Seminar Series

Some Asymmetries in Repertory Grid and Semantic Differential Data

The Repertory Grid of George Kelly (1955) and the Semantic Differential of Osgood (1952) are two related techniques commonly used to assess the ways in which people construe or view aspects of their world. The two techniques have a common structure in that the responses made by subjects are within a two-facet crossed design of elements by constructs in repertory grid terminology or concepts by scales in the semantic differential. In both techniques interest has ‘asymmetrically’ focused on the construct/scale facet. Data is presented to show there is an asymmetry in variation accounted for, with the element/concept facet accounting for the greater variation in a range of settings. Turning to a within facet perspective, analyses have been dominated by approaches based on symmetric associations (eg component analysis of correlations among scales or distances between elements), although it can be shown that asymmetric relations (which accord with Kelly’s theory) can also be identified in these data.