To attain a bird’s eye view of the dialogical self, we propose analyzing clients’ Personal Position Repertoires by creating a bi-plot of the factors underlying their internal and external positions. A bi-plot produces a clear and comprehensible visual map of the relations between all the meaningful internal and external positions within the self, so that clusters and dominant patterns can be easily observed and analyzed. This method can be used by researchers to study general deep structures of the self, and by practitioners to increase collaboration with participants and facilitate change and growth. There are multiple bi-plots technologies available today. However, the simplest approach psychologists can take is to perform a standard Principal Component Analysis (PCA). To obtain a bi-plot, one performs a PCA once on the external positions and once on the internal positions (by transposing the input matrix data). In both PCAs the number of components is restricted to two. Next, one plots a scatter of the two PCAs on the same plane, where results of the first components are projected to the X-axis and those of the second components to the Y-axis. To demonstrate the method, a bi-plot of the PPR data published by Hermans (2001) is analyzed. This analysis is consistent with recent views of motivation, which postulate two pairs of conflicting basic human needs: security versus self-actualization and competition versus cooperation. One can also observe the client’s unique relational formation of internal and external representations that reflect these four basic needs. Need theories and value theories are discussed as possible dimensions that facilitate the analysis of the global visual maps of the dialogical self.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Hubert Hermans, who encouraged us to pursue this project; Rolf van Geel, for insightful comments on an earlier version of this article; and Amichai Solow, for assistance with the graphics. This research was supported by a grant from the Reccanti Fund at the School of Business Administration and an ARI contract # DASW01-04-K-0001 to the first author. The views, opinions, and findings in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy, or decision. An earlier version of this article was presented at the fourth International Conference on the Dialogical Self (June 2006) in Braga, Portugal.