chapter  1
18 Pages

The Constructs in People’s Heads

ByDouglas N. Jackson

In this chapter I describe how one can employ the conceptions of personality that exist in ordinary people to further the process of construct validation in personality. I illustrate how Sam Messick strongly influenced me in the development of my thinking about constructs and construct validation by introducing me to the quantitative analysis of judgments of psychological similarity. Messick convinced me that multidimensional scaling, regarded by some as an arcane method for evaluating psychophysical judgments, had the potential to permit the representation of the constructs o f ordinary people as projections on dimensions in a geometric space. This in turn provided an orderly, rigorous way of measuring and thinking about people’s constructions of important entities in their psychological world.