You are on page 1of 16

Chapter 18 - Rotter and Mischel Cognitive Social Learning Theory

I. Overview of Cognitive Social Learning Theory

Both Julian Rotter and Walter Mischel believe that cognitive factors determine how
people will react to environmental forces
They object Skinners explanation that behaviour is shaped by immediate reinforcement
Each suggests that our expectations of future events are major determinants of
Rotter - social learning theory
behaviour is best predicted from understanding the interaction of people with
their meaningful environment
he was an interactionist; neither the environment itself nor the individual is
completely responsible for behaviour - it is peoples cognitions, histories, and
expectations of the future are keys to predicting behaviour
Mischel - cognitive social theory
believed that cognitive factors (i.e. expectancies, subjective perceptions, values,
goals, and personal standards) play an important role
delay of gratification: ???

II. Biography of Julian Rotter

Julian Rotter was born in Brooklyn in 1916. As a high-school student, he became
familiar with some of the writings of Freud and Adler.

III. Introduction to Rotter's Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory rests on five basic hypotheses:
1. humans interact with their meaningful environments
peoples reactions to environmental stimuli depends on the importance they attach
to the event
human behaviour = interaction of environmental + personal factors
2. human personality is learned
personality is not set or determined at any particular age of development
can be change for modified as long as people are capable of learning
3. personality has a basic unity
peoples personalities possess relative stability
basic unity that preserves it from changing as a result of minor experiences.
4. Motivation is goal directed
peoples expectations that their behaviours are advancing them toward goals
Rotters empirical law of effect: people are most strongly reinforced by
behaviours that move them in the direction of anticipated goals
reinforcement as any action, condition, or event which affects the individuals
movement toward a goal
5. People are capable of anticipating events

IV. Predicting Specific Behaviors

Page 1 of 16
Human behavior is most accurately predicted by an understanding of 4 variables:
behavior potential, expectancy, reinforcement value, and the psychological situation.

A. Behavior Potential
Behavior potential: the possibility that a particular response will occur at a given time
and place
e.g. you go to a restaurant, you have several BPs. will you order, sit down, or ?
BP in any situation is a function of both expectancy and reinforcement value
you can hold reinforcement value constant and vary expectancy

Behavioral potential can be predicted when reinforcement value is held constant and
expectancy varies.

B. Expectancy
expectancy: refers to a persons expectation that a particular reinforcement will follow a
specific behavior in a specific situation
Expectancies can be either general or specific
Generalized expectancies (GEs) are learned through previous experiences with a
particular response or similar responses based on the belief that certain behaviours
will be followed by positive reinforcement
e.g. college students whose previous hard work has been reinforced by high
grades will have a GE of future reward
Specific expectancies (E or E prime)
In any situation, expectancy for a reinforcement is determined by a combination of E
and GE
e.g. a student may have a GE that a given level of academic work will be reward by
good grades, but may believe that an equal amount of hard work in a French class
will go unrewarded
total expectancy of success (TES): function of both ones GE and E
e.g. a person with low TES in obtaining a job wont apply for the position but
someone with a high TES will exert effort to get the job

C. Reinforcement Value
Reinforcement value (RV): the person's preference for any particular reinforcement
over other reinforcements if all are equally likely to occur
Internal vs External Reinforcement
Internal reinforcement is the individual's perception of an event
external reinforcement refers to events, conditions, or actions on which ones
society or culture places a value
IR and ERs can be in harmony or at a variance with one another
e.g. you like a popular movie - the same ones that most other people - then IR and
ER are in agreement
if you like a movie that your friends don't like, IR and ER are not in agreement

Page 2 of 16
another contributor to RV is ones needs - a specific reinforcement tends to increase in
value as the need it satisfies becomes stronger
e.g. a starving child places a higher value on a bowl of soup than does a
moderately hungry one
reinforcements are also valued according to their expected consequences for future
Reinforcement-reinforcement sequences suggest that the value of an event is a
function of one's expectation that a particular reinforcement will lead to future
referred to as clusters of reinforcement

D. Psychological Situation
The psychological situation: that part of the external and internal world to which a
person is responding
not synonymous with external stimuli
a complex set of interacting cues acting upon an individual for any specific time
Behavior is a function of the interaction of people with their meaningful environment
interaction between person and environment is crucial to shaping behaviour

E. Basic Prediction Formula

Hypothetically, behavior can be predicted by the basic prediction formula
used in SPECIFIC situations
formula states that, the potential for a behavior to occur in a particular situation in
relation to a given reinforcement is a function of people's expectancy that the behavior
will be followed by that reinforcement in that situation
BP = f (E + RV)

V. Predicting General Behaviors

The basic prediction is too specific to give clues about how a person will generally
e.g. David; worked for 18 yrs in a hardware store, but he might lose his Job

A. Generalized Expectancies
definition: expectations based on similar past experiences that a given behavior will be
Generalized expectancies include people's needs-that is, behaviors that move them
toward a goal.

B. Needs
Needs are defined as any behaviour our set of behaviours that people see as moving
them in the direction of a goal
needs are not states of deprivation but indicate of the direction of behaviour
environment = goals
person = needs
Page 3 of 16
Rotter and Hochreich (1975) listed 6 broad categories of needs, with each need being
related to behaviors that lead to the same or similar reinforcements:
1. recognition-status; the need to excel, to achieve, and to have others recognize one's
includes the need to excel in school, sports, occupation, hobbies, and physical
e.g. playing bridge
2. dominance; the need to control the behavior of others, to be in charge, or to gain
power over others
e.g. talking colleagues into accepting your ideas
3. independence; the need to be free from the domination of others
relying on oneself and attaining goals without the help of others
e.g. declining help to repair your bike
4. protection-dependency; the need to have others take care of us and to protect us
from harm
asking husband to take care of you when you are ill
5. love and affection; the need to be warmly accepted by others and to be held in
friendly regard
securing friendly regard and devotion from others
e.g. doing favours for others to receive verbal expression of positive regard
6. physical comfort; includes those behaviors aimed at securing food, good health, and
physical security.
e.g. turning on AC or hugging another person

Need Components
1. NP - need potential; the possible occurrence of a set of functionally related behaviors
directed toward the satisfaction of similar goals
cannot be measured solely through observation of behaviour
e.g. eating in a fancy restuant
analogous to behaviour potential (BP)
the difference is that NP refers to a group of functionally related behaviours,
whereas BP is the likelihood that a particular behaviour will occur in a
given situation in relation to a specific reinforcement
2. FM - freedom of movement; one's overall expectation of being reinforced for
performing those behaviours that are directed toward satisfying some general need
analogous to expectancy
can be determined by holding NV constant and observing ones NP
e.g. a person with a strong need for dominance can behave differently to satisfy
that need by using her husbands clothes, what college curriculum her son will
pursue, or even direct actors in a play
thus, the avg mean level of expectancies that these behaviours will lead to the
desired satisfaction (i.e. dominance) is a measure of her freedom of
movement in the area of dominance

Page 4 of 16
3. NV - need value; the degree to which people prefer one set of reinforcements to
analogous to reinforcement value

C. General Prediction Formula

It states that need potential is a function of freedom of movement and need value
NP = f (FM + NV)
La Juans Situation: to predict her need potential for working toward graduation with
highest honors, we must measure her
freedom of movement: that is, her mean expectancy of being reinforced for a
series of behaviours necessary to reach her goal
need value; the value she places on rjecgonitation-status or any other need she
associates with receiving academic donors
Rotter's two most famous scales for measuring generalized expectancies are the
Internal-External Control Scale and the Interpersonal Trust Scale.

D. Internal and External Control of Reinforcement

The Internal-External Control Scale (popularly called "locus of control scale") attempts
to measure the degree to which people perceive a causal relationship between their
own efforts and environmental consequences.
Rotter suggests that both the situation and the person contribute to feelings of
personal control
locus of control: generalised expectancy that refers to peoples belief that they can or
cannot control their lives
people who score high on INTERNAL control
believe that the source of control resides WITHIN themselves
exercise a high level of personal control in most situations
*however too much internal control is not always socially desirable
people who score high on EXTERNAL control
believe that their life is largely controlled by forces outside themselves (e.g.
chance, destiny, or the behaviour of other people)

Page 5 of 16
Four Misconceptions about Locus of Control
1. Scores on the scale are NOT determinants of behaviour
Scores on the scale are not causes of behaviour, but are indicators of GEs
2. Locus of control CANNOT predict achievement in a specific situation
the concepts refers to GEs of reinforcement
3. The scale DOES NOT divide people into two distinct types - internals and externals
GEs imply a a gradient of generalisation
4. High internal scores DO NOT signify socially desirable traits and high external scores
DO NOT indicate socially undesirable characteristics
Extreme scores in either direction are undesirable
high EXTERNAL scores - apathy and despair, and believe they have no control
over their environment
high INTERNAL scores - people accept responsibility for everything that happens
to them
Scores somewhere in between the extremes, but INCLINED in the direction of
INTERNAL control, are most healthy

E. Interpersonal Trust Scale

The Interpersonal Trust Scale measures the extent to which a person expects the word
or promise of another person to be true
interpersonal trust: generalised expectancy that the word of another is reliable
should not be equated with gullibility
Rotter believe that high trust is not only desirable but essential for the survival of
People who score HIGH in interpersonal trust, as opposed to those who score low, are:
1. less likely to lie
2. less likely to cheat or steal
3. more likely to give others a second chance
4. more likely to respect the rights of other
5. less likely to be unhappy, conflict, or maladjusted
6. somewhat more likeable and popular
7. more trustworthy
8. neither more nor less gullible
9. neither more nor less intelligent
high trusters = not gullible or native, and posses characteristics that people regard as
positive and desirable

VI. Maladaptive Behaviour

maladaptive behaviour: any persistent behaviour that fails to move a person closer to
a desired goal.
Combination of high need value + low freedom of movement = CONFLICT
i.e. unrealistically high goals in combination with low ability to achieve them
e.g. some people unrealistically set a goal to be loved by everyone but realistically,
not everyone will love you

Page 6 of 16
Reasons for Maladaptive Behaviour
SETTING GOALS TOO HIGH: people cannot learn productive behaviour so they learn
how to avoid failure or how to defend themselves against the pain that accompanies
e.g. someone whose goal is to be loved by everyone will inevitably be ignored by
someone, so to obtain love, she can become socially aggressive or withdraw from
LOW FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: people can have low expectancies of success
because they lack information or the ability to perform behaviours that will be followed
by positive reinforcement
e.g. someone who values love may lack interpersonal skills necessary to obtain it

Maladjusted individuals are characterised by unrealistic goals, inappropriate behaviours,

inadequate skills, or unreasonably low expectancies of being able to execute behaviours
necessary for positive reinforcement

VII. Psychotherapy
goal of Rotter's therapy: to achieve harmony between a client's freedom of movement
and need value.
The therapist is actively involved in trying to (1) change the importance of the client's
goals and (2) eliminate their unrealistically low expectancies for success.

A. Changing Goals
Maladaptive behaviors follow from three categories of inappropriate goals:
1. conflict between goals
e.g. an adolescent wants be free from their parents domination, but they also want
to retain their need for a nurturing person to care for them
2. destructive goals
3. unrealistically lofty goals
a person may learn to avoid painful experiences by physically running away or by
repressing the experience

B. Eliminating Low Expectancies

the therapist tries to eliminate patients low expectancies of success, and, its analog,
low freedom of movement
Rotter uses a variety of approaches, including reinforcing positive behaviors, ignoring
inappropriate behaviors, giving advice, modeling appropriate behaviors, and pointing
out the long-range consequences of both positive and negative behaviors.

VIII. Introduction to Mischel's Cognitive-Affective Personality System

Like Bandura and Rotter, Mischel believes that cognitive factors, such as expectancies,
subjective perceptions, values, goals, are important in shaping personality.
cognitive-affective personality theory: behavior is a function of relatively stable
personal dispositions & cognitive-affective processes interacting with a situation

Page 7 of 16
personal dispositions: have consistency over time but little consistency from one
situation to another

IX. Biography of Walter Mischel

Walter Mischel was born in 1930, in Vienna, the second son of upper-middle-class
parents. When the Nazis invaded Austria, his family moved to the United States and
eventually settled in Brooklyn. Mischel was influenced by Julian Rotter.

X. Background of the Cognitive-Affective Personality System

Mischel originally believed that human behavior was mostly a function of the situation
Behaviour is largely shaped by an interaction of stable personality traits and the

A. Consistency Paradox
consistency paradox: although both lay-people and professionals tend to believe that
behavior is quite consistent, research suggests that it is not
Mischel recognises that some traits are consistent over time, but contends that there is
little evidence to suggest that they are consistent from one situation to another
Mischel objected to attempts to attribute behaviour to global traits; it is just a sterile
taxonomy that fails to explain behaviour
Hartshorn and May found that school children who were honest in one situation were
deceitful in another
Epstein contended that, rather than relying on single behaviours, researchers must
aggregate measures of behaviour; they must obtain a sum of many behaviours because
this will reflect a generally conscientious score

B. Person-Situation Interaction
behavior is best predicted from an understanding of the person, the situation, and the
interaction between person and situation
behavior is not the result of some global personality trait, but by people's perceptions
of themselves in a particular situation
objected to use traits as predictors
Conditional view: behaviour is shared by personal dispositions + a persons specific
cognitive and affective processes
Wright and Mischel (1988) interviewed 8 and 12 yr old children and adults, and found
that adults were more certain about the conditions under which particular behaviours
would occur
e.g. kids: Carlo sometimes hits other kids
e.g. adults: Carlo hits when provoked
this suggests that people recognise the interrelationship between situation and
behaviour, and that they follow a conditional view
Behaviour = personality traits + situation

XI. Cognitive-Affective Personality System

Page 8 of 16
Mischel does not believe that inconsistencies in behavior are due solely to the situation;
he recognizes that inconsistent behaviors reflect stable patterns of variation within
a person
a persons behaviour will change from situation to situation but in a
Mischel and Shoda see these stable variations in behavior in the framework: If A, then
X; but if B, then Y.
behavioural signature of personality: unique and stable pattern of behaving
differently in different situations
having a signature personality that remains stable across situations even if
behaviour changes
e.g. being provoked by two different people does not constitute the same stimulus
Mischel believes that an adequate theory of personality should try to predict and
explain these signatures of personality

A. Behavior Prediction
If personality is a stable system that processes information about the situation, then
individuals encountering different situations should behave differently as situations vary.
Personality may have temporal stability and that behaviours vary from situation
to situation
Mischel believes that, even though people's behavior may reflect some stability over
time, it tends to vary as situations vary

B. Situation Variables
Situation variables include all those stimuli that people attend to in a given situation.
different people behave in a similar manner e.g. watching an emotional scene in a
movie = situation variables > personal characteristics
different people behave in a different manner e.g. watching an emotional scene in a
movie = situation variables < personal characteristics
Mischel and Staub (1965) looked at conditions that influenced a persons choice of
reward and found that both situation and individuals expectancy for success were
students who had been told they had succeeded on the succeeded on the tasks
were more likely to wait for the more valued reward that was contingent on their
those who were told they had failed chose an immediate, less valuable reward
those who were not informed made choices based on their original expectancies
for success
students in the no-info group with high expectancies made choices similar to
those who believed they were successful
those who had low expectancies for success made choices similar to those
who believed they had failed
this is consistent with Mischels interaction theory
Mischel and Ebbesen (1970) found that children were able to use their cognitive ability
to change an unpleasant wait for a treat into a more pleasant situation

Page 9 of 16
children were told that they would receive a small reward after some time, but a
larger treat if they could wait longer
children who thought about the treat had difficulty waiting
children who were able to wait longer used a variety of self distractions to avoid
thinking about the reward
this let Mischel to conclude that BOTH the situation and various cognitive-
affective components of personality play a role in determining behaviour

C. Cognitive-Affective Units
Cognitive-affective units include all those psychological, social, and physiological aspects
of people that permit them to interact with their environment with some stability in
their behavior.

1. encoding strategies; people's ways of categorizing information they receive from

external stimuli
different people encode the same events in different ways, which accounts for
individual differences in personal constructs
e.g. one might react angrily when insulted, while another may ignore the
same insult
the same person may encode the same event differently in different situations
e.g. a woman who likes getting a call from her best friend may perceive it as a
nuisance in another situation
Mischel and Moore (1973) found that children can transform environmental
events by focusing on selected aspects of stimulus
children exposed to pictures of rewards (i.e. snacks) were able to wait longer
for the rewards than children who were encouraged to cognitively construct
(imagine) real rewards while viewing pictures
2. competencies and self-regulatory strategies
competencies: the vast array of information we acquire about the world and our
relationship to it
by observing our own behaviour and others, we learn what we can and cannot do
in a situation
we do not attend to all stimuli in our environment; rather, we selectively construct
our own version of the real world
cognitive competencies (i.e. doing well on an exam) are more stable temporally
and cross-situationally than other cognitive-affective units are
intelligence is responsible for the apparent consistency of other traits

people use self-regulatory strategies to control their own behavior through self-
imposed goals and self-produced consequences
allows for one to plan, initiate, and maintain behaviours even when
environmental support is weak or nonexistent
e.g. Lincoln and Ghandi were able to regular their own behaviour in the face
of a hostile environment

Page 10 of 16
inappropriate goals and ineffective strategies increase anxiety and lead to
3. expectancies and beliefs; peoples guesses about the consequences of each of the
different behavioural possibilities
people learn to enact behaviours that they expect will result in the most
subjectively valued outcome
if there is no information about what to expect from a behaviour, they will enact
behaviours that received the greatest reinforcement in past situations
e.g. someone is taking the SATs for the first time but has had experience
preparing for other tests, thus a student who was rewarded for using self-
relaxation techniques to prepare expects that doing the same will get her a
high grade on her SATs
behaviour-outcome expectancy
people construe this with an if then framework
If I use self-relaxation procedures, than I will do well on my SATS
stimulus-outcome expectancy; refers to the many stimulus conditions that
influence the probably consequences of any behaviour pattern
helps us predicts what events are likely to occur following certain stimuli
e.g. if we observe lightning (the stimulus), we expect a loud thunder
this is important for understanding classical conditioning
our expectancies are NOT constant; they change because we can discriminate and
evaluate potential reinforcers at any situation
4. goals and values;
subjective goals, values, and preferences that partially determine selective
attention to events
values, goals, etc are the among the most stable cognitive-affective units because
of the emotion-eliciting properties of these units
5. affective responses; including emotions, feelings, and the affects that accompany
physiological reactions
these are inseparable from cognitions, but also influence each of the other
cognitive-affective units
e.g. when you encode your self, it includes positive and negative FEELINGS
they don't exist in isolation
peoples competencies and coping stratetgies, etc, are all coloured by their affect


XII. Related Research

Rotter's locus of control being one of the most frequently researched areas in psychology
and Mischel's notion of delay of gratification and his cognitive-affective personality
system also receiving wide attention.

A. Locus of Control and Health-Related Behaviors

Page 11 of 16
One adjunct of the locus of control concept is the health locus of control, and research in
this area suggests that self-mastery of health and people's belief about their personal
control over health-related behaviors predict subsequent health status. This body of
research has included such health-related behaviors as smoking, abusing alcohol, and
unwise eating. In general, this research indicates that people high on internal locus of
control, compared with those high on external locus of control, are more likely to enact
health-related behaviors.

B. An Analysis of Reactions to the O. J. Simpson Verdict

Mischel, Shoda, and two of their colleagues used the cognitive-affective personality
system to analyze the verdict in the O. J. Simpson murder trial. They found that European
Americans and African Americans had different ways of looking at the Simpson verdict.

articipants' race itself was not as important as their thoughts and feelings in determining
their reactions to the verdict. European Americans who agreed with the verdict had
thoughts and emotions very similar to those of African Americans who were elated by the
verdict. Moreover, African Americans who disagreed with the verdict thought and felt
much the same as European Americans who were dismayed by the not-guilty verdict.

Chapter 19 - KELLY

I. Overview of Kelly's Personal Construct Theory

metatheory - a theory about theories.
It holds that people anticipate events by the meanings or interpretations that they
place on those events.
personal constructs - ones way of looking at explaining and interpreting the world
His philosophical position, called constructive alternativism, assumes that alternative
interpretations are always available to people.
PCT does not try to explain nature - it is a theory of peoples construction of events

believed this theory subject to change and revision

assumed that the universe exists
facts carry meaning for us to discover
personal constructs = one comparison and one contrast

II. Biography of George Kelly

George Kelly was born on a farm in Kansas in 1905. During his school years and his
early professional career, he dabbled in a wide variety of jobs.
attended school only irregularly and many different schools
was an aviation psychologist
parents - well educated and helped in formal education of their son
many of many and diverse interests
only child

Page 12 of 16
III. Kelly's Philosophical Position
Kelly believed that people construe events according to their personal constructs rather
than reality.

A. Person as Scientist
People generally attempt to solve everyday problems in much the same fashion as
scientists; that is, they observe, ask questions, formulate hypotheses, infer conclusions,
and predict future events.

B. Scientist as Person
Because scientists are people, their pronouncements should be regarded with the same
skepticism as any other data. Every scientific theory can be viewed from an alternate
angle, and every competent scientist should be open to changing his or her theory.

C. Constructive Alternativism
our interpretations of the world are subject to revision or replacement
since people can construe their world from different angles, observations that are valid
at one time may be false at a later time

IV. Personal Constructs

definition: people look at their world through templates that they create and then
attempt to fit over the realities of the world
a persons interpretation of an event is more important than the events themselves
a person holds the key to an individualss future
a person creates their own reality of the world

A. Basic Postulate
Kelly expressed his theory in one basic postulate and 11 supporting corollaries.
The basic postulate assumes that human behavior is shaped by the way people
anticipate the future.
people are constantly active and activity is guided by the way in which we
anticipate events

B. Supporting Corollaries
The 11 supporting corollaries can all be inferred from this basic postulate:
1. Construction Corollary: Although no two events are exactly alike, we construe similar
events as if they were the same
two sunsets are never exactly alike, but they are similar enough to construe
them as the same event
2. Individuality Corollary: because people have different experiences, they can
construe the same event in different ways
one sunset but construed differently by two people
3. Organization corollary: people organize their personal constructs in a hierarchical
system, with some constructs in a superordinate position and others subordinate to

Page 13 of 16
assumes an ordinal relationship of constructs
4. Dichotomy corollary assumes that people construe events in an either/or manner,
e.g., good or bad.
a persons construction system is compared of a finite number of dichotomous

5. Choice corollary assumes that people tend to choose the alternative in a

dichotomized construct that they see as extending the range of their future choices.
people make choices on the basis of how they anticipate events
6. Range corollary states that constructs are limited to a particular range of
convenience; that is, they are not relevant to all situations.
personal constructs are finite and not relevant to everything
7. Experience corollary suggests that people continually revise their personal constructs
as the result of their experiences.
ones construction system varies as one successively construes the replicate of
8. Modulation corollary assumes that only permeable constructs lead to change;
concrete constructs resist modification through experience.
permeable construct = elements can be added to it

9. fragmentation corollary states that people's behavior can be inconsistent because

their construct systems can readily admit incompatible elements
10. commonality corollary suggests that our personal constructs tend to be similar to the
construction systems of other people to the extent that we share experiences with
assumes similarities among people
11. sociality corollary states that people are able to communicate with other people
because they can construe those people's constructions
we can construe the belief system of others
Concept of Role
refers to a pattern of behavior that stems from people's understanding of
the constructs of others
e.g. Arlene construed her role as a potential buyer

Each of us has a core role and numerous peripheral roles.

core roles gives us a sense of identity
peripheral roles are less central to our self-concept e.g. being a student
employee, and daughter

V. Applications of Personal Construct Theory

A. Abnormal Development
Kelly saw normal people as analogous to competent scientists who test reasonable
hypotheses, objectively view the results, and willingly change their theories when the data
warrant it. Similarly, unhealthy people are like incompetent scientists who test

Page 14 of 16
unreasonable hypotheses, reject or distort legitimate results, and refuse to amend
outdated theories.

disorder = any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent


Kelly identified four common elements in most human disturbances:

(1) threat, or the perception that one's basic constructs may be drastically changed;
the awareness of imminent comprehensive change in ones core structure
when they perceive that the stability of their basic construct is likely to be shaken
(2) fear, which requires an specific and incidental rather than a comprehensive
restructuring of one's construct system;
(3) anxiety, or the recognition that one cannot adequately deal with a new situation
(4) guilt, defined as "the sense of having lost one's core role structure


B. Psychotherapy
Kelly insisted that clients should set their own goals for therapy and that they should
be active participants in the therapeutic process. He sometimes used a procedure
called fixed-role therapy in which clients act out a predetermined role for several
weeks. By playing the part of a psychologically healthy person, clients may discover
previously hidden aspects of themselves.
Clients adopt the identity of a fictitious person
Clients, not the therapist, select the goal

C. The Rep Test

Role Construct Repertory (Rep) Test
The purpose of the Rep test is to discover ways in which clients construe significant
people in their lives. Clients place names of people they know on a repertory grid in
order to identify both similarities and differences among these people.

VI. Related Research

A. The Rep Test and Children

Use of the Rep test with children reveals that the self-constructs of depressed adolescents
are marked by low self-esteem, pessimism, and an external locus of control. Other
research with children and the Rep test shows that preadolescents construe themselves
and others in ways consistent with the Big Five personality factors, thus demonstrating
that the Big Five factors can come from instruments other than standard personality tests.

B. The Rep Test and the Real Self Versus the Ideal Self
Other research has found that the Rep test was useful in (1) predicting adherence to a
physical activity program, (2) detecting differences between the real self and the ideal
self, and (3) measuring neuroticism.

Page 15 of 16
C. The Rep Test and the Pain Patient
A number of studies, including the Large and Strong (1997) study, have found that the
Rep test can be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring pain.

Rotter Mischel Kelly

1. generates research high high, but less compared avg.

to Rotters concept of
locus of control

2. falsifiability high high, more than Rotters low

(says possible to (says possible to
falsification and falsification)
verification but rotters
formulas cannot be

3. organizes data above avg. above avg. low

4. guides action only moderately high only moderately high low

5. internal consistency high high high, but low on

operationally defined

6. parsimony high high high

Kelly - 5, 6 HIGH

Concept of Humanity
Rotter Mischel Kelly

1. determinism or free free choice free choice free choice


2. optimistic vs Rotter more optmistic Mischel middle more opti??

pessimistic (difficult to rate on (difficult to rate on
book) book)

3. casual vs teleological teleological teleological


4. consc vs unconsc consc consc consc

5. social vs biological social social social

6. uniqueness vs uniqueness uniqueness uniqueness


Page 16 of 16