Most cognitive theory psychologists acknowledge that an individual’s surroundings influence their, which dictates their behavior. Conversely, as Cherry (2020) elucidates, George Kelly’s perspective is different. According to Kelly, a person’s insight of reality has a strong relation with how they think, analyze, and interpret a given situation given certain circumstances. It is from these personal constructs that people portray specific behavior.
Kelly describes life as a continuous process. Cherry (2020) explains how individuals have diverse tastes and preferences when dealing with difficult situations. Kelly’s constructs explain the patterns that we constantly create in our minds as we struggle to fit in the world. Most of the time, our constructs are parallel with reality (Cherry, 2020). Consequently, as human beings, we seek to modify these situations and widen our hypotheses’ range. Eventually, after testing our hypothesis, we can forecast the events that are likely to occur in our lives.
Kelly established four common elements in the human disturbance that influence human behavior. The elements include threat, anxiety, fear, and guilt. Threat is perceived as an emotional awareness that comprehensive change might occur in one’s basic structures or formality. Threat creates discomfort coupled with panic and a sense of anxiety (Kelland, 2020). While threat is a comprehensive construct, Kelly views fear as a new incidental construct that seems to take over, creating concern with one’s inner self.
On the other hand, guilt is seen as the outcome of dislodging one’s inner role, only to find out that you are different from whom you thought you are. Guilt feelings arise when an individual terminates or becomes incompatible with their core role structure that had been previously invented. Lastly, anxiety is the recognition that a person cannot adequately cope with a given situation. Kelland (2020) shows how the victim cannot predict a given situation, neither can they forecast the likelihood of events. In extreme conditions, anxiety can result in chronic behavior that may lead to an insalubrious strategy.
When it comes to the Scripture, each of the above constructs is mentioned in the Bible. Biblically, these constructs have both positive and negative influences depending on the condition and the situation in which they are applied. In (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Psalm 16:8), the scripture warns the people against feelings of insecurity or threat and urges humans to have confidence in God’s Word. Rather than feeling threatened, God wants us to be confident and feel safe and secure in him. The word continues to encourage people that the Lord who began the good work in them will carry it on to completion (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Philippians1:6).
The Bible gives loads of explanations about fear and anxiety, indicating that we should be concerned with our instincts. (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Joshua 1:9) urges us to be bold and strong since God is always watching over us and guards us wherever we go. From the Bible, guilt is normal to all human beings. Whenever guilt catches up, people are encouraged to pray and seek forgiveness before Christ. The scripture enlightens that guilt takes away a person’s peace and happiness. However, whenever we confess all our sins and seek forgiveness with a sincere heart, God forgives us. Forgiveness ends guilt and settles our minds. (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Psalm 32:1-5).
Cherry, K. (2020). Personal Construct Theory Overview. Very well mind. Retrieved, March 10, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-personal-construct-theory-2795957
Kelland, M. D. (2020, August 16). Personal Construct Theory. Libretexts. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://socialsci.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Psychology/Book%3A_Personality_Theory_in_a_Cultural_Context_(Kelland)/19%3A_Cognitive_Perspectives_on_Personality_Development/19.02%3A_Personal_Construct_Theory
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)