Similarities Among People

Although Kelly's second supporting corollary assumes that people are different from each other, his commonality corollary assumes similarities among people. His slightly revised commonality corollary reads: "To the extent that one person employs a construction of experience which is similar to that employed by another, [that person sj processes are psychologically similar to those of the other person " (Kelly, 1970, p. 20).

Two people need not experience the same event or even similar events for their processes to be psychologically similar; they must merely construe their experiences hi a similar fashion. Because people actively construe events by asking questions, forming hypotheses, drawing conclusions, and then asking more questions, different people with widely different experiences may construe events in very similar ways. For example, two people might arrive at similar political views although they come from disparate backgrounds. One may have come from a wealthy family, having lived a life of leisure and contemplation, while the other may have survived a destitute childhood struggling constantly for survival. Yet both adopt a liberal political view.

Although people of different backgrounds can have similar constructs, people with similar experiences are more likely to construe events along similar lines. Within a given social group, people may employ similar constructions, but it is always the individual, never society, who construes events. This is similar to Albert Bandura's notion of collective efficacy: It is the individual, not society, who lias varying levels high or low collective efficacy (see Chapter 16). Kelly also assumes that no two people ever hiterpret experiences exactly the same. Americans may have a similar construction of democracy, but no two Americans see it hi identical terms.

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