Classroom Applications

Idiogrid provides a host of possibilities for the classroom. Students can learn about repertory grids, questionnaire development, and differences in scaling techniques. They can also learn about themselves through a variety of self-reflection exercises that can be developed around Idiogrid. Most personality textbooks include a chapter on George A. Kelly and the repertory grid technique, and students can create and enter their own grids in Idiogrid to gain hands-on experience of the material covered in their textbooks.

Students can install Idiogrid on their own personal computers, or the program can be installed on a campus computer laboratory. Once installed, the instructor can prepare a hand-out with instructions on how to complete the assignment. The following three assignments have been used successfully at Oklahoma State University:

  1. Personality Trait Profiles. In this assignment students complete rating scales to assess their relative standing on eleven personality traits adopted from Tellegen's Multiple Personality system. Students also create a profile plot of their results and compare it to a plot of their ideal selves and their romantic partners. The Idiogrid MPQ_Setup.stp is used for this assignment. This assignment can easily be augmented to require the students to have their romantic partners complete the ratings. Their two grids can then be concatenated and compared in Idiogrid, or a number of procedures in Idiogrid can be used to compare the grids.
  2. Self-Characterization and Repertory Grid. In this assignment students use George Kelly's Self-Characterization method (1955) to describe themselves in the third person. They can follow the example of Ronald Barrett describe by Kelly. The students then complete and analyze a repertory grid by pulling constructs from their self-descriptions (here's the Idiogrid setup file, SketchGrid_Setup.stp, for the assignment). This is an effective project to show students the 'personal' in Personal Construct Theory and to introduce them to person-centered techniques in psychology. 
  3. Values Grid. What do you value? In this assignment students are asked to consider this question with regard to a list of values drawn from popular culture (here's the Idiogrid setup file, Values_Setup.stp). They are also asked to consider if other people they know personally hold similar values. In an interesting twist, they are also asked to consider how Jesus of Nazareth and the Devil would view the values. One interesting aspect of this exercise is that each student will routinely rate himself/herself positively (like Jesus) while rating his/her enemy negatively. If their enemies were given the same opportunity to rate them, what would we find in their enemy's grids?  Also, this grid serves as an excellent way to introduce the distinction between 'valuing' and 'doing'; in other words, our behaviors don't always match our values.

Instructors are welcome to download and modify any of the materials above, and both instructors and students are encouraged to send additional assignments to idiogrid]att[ Once received and reviewed, they will be posted here.

Additional online resources for teaching personality psychology can be found on Marianne Miserandino's Personality Pedagogy Wiki Website.