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Constructivism

 

Explanations > Theories > Constructivism

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

We try to make sense of the world by making use of constructs, which are perceptual categories that we use when evaluating things.

People who have many different and abstract constructs have greater flexibility in understanding the world and are cognitively complex, whilst others are cognitively simple. Cognitively complex people are better able to accept both complex and inconsistent messages. They also have a greater need to understand things and will question deeply anything that is new to them. However, once persuaded, they stay persuaded and are less likely to change their minds as their new constructs will support the argument.

Example

Some people have a construct about being fat that says fat people are lazy and greedy. Others may perceive it as a medical condition. 

So what?

Using it

Help cognitively complex people to build new constructs that support your argument. Do not bother with this detail for the cognitively simple.

Defending

Do not let others take charge when building new constructs.

See also

Schema

References

Delia and Crockett (1973), Clark and Delia (1976), Delia, O’Keefe and O’Keefe (1982)

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