A Passion for Theory

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 19–20. Reviews the book, New Perspectives in Personal Construct Theory edited by D. Bannister (1977). Two especially cogent points are made in this book. One is that the critics of Kelly make the un-Kellian mistake of reifying emotions, of assuming that emotions have a transcendant existence that must be dealt with. A second point is that a distinction may be made between the nature of a theory and the nature of the experience with which it deals. Bannister seems quite right in insisting that the fact that Kelly never formulated constructs of an affective nature does not mean that his theory cannot deal with the experiences that some other theorists might label as affective. One of the disappointments about the essays is the virtual absence of empirical data, or at least data obtained in methodologically rigorous ways. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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