Theorists: Jesse Delia
Major Premises: **From Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory**
● Based on interaction, we create cognitive categories (constructs) to understand and interpret social objects and events to guide actions
● The greater number of variety of cognitive constructs → the greater ability to create strategic messages (a purpose)
Context: All because any communication is full of messages
Personal Construct System
● Collection of bi-polar (opposite) mental yardsticks organized within interpretive framework used to evaluate and interpret the environment, people, and situations ○ Good ------ bad
○ Exciting ----- dull
** simple / general constructs when not familiar
** simple / complex when familiar
● Develops over time i.e kids at a young age = simple and as they age their constructs get more complex
● Simple & general leads to complex and specific over time based on INFORMATION ● Cognitive ability, exposure, cognitive development, culture, and maturity help create complex/specific construct system Don't forget about the age old question of What are the four main points of dalton's theory?
● Level of how many/variety of constructs
● High level of personal construct systems empowers us to
○ Distinguish subtle behavior and personality difference across individuals rather than rely on stereotypes
○ Perceive others/situations in greater comprehension/integrative/complete ways as unique individuals
○ Make sense of behavior of individuals when when it appears inconsistent → allows to explain why and understand it Don't forget about the age old question of What happens when a thermosetting polymer is heated?
** The Role Category Questionnaire measures complexity of personal construct system and evaluates personal construct system
● Personal constructs used to describe a person (describe distinct/complex qualities) I.e joe is funny he makes me laugh → LOW differentiation
Joe has dry wit. He is not goofy → HIGH differentiation (more info/specific) Simple Construct System & LOW cognitive complexity → She is nice
Complex Construct System & HIGH cognitive complexity → She is fun and smart. She tells us ideas in ways we never imagined
Perspective Taking Don't forget about the age old question of Who guards the guardians?
● Increased cognitive complexity (high differentiation) increases ability to take the role of others/others perspectives
○ Better able to predict how people might react
○ Able to understand where people are coming from
○ Young children are not as cognitively complex as adults If you want to learn more check out What are other measures that could be used to measure the well being in an economy?
Person Centered Messages
● High cognitive complexity → High perspective taking → increased ability to personalize messages
● Messages vary in person centeredness
● Low PC → ignores others feelings, doesn't allow to context, does not allow ability to address your own goals
● High PC → considers others perspectives, considers context/environment/situations, strategically adapts to other person's goals or needs Don't forget about the age old question of What are the secondary sexual characteristics?
Message Creation - 3 Stage Process
1. Goals → what are they?
2. Plan → how has this worked in the past? Did my plan work? How can I change it to work in my favor?
3. Actions → nonverbal/verbal behavior
Message Design Logic
● Our cognitive complexity shapes our approach to designing messages to reach our goals ● Determined by cognitive complexity
● Some design logic is better to achieve multiple goals in a situation
Expressive Design Logic
● “Brain dump” → saying what you say/feel with no filter or editing it → expressing like a 4 year old
Conventional Design Logic
● Guided by rules/manners/politeness
● Societal norms influence design\
● Gain social approval like a 6 year old
Rhetorical Design Logic
● Reconstructure reality to address all goals → 8 year old
● More person centered/sophisticated
● Messages can change the way we view the world in order to find solutions Major Areas of Application for Constructivism
● Comforting → consoling classmates
● Persuasion → convince roommate to do chores regularly
● Education → explain constructivism to mom vs. classmate vs. 10 year old ● Evaluating Constructivism Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of the demographic changes in globalization?
● Practical utility → compliance gaining, comforting messages, organization effectiveness, relationship maintenance
● Internally consistent & Externally valid
● Heuristic → makes people think
● Reliance on the Role Category Questionnaire
● Complex personal construct system → Cognitive complexity
● Cognitive communication is important so we can create person centered messages and improve perspective taking
● Level of cognitive complexity is reflected in how we go through the message creation process (goals, plans, actions)
● Level of cognitive complexity is reflected in our message design logic ● Rhetorical design logic can address multiple goals in an interaction