Reverse Golden Section Article Published

New article published:

Raskin, J. D., & Brett, B. L. (2014). Does the reverse golden section hold? Journal of Constructivist Psychology27(2), 137-146. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2014.879522


Recent research has found support for a reverse golden section hypothesis, whereby people rate stigmatized identities negatively 61.8% of the time and positively 38.2% of the time. Two golden section studies were undertaken. The first replicated a previous study in which a reverse golden section pattern was found for people rating homeless and mental patient identities. The second investigated whether the reverse golden section pattern held when mental health practitioners and trainees rated these same identities. The first study confirmed use of a reverse golden section pattern by nonprofessionals in rating homeless and mental patient identities, whereas the second study found that mental health practitioners and trainees did not use such a pattern.

Personal Construct Psychology, Radical Constructivism, and Social Constructionism: A Dialogue

New article published:

Efran, J. S., McNamee, S., Warren, B., & Raskin, J. D. (2014). Personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism: A dialogueJournal of Constructivist Psychology, 27(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2014.850367


This article presents a dialogue about personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism. The dialogue is based on a symposium conducted in July 2011 at the 19th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology. Jay Efran, Sheila McNamee, and Bill Warren were the participants, with Jonathan Raskin as moderator. The dialogue addresses points of contact and divergence across these three theories, how these theories deal with the issue of relativism, and how theorists from these three perspectives might best “go on” together.


Plenary Address at Personal Construct Congress

I will be giving a plenary address at the 20th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology in Sydney, Australia. The title of the address is “Beyond Relativism and ‘Anything Goes’: A PCP-based Constructivist Model of Ethical Meaning-Making.”


Critics say that constructivism embraces an “anything goes” ethics that permits any position. I disagree.  In my understanding of constructivism, ethics is unavoidable because people are always embedded in ethical perspectives that infuse everything they do. “Anything goes” is never an option, even if what goes varies by person. This talk is divided into three parts. First, I’ll distinguish three versions of constructivism and distinguish epistemological versus ontological modes of construing. Second, I’ll summarize and counter criticisms that portray constructivism as endorsing “anything goes” relativism. Third, I’ll outline a constructivist model of ethical meaning-making.


Thinking, Feeling, and “Being Human”

New article published:

Raskin, J. D. (2013). Thinking, feeling, and Being Human. Journal of Constructivist Psychology26(3), 181-186. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2013.787323



In his recent book, Being Human: Human Being, Rue Cromwell introduced valence tags into the lexicon of personal construct psychology. Doing so has interesting implications for the distinction between cognition and emotion. The personal construct psychology position, which challenges the division of experience into thinking and feeling, is noted. Three questions are posed for Cromwell’s consideration. What is the relationship between valence tags and constructs? Is the thinking–feeling distinction worth retaining? How should emotion be defined?