New Ways to Answer Old Questions: An Introduction to Repertory Grids

Paper presented at the Niigata University General Education and Language Research Group

Niigata City, Japan

May 16, 1996



I.                     Introduction

A.      Most common tool for action research is the questionnaire.

B.      Potential weakness of this approach is an over-reliance on the teacher's frame of reference.

C.      Sometimes a research tool is needed that can:

1.       Avoid research bias,

2.       Allow subjects to communicate their viewpoint on a subject in their own words, without interference from the researcher,

3.       Be analyzed in a variety of ways that are understandable to outside observers.


II.                   Background of Repertory Grids

A.      Developed by George Kelly

B.      Personal Construct Psychology

1.       Constructs (bipolar)

2.       Elements

C.      Repertory Grid used to study a person's worldview in the form of bipolar constructs.

1.       Market Research

2.       Problem-solving/decision-making

3.       Educational Research

4.       Artificial Intelligence


III.                  The Repertory Grid Procedure (See Instructions)

A.      Important:  This is a demonstration of only one of the many variations of this technique.


IV.                Examples of Repertory Grid Analysis

A.      Statistical Analysis with Omnigrid

B.      Principal Components Analysis with Gridcor

C.      Action Research with 165 Japanese College Students (Concept Mapping)


V.                  Conclusion




Easterby-Smith, M. (1981).  The design, analysis and interpretation of repertory grids.  In Shaw, M.L.G. (Ed.). Recent Advances in Personal Construct Technology, pp 9-30.  London:  Academic Press.


Feixas, G. and Cornejo-Alvarez, J.M. (1996).  A Manual for the Repertory Grid:  Using GRIDCOR Programme (Version 2.0).  Barcelona:  Paidos.


Kelly, G.A. (1955).  The Psychology of Personal Constructs (Vols. 1 & 2).  New York:  Norton & Co.

Sewell, K.W., Mitterer, J.O., Adams-Webber, J., and Cromwell, R.L. (1991). 'OMNIGRID-PC: A new development in computerized repertory grids', in International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology. 4:175-192.