Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://buratest.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/9220
Title: A conversational skills approach to personal reconstruction: Longitudinal studies using the repertory grid
Authors: Reid, Fraser
Advisors: Thomas, L
Keywords: Personal reconstruction;Conversational skills;Social environment;Intrapersonal modelling;Friendship
Issue Date: 1976
Publisher: Brunel University
Abstract: The aim of this research is to develop a range of procedures for enhancing conversational skills. From a review of theoretical analyses of social encounters a model of conversational process is developed to describe mechanisms by which interactants construct, maintain and revise cognitive models of their social environment. From this model, three dimensions of conversational competence are derived and a training paradigm devised incorporating the process of cognitive reflection by which functional properties of models are displayed to interactants. This paradigm provides a rationale for discrete intervention strategies to effect changes on each dimension of competence. Preliminary studies report attempts to implement the first intervention strategy in a friendship relationship and workshop group. Using the "conversational cycle" and repertory grid techniques, procedures are developed to exhibit critical interpersonal events and their relationship to modelling processes. The main studies investigate the second and third intervention strategies by developing serial repertory grid methods to exhibit the functional properties of centrality to self-cognition and stability of construction. The training paradigm is elaborated to include these properties at three levels of organisation, and a sequential Bayesian analysis is developed to determine the extent of centrality and stability of construction. The training paradigm is tested in two case-studies and evidence of increases in insight, centrality and elaboration of personal construction are found. This methodology is extended to incorporate repertory grids produced by two interactants yoked by element sample and tested in a case-study of a married couple. Evidence of increased insight and self-partner reconstruction is found, but predictions concerning increased self-partner distinctiveness are contraindicated. These findings suggest that evaluative criteria may not be coincident with subjective strategies, and alternative evaluation methodologies are proposed.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/9220
Appears in Collections:Centre for the Study of Human Learning
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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