Social Processes

"People belong to the same cultural group, not merely because they behave alike, nor because they expect the same things of others, but especially because they construe then experience hi the same way" (Kelly, 1955, p. 94).

The final supporting corollary, the sociality corollary can be paraplnased to read as follows: To the extent that people accurately construe the belief system of others, they may play a role in a social process involving those other people.

People do not communicate with one another simply on the basis of common experiences or even similar constructions; they communicate because they construe the constructions of one another, hi interpersonal relations, they not only observe the behavior of the other person; they also interpret what that behavior means to that person. When Arlene was negotiating with the used-car dealer, she was aware not only of lhs words and actions but also their meanings. She realized that to him she was a potential buyer, someone who might provide him with a substantial commission. She construed Ms words as exaggerations and at the same time, realized that he con strued her indifference as an indication that she construed his motivations differently from her own.

All this seems rather complicated but Kelly was simply suggesting that people are actively involved in interpersonal relations and realize that they are part of the other persons construction system.

Kelly introduced the notion of role with his sociality corollary. A role refers to a pattern of behavior that results from a person's understanding of the constructs of others with whom that person is engaged hi a task. For example, when Arlene was negotiating with the used-car dealer, she construed her role as that of a potential buyer because she understood that that was his expectation of her. At other times and with other people, she construes her role as student, employee, daughter, girlfriend and so on.

Kelly construed roles from a psychological rather than a sociological perspective. One's role does not depend on one's place or position hi a social setthig but rather on how one hiterprets that role. Kelly also stressed the point that one's construction of a role need not be accurate in order for the person to play that role.

Arlene's roles as student, employee, and daughter would be considered peripheral roles. More central to her existence would be her core role. With our core role, we define ourselves in terms of who we really are. It gives us a sense of identity and provides us with guidelines for everyday living.

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