The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS), together with the UPOU Alumni Foundation, Inc. (UPOUAFI), held a Special Masterclass, featuring the topic “Understanding Personal Construct Theory.” Dr. Antonio G. Moran, a retired Associate Professor and former Dean from the University of the Philippines Mindanao, served as thought leader. The event was held on 25 June 2019 at the Oblation Hall, UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna.
During the masterclass, Dr. Moran explained Personal Construct Theory (PCT) through the psychology lens. He expounded on how the psychology of worldviews, the future, and the concepts of “you” and “me” vary from one person to another.
Using wit and humor, Professor Moran narrated his journey towards discovering PCT. He explained the concept of “people as a scientist,” that humans predict what would happen by associating an effect to a certain cause. Through a live example from the session participants, he demonstrated that an individual’s description of reality is personal, and thus putative. He pointed out how the Big 5 of Personality traits, i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (OCEAN), are used to determine the individuality and commonality among people. Dr. Moran showed images to the members of the audience and asked them what they see, to which varying responses were given. This led the Professor to confirm the proposition of PCT that “People look or construct their worldviews differently.” He asserted that “we make conclusions based on a few observations…[and] all it takes is a little creativity to look at things in a new way...”
Dr. Moran said that people who have fewer and firmer worldviews such as those with intact friends, single academic field, and one religion tend to live a simpler and more focused life. On the contrary, those who are considering so many worldviews and ideas are prone to be confused regarding what to believe in and are paralyzed concerning what decisions to take in life. In closing , Dr. Moran invited the audience to create constructs with him via social media connection.
Dr. Moran has a PhD in Sociology from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He had written a number of papers on the said theory in relation to culture-bound syndrome and fertility control. Professor Moran had assumed key positions in UP Mindanao such as Director for Research; Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Science; and Chair of the Department of Social Science. Prior to his transfer to UP Mindanao, Dr. Moran had taught social science research and journalism courses at the College of Development Communication UP Los Baños. He now serves as an adjunct professor at UPOU under the Doctor of Communication program. (ECruz)