1.0/To Use PCT to Develop PCT

START: [From Hank Folson (2000.01.16.2200)]

This post launches an intentional application of the premises of PCT for
some of the CSGnet communications.

This new set of threads is intended:
1. To create an evolving PCT tutorial within CSGnet. Newcomers will find
themselves involved in how PCT can help them control their variables in
ways that other psychologies cannot do. Hopefully seeing what they can do
with PCT will sidestep the common situation of simply arguing over which
theory is better. CSGnet can offer a working example of the power of PCT.

2. To help those already studying PCT and doing research to leave their
ways behind as they develop PCT.

3. To help make the development of PCT a fast and focused process, as
efficient as creative research can be. The focus will come from
experiencing personally how much more effective communication becomes
you have a working understanding of how people function. You can't do
research in psychology without talking with somebody! Efficiency will
from a better understanding of what is important, what directions make
theoretical and practical sense.



PCT is an elegant theory, but learning the basics and the subtleties does
require a lot of study. Then, internalizing PCT and applying it in every
day living (purposeful controlling) is made difficult because we have
our whole lives believing we are something other than living control
systems in a culture that inundates us with flawed theories and
We're still control systems and so we muddle through.

Indeed, we often lose sight of a basic premise of PCT: People are
to control variables that are important or of interest to them. But there
is no requirement that a person "get it right" the first time he or she
attempts to control a variable, or any time thereafter for that matter.

Whether the first control effort produces results that are good, bad, or
indifferent, our control systems just perceive and compare the perceptual
signals with the corresponding reference signals, creating error signals
that cause output or action -- and off we go around the control loops
we perceive the world we want to perceive. It is in recognition of this
power of PCT that I am starting this project off in a very crude and
unpolished fashion. I am confident that there are enough people on CSGnet
who will see this sort of project as something that fits some higher
reference levels, and that they will make contributions.

Sociologists on CSGnet have noted that when people share common goals,
can control complex variables without specific direction being provided.
We'll see....

Interest has been expressed on CSGnet in applying PCT to all levels of
education, psychology, business, sociology, etc. Eventually, we'll get
there. But these areas are but narrow specialties. The common thread
through all of them is the presence of interacting living control
Bill Powers' theory works for _all_ living control systems. People all
function the same whether they are teaching or being taught, counseling
being counseled, running a business or working for one. The general
application of PCT should take us most of the way to full understanding
effectiveness in our specific areas of interest.

So here is the start of an interesting and challenging time for PCT. By
design, there will be no leader. We all know that everyone controls his
her own perceptions. I am taking the initiative to launch this PCT-based
format, but I don't expect to inject myself or to attempt to coordinate
threads as they evolve unless I see a compelling need to do so, and then
only as a last resort. Remember that negative feedback is the good kind
;-), check your reference levels and all that other PCT stuff.

The ground rules are few but strict, all based on PCT:
1. You have to have a PCT related reason for everything. [By definition.]
2. The reasons must be stated so everyone can understand the logic. [To
suit the purpose.]
3. No comparisons with other psychologies are allowed. [We're studying
here on its own merits.]
4. Anecdotes and examples should be limited to a minimum. [If what we are
doing is theory based, we won't need these crutches.] (I suspect this
will cause the most difficulties.)
5. Errors and failures are to be reduced or corrected. [Our purpose is to
achieve something, not just to talk and blame.]
6. Conflicts are to be resolved using the premises of PCT. Some conflicts
require the Method Of Levels (MOL). [By definition.]
7. The success of the project is more important than taking individual
credit. [Highest level goal.]

The first project is:

2.0/To Apply PCT to CSGnet Communications

A post follows to get us started. I am not going to say more for now, as
have faith in the theory, and I know there are some sharp PCTers on
I also tend to be foolhardy. :wink:

What I am proposing is analogous to a group of individuals starting to
construct a condominium complex before the plans are finished, with
everyone living in the complex from the earliest stages of construction.
Cultural common sense predicts a certain disaster. If PCT is correct it
will be
difficult but possible. All that is theoretically required is to keep the
purpose in mind, and the controlling activities ('behaviors') will
tend towards the goal.

Yours sincerely,
Henry James (Hank) Folson

Henry James Bicycles, Inc. 704 ELVIRA AVE. REDONDO BEACH CA 90277
Phone: 310-540-1552 Fax: 310-316-8202 Web Site: www.henryjames.com