The Experience Corollary

Constructs can change. The Experience Corollary is Kelly's (1955, p. 72) statement of a developmental principle. It says:

A person's construction system varies as he successively construes the replications of events.

Briefly, people change with experience. The directions of this change vaiy individually and can be understood from the other corollaries, to be explained below (including elaboration of constructs, constriction, and slot movement). Perhaps Kelly's theory is as interesting for what he does not say about change. Some theorists have proposed universal stages of development (e.g., Freud and Erikson); Kelly does not. Unlike stage theorists, Kelly does not propose that development must occur in a fixed sequence or toward a particular direction (Vaughn & Pfenninger, 1994). Nor does he emphasize the role of the environment in producing change. Nonetheless, personal construct theory as proposed by Kelly and expanded by others does describe development, particularly in adulthood as people use and revise their personal constructs (Berzonsky, 1992; Viney, 1992).

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