Adaptation to Experience

Arlene's flexibility illustrates Kelly's modulation corollary. "The variation in a person's construction system is limited by the permeability of the constructs within M'hose range of convenience the variants lie " (Kelly, 1955, p. 77). This corollary follows from and expands the experience corollary. It assumes that the extent to which people revise their constructs is related to the degree of permeability of their existing constructs. A construct is permeable if new elements can be added to it. Impermeable or concrete constructs do not admit new elements. If a man believes that women are mferior to men, then contradictory evidence will not find its way into his range of convenience. Instead he will attribute the achievements of women to luck or unfair social advantage. A change in events means a change in constructs only if those constructs are permeable.

Arlene's personal construct of independence versus dependence was sufficiently permeable to take hi new elements. When, without parental consultation, she made the decision to buy a used car, the construct of maturity versus childishness penetrated independence versus dependence and added a new flavor to it. Previously, the two constructs had been separated and Arlene's notion of independence was limited to the idea of dohig as she chose, whereas dependence was associated with parental domination. Now she construed independence as meaning mature responsibility and dependence as signifying a childish leaning on parents. In such a maimer, all people modulate or adjust their personal constructs.

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