Decentralized Unequivocality

Open Construct Definitions and instructions to support research and practice.

Check out the construct overview

In psychological science and its applications (e.g. the development of behavior change interventions), “constructs” play a crucial role in explaining and changing human behavior and psychology.

However, psychological constructs are often not unequivocally defined and are often not accompanied by clear instructions for using them. This resulted in problematic heterogeneity in measurement and widespread use of measurement instruments of questionable or even absent validity (see “Knowing What We’re Talking About: Facilitating Decentralized, Unequivocal Publication of and Reference to Psychological Construct Definitions and Instructions”).

To improve this, one way forward is to develop so-called Decentralized Construct Taxonomy specifications. These specify, for one construct at a time, the following things, each available in a separate overview:

A comprehensive and accurate definition:

Instructions to develop measurement instruments to conduct empirical research:

Instructions to code measurement instruments to conduct systematic reviews:

Instructions to elicit construct content to conduct qualitative research:

Instructions to code qualitative data as informative about construct content: (Psychological Construct Repository) has been developed as a fully Open repository that contains such Decentralized Construct Taxonomy specifications (DCT specifications), and offers a number of convenient overviews that make these specifications accessible to all students, researchers, and practitioners.

In addition to the overviews linked to in the list above, there is also an integrated overview available at, as well as dedicated pages for each construct that are linked to from each overview using the construct’s Unique Construct Identifier (UCID).

Contributing to decentralized unequivocality

Publish a DCT specification

To contribute a DCT specification, you can use the Constructor Shiny app. It submits the DCT specification to this Psychological Construct Repository (through its Git repository at the GitLab Git forge,


There is a loose, informal network of people who like to think about making construct definitions explicit: EXPLICATE (Exploring Learners Interested in Construct And Theory Explication; If you would like to join, please contact a core team member of the Sharing Opens Science Mattermost instance.

Set up a Psychological Construct Repository

This repository is open source. It’s a static site created a Quarto; you can clone it from and then adjust it to your needs.