A theory of social action: why personal construct theory needs a superpattern corollary

Mark Balnaves, Peter Caputi, Lindsay Oades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Kelly's Commonality and Sociality corollaries deal with shared meanings. In this article, the authors revisit Kelly's early work on superpatterns to demonstrate the relationship between superpatterns and the concept of corporate construing (Balnaves & Caputi, 1993) as a way of extending the Commonality and Sociality corollaries. The authors argue that corporate construing is joint action. Constructs in such an action originate from corporate, not personal, agents. Corporate agency entails anticipation in joint action of the mode of representation of everyone else (sensus communis), justification of the joint action (reasons as good reasons), recognition that a personal action is corporate (the same) within a style of reasoning (a system of specialized techniques or corporate constructs). It is not the individual patterns of personal constructs, or an individual's interpretations of his or her own actions, that is relevant in an explanation of personal actions. It is an understanding of the genre, the overall template, the superpattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Constructivist Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2000

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