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Running head: CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

Conceptualization of Ronald Bilius "Ron" Weasley


Joshua Gonsher
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

Conceptualization of Ronald Bilius "Ron" Weasley


Background and Clinical and Diagnostic Impressions
Ronald Bilius Weasley is a fictional supporting character in the Harry Potter books and
films. He is Harry Potter's best friend and eventually marries Hermione Granger, Harry's other
friend and another supporting character. Over the course of seven books, these three encounter
several obstacles, engage in various quests, and undergo arduous journeys despite falling prey to
insidious psychopathologies.
Ron is a stereotypical sidekick and a foil to Harry's personality. While Harry is a rich
orphan living with an uncle, aunt, and cousin who cannot stand him, Ron is a younger member of
a large, loving, poor family. Harrythe namesake of the heptalogyis obviously the focus,
rarely ever having to share the limelight, and Ron becomes jealous of this fame. Harry exhibits
courage more often than not, but Ron only demonstrates his bravery in a couple of instances.
Harry is reluctant to fulfill his role as the "chosen one" who can defeat the worst and most
powerful wizard of their day and age, and he almost always looks for a way out though no one
else can fill his shoes. It is certainly curious why J. K. Rowling, the bestselling author of the
series, chose to showcase a character with such blatant personality disorder traits and mental
illnesses. Perhaps it was to show that heroes do not always need to fit the archetype exactly or
are not necessarily born; perhaps Rowling wished to declare that heroes can be made.
Regardless of the main protagonist's issues, according to the DSM-5, Ron Weasley, the
protagonist's friend would be diagnosed with 300.29: Specific Phobia, Animal Subtype. Ron has
anxiety and a "persistent fear" when speaking of, thinking about, and encountering spiders. It is
usually not proportional to the threat or danger they present though Ron attempts to avoid them,
which results in interference in his school and social arenas. Clinicians may consider that he has

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

mild social phobia, as Ron is often uncomfortable in social situations. He does not cast spells
effectively, does not do homework completely, cannot play sports elegantly, and has no serious
romantic interests. However, he does not actively avoid public situations. He merely shows up to
the event and acts miserably throughout its duration, so this can be ruled out. Further, the social
embarrassment may be better accounted for because of the Weasley socioeconomic status. Ron
wears hand-me-down robes, uses hand-me-down wands, and has a hand-me-down familiar, so it
is with great trepidation when he performs publicly. He is constantly worried that others are
judging or will judge him based on his financial status, but he does not give up; no DSM-5 code
exists to label fear of being embarrassed because of monetary issues. Therefore, since the anxiety
or phobic avoidance associated with spiders is not better accounted for by another mental
disorder, clinicians will label his disorder as a specific phobia.
Since Ron does have arachnophobia, he may be likely to turn down a job opportunity if it
involves spiders or the opportunity to encounter one. If left untreated, individuals like Ron are
more likely to develop other mental and/or medical disorders. Further, people with phobias have
a lower quality of life.
According to Kelly, our understanding, actions, and beliefs are all dependent on what we
anticipate or predict will happen. People look at their worlds through patterns they create and
then try to fit over the realities that make up the world. However, the fit is not always perfect,
which is what leads to mental illness. What follows is a conceptualization of Ron Weasley
through Kelly's corollaries.
Cognitive Conceptualization
Construction Corollary

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

Since an event will never really repeat itself perfectly, to predict the future, Ron must
construct something that allows him to look at two or more as though they were similar. Ron
builds models that he thinks can and will be repeated in his world, thereby allowing him to
expect them to occur. He has built these models on how he has viewed outside events; since he
perceived spiders as dangerous, any potential interaction with one will be feared.
Organization Corollary
Constructs may lead to discordant predictions, so Ron tries to find ways of transcending
these contradictions. He does not resolve all inconsistencies, and those that are not bring him
indecisiveness and cause him to shuttle between alternative expectations of what the future may
bring him. Spiders, he knows, are beneficial to the ecosystem; however, he does not know if they
will bite him or bring help to the world.
Experience Corollary
Depending on Ron's experiences, he changes his constructs to bring greater harmony to
his internal map. Ron clearly formed a hypothesis about spiders early on (His brothers changed
his teddy bear into a spider when he was three) and has not effectively amended it; every
interaction with a spider is therefore a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Choice Corollary
Ron chooses the models that he adds to his reality map, and he selects those that let the
map grow and become more accurate. However, he chooses those that allow his map to more
inaccurately portray spiders.
Dichotomy Corollary

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

Kelly believed that there was no midpoint in a spectrum for constructs; people believed in
an either/or mentality. Ron cannot believe that some spiders are poisonous. Instead, he feels that
all spiders are evil.
Individuality Corollary
This corollary, much like others, experiences much overlap with the others. This could be
the most basic idea, but it basically means that since everyone is different, everyone interprets
events differently. Ron, as mentioned earlier, has had unique, individual experiences, so he
interprets a spider crawling on his leg much differently than other people might.
Range Corollary
Ron's constructs can ideally apply to many scenarios or people or may even be limited to
one person or situation. At first glance, it appears that Ron's models are very narrow and only
apply to very specific situations.
Modulation Corollary
Ron should be modifying his constructs as a result of new events he experiences;
however, he does not and simply uses old, unchanged constructs to deal with new information.
Fragmentation Corollary
Ron, like all other humans, has contradictory and inconsistent constructs within his
overall construct system that are incompatible with each other. However, his are more
pronounced. For example, people might move from love to jealousy and then to hatred though
these feelings might not be logical jumps from jealousy. Ron often moves from fear to hatred to
sadness though they are not necessarily compatible or the steps of a rational progression.
Commonality Corollary

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

This states that people are not necessarily similar though they have behave the same way
or because they have had similar experiences. Individuals do frequently act the same way as
others, but they may do so for very different reasons. Further, links exist between people's
experiences and how similar they are, but they are not directly related in a one-to-one ratio.
People see experiences differently, and it is how they understand these experiences in similar
ways that makes them similar. Ron perceives the same spider Harry does as something
completely different, as clinical patients see the same experience very differently from those who
are outside the psychiatric ward do.
Sociality Corollary
If an individual accurately sees how another views the world and can imagine his part in
it, the first individual can interact with the second in a social context. Ron does this in an
unconstructive way, devising a role for himself but involving others inappropriately. Each person
interprets these social rules differently, and as there is no rulebook to life, Ron, therefore,
interacts with fewer people and struggles to be very accurate in how he interprets how they see
the world. This could be a way of growing out of his phobia, as others might not experience a
spider in the same fearful way he does.
Affective Conceptualization
Ron experiences a variety of emotions when in the grips of his specific phobia, most
notably fear. However, this phobic response is not typical; most individuals who encounter
arachnids do not run screaming or seize up in autonomic-nervous-system paralysis. Fear is a
healthy, protective emotion, but if it prevents daily activities, it should be dealt with.

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

Ron also feels sadness, and this author believes it is due to a real or imagined loss. Much
of fear and sadness can be resolved if the individual experiencing it were to confront the loss
head on and grieve it completely. He is truly in fear for his life and would be sad if he died.
Furthermore, Ron feels anger at being tricked by his brothers when he was three, and
perhaps every encounter with spiders, real or imagined, reminds him of that past betrayal. This
author also believes that incurred losses result in sadness but then can quickly progress to anger
and then to depression. Perceived losses are where the individual gets anxiety and fear.
Surprise and disgust are the two final emotions Ron experiences when spiders cross his
path. He may feel sickened by their physical structure and the fact that they have too many legs
to be comforting. He may be surprised to see one enter his field of vision since they often appear
quickly and without warning. These two emotions are helpful in that they will prevent would-be
attackers from wreaking guaranteed havoc, but they are maladaptive here since they intrude on
Ron's well-being and activities of daily life.

CONCEPTUALIZATION OF RON WEASLEY

References
Kelly, G. A. (1963). A theory of personality: The psychology of personal constructs. New York,
NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.