Comparing apples with apples: The importance of element wording in grid applications

Robert Phillip Wright, Simon S.K. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Elements form a key component of all repertory grid applications. Outside of the clinical context, the majority of applied research still relies on conventional role titles, objects, events, and situation elements for construct elicitation, limiting alternative applications of the technique. This article draws attention to a neglected topic in the grid literature by addressing the importance of element form and wording when eliciting personal constructs. In particular, no discussion to date has addressed the type of elements needed for more complex managerial and organizational phenomena, such as eliciting cognitive perceptions of a system of something (which, in the true sense of the word, may include people, objects, activities and events). The authors propose the use of more heterogeneous elements that would signify a more meaningful range of representativeness of the domain of interest. Once this is established, the elements would need to be reworded into "-ing" words to ensure triadic comparison are comparing like with like. The use of system elements opens up new applications of Kelly's (1955) grid technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Constructivist Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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