The "inquiring man" in the laboratory

Seelig, Harald and Radó, Janina. (2006) The "inquiring man" in the laboratory. In: Personal construct psychology: New ideas. Chichester, pp. 61-70.

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(from the chapter) From a Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) perspective, the researcher`s effort to standardize the experimental situation inevitably results in a different `reality` for each research participant. Moreover, we cannot dismiss the possibility that subjects already have different attitudes, or personal constructs, about this situation upon entering it and these personal constructs affect their behavior. This questions the basic assumptions of quantitative research. If such attitudes are present then we must allow that they might have an influence on the results even in experiments that do not fail. The present study was intended to address this. It was designed to provide evidence that participants of a typical laboratory experiment do indeed have different personal constructs about the experimental situation, and that these different `realities` map onto different patterns of performance in the laboratory experiment. In our study 36 participants (13 female, 23 male, average age: 23.9 years, all sports students) completed first a typical biomechanical experiment, then a Repertory Grid interview that served to assess their personal construct systems. Cluster analysis of the Grid data was used to detect latent classes of similar element systems. These classes were then compared with respect to the participants` biomechanical performance. Additionally, participants` attitudes were elicited using the more established method of the Semantic Differential to provide an independent means of evaluating the adequacy of the Grid method. Our findings are completely in line with general PCP assumptions that each individual has his or her own personal constructs about the world and that these constructs influence his or her behavior. As this influence is different from person to person, the results of an experiment that involves a certain set of individuals cannot be expected to generalize to a different set or to the whole population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (chapter)
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Sport, Bewegung und Gesundheit > Bereich Sportwissenschaft > Sportwissenschaften (Pühse)
UniBasel Contributors:Seelig, Harald
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:John Wiley
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:02 Nov 2017 13:03
Deposited On:02 Nov 2017 13:03

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