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On the Relation Between Subjective Importance and Elicitation Order of Constructs

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The subjective importance of constructs elicited with the repertory grid technique (RGT) has been conjectured to depend on elicitation order. Constructs elicited early in an interview are assumed to be subjectively more important than later ones. For the RGT, this conjecture is based on only one empirical study with a small sample size using person role titles as elements. This study has not been replicated or tested for other domains. The research for other elicitation techniques shows that the conjecture does not always hold true for nonperson domains. To assess if the order importance relation can be replicated for person and nonperson domains, we conducted two RGT studies with different designs (German study, triadic, nonperson elements, N = 60; Spanish study, dyadic, person elements, N = 61). Construct importance was assessed using importance rankings and ratings. We found no relation between the order of elicitation and importance for the nonperson elements and only a small significant relation using persons as elements. The results indicate that the conjecture should be treated with caution, as it may be weaker than previously assumed for the personal domain and not generalizable to other domains.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Psychology and Transfer (InPuT), Methods and Evaluation Department, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany 2: Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatments, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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