An Exercise devised by Jerald Forster


The purpose of this exercise is to elicit positive personal constructs that you use to differentiate some of your personal acquaintances from other acquaintances. This exercise is a crude variation of The Repertory Test, first published by George Kelly in 1955.


Step 1: Select 8 acquaintances that you admire and appreciate.  These people will make up your A Group.    Try to select people who are somewhat like you. Try not to select acquaintances that have qualities you wish you had, but you know you will never have.


1.                                                                                                                                                                                        2.


3.                                                                                       4.


5.                                                                                      6.


7.                                                                                      8.


Step 2: Select 4 acquaintances that are people you know who are just regular people who you do not especially admire, nor appreciate, but you don’t dislike them either.

These people are in your B Group.


9.                                                                                    10.


11.                                                                                  12.



Step 3: Select 2 people from your A Group and one from your B Group. Think of some positive personal quality that characterizes two of the three people being considered, but does not characterize the third person.  We will call that word or short description a personal construct for differentiating among the 3 people you have considered.  Write that word or phrase on the line following Construct # 1. 


Construct # 1:  _________________________________________________


Pick two different people from Group A and one from Group B, and articulate a different positive Personal Construct for differentiating among those 3 people. That will be your 2nd Personal Construct.


Construct # 2:  __________________________________________________


Continue to select a pair of people from Group A that you have not yet used together, and differentiate them from a person from Group B, by using a different  positive construct you have not yet used.  That will be your 3rd Construct.


Construct # 3.  ____________________________________________________    


 Continue the process of eliciting new positive constructs, by comparing and contrasting new combinations of 2 people from Group A and 1 person from Group B.  Continue this process until you have at least 9 Constructs listed on the lines shown below:


Construct # 4: ______________________________________________________


Construct # 5: ______________________________________________________


Construct # 6: ______________________________________________________


Construct # 7: ______________________________________________________


Construct # 8: ______________________________________________________


Construct # 9: ______________________________________________________



Step 4: Consider these 9 Positive Personal Constructs as potential strengths that you might use to describe some of your positive qualities.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _


Examples of Strengths taken from the AST. These constructs could have been elicited by people who used a process like the one suggested above:


Athletic, Resourceful, Adaptable, Motivated to Achieve, Organized, Initiator, Analytical, Managing, Altruistic, Playful, Ethical, Leader, Communicator, Competitive, Caring, Considerate, Broad perspective, Brave, Observant, Hopeful, Careful, Imaginative, Practical, Sensitive, Mentoring, Strong faith, Organized, Appreciative of beauty, Persistent, Disciplined, Authentic, Empathic, Evenhanded, Focused, Goal-Oriented, Curiosity, Socially responsible, Thinks ahead, Articulate, Cooperative, Tolerant, Creative, Kind, Grateful, Trustworthy, Aware of feelings, Honest, Artistic, Sees patterns, Brings people together, Sympathetic, Hospitable, Inquisitive, Cheerful, Intellectual, Self-controlled, Introspective, Follows through, Intelligent, Zestful, Lifetime learner, Inventive, Thrifty, Researching, Charismatic, Efficient, Fair, Open minded, Optimistic, Responsible, Problem solver, Intuitive, Self-confident, Intense, Friendly, Wisdom, Enthusiastic, Balanced, Prudent, Energetic, Generous, Responsible, Even tempered, Enjoys people, Witty, Courageous, Original, Diplomatic, Loyal, Skilled negotiator, Mechanical, Persuasive, Planner, Coordinating, Foresight, Critical thinker, Humility, Spiritual, Musical, Technical, Spatial, Computing.


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