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Constructivism

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  • 1. CONSTRUCTIVISM Of Jesse Delia
  • 2. Core Ideas
    • Persons make sense of the world through systems of personal constructs
    • Constructs are templates we use to order our reality, made up of the contrasting features (categories of personality and action ) we use to define the character of another person
    • Crockett’s “ Role Category Questionnaire ” (RCQ) samples personal constructs
  • 3. Cognitive complexity
    • RCQ measures differentiation – the number of separate personality constructs used to portray a person
    • RCQ scores are independent of empathy, IQ, writing skills, extroversion. How about loquacity?
    • Cognitive complexity enhances communication
  • 4. Person-Centered Communication
    • Cognitive complexity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for person-centered communication (PCC)
    • PCC: awareness of, adaptation to subjective, affective and relational aspects of the communication context. PCC speaker anticipates how others might respond to message and adjusts
    • PCC: rhetorical sensitivity, taking role of the other, identification, self-monitoring, audience awareness and listener adaptation, handling multiple goals
  • 5. Message Design Logics (MDLs): explain why PCC works best
    • MDLs explain link between cognitive complexity and PCC
    • They are implicit theories people have about the way in which messages can be shaped as means to ends
    • Expressive MDL: language skill to express what one thinks and feels;
    • Conventional MDL: tailoring messages to main goal, using socially conventional means, appropriate to the particular situation;
    • Rhetorical MDL: negotiating social self and situation, redefining situation, achieving multiple goals, defusing conflict in present and in future
  • 6. Advantages of Rhetorical MDL
    • Comforting messages
    • - ease emotional stress
    • Relational maintenance
    • - esp. among people of similar PCC skill
    • Organizational effectiveness
  • 7. Critique
    • Sophisticated communication is more comforting than clumsy
    • But similarity of communication skill may be important for durable relationships
    • Skills of sophisticated communication may be transmitted from parent to child, and may enhance socio-economic privileges
    • Too much reliance on one tool (RCQ)
    • Theory needs to take more account of intercultural dimensions
  • 8. Some questions
    • Should physical characteristics and demographic labels be excluded in RCQ?
    • HOW do people determine who they should write about for RCSs? Do RCQs differ according to whether person is liked or disliked, or to intensity of like or dislike?
    • Do social environments affect how people might respond to RCQs?
    • Do MDLs change according to culture, task and situation?
    • Should PCC be tested for admission to university, jobs, etc.?
    • Does cognitive complexity cause sophisticated communication or are both these things caused by some third factor?