowledge and how people can view the same piece of information differently.  Previous schools of thought viewed knowledge as something to be gained.  Once an individual could take in the knowledge, they could start to understand their world as it is.  Constructivism reversed that notion; stating that with knowledge the person can give meaning and order to their personal reality.
      Theories such as behaviorism and psychoanalysis are very strong historical roots in the psychological field.  Behaviorism was based largely on the idea that knowledge should come from what can be seen, measured, and quantified.  Psychoanalysis focused on investigation of the mind to see how it is governing the individual.  These theories approach individuals as something to be figured out, information is sorted, and then they become fixable.  Once the clinician gains enough information regarding the client, they can make organized sense of the client, and use techniques to correct behavior.  On the other end of the spectrum, humanism and existentialism focus on the individual’s experiences, identity, and potential.  Specifically, in humanistic theory, there is an emphasis on understanding the history of an individual to understand where they are in their present state.  Constructivist theory acts as the hinge between these different periods in personality theory.

      Chiari, G. (2016). To live is to know, to know is to change: Change in personal construct psychology and psychological constructivism. Journal Of Constructivist Psychology29(4), 340-356. doi:10.1080/10720537.2015.1134364
      Lecci, L.B. & Magnavita, J.J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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