50 Ways to Leave Your PCT

[From Rick Marken (970928.0900)]

During my perennial musings about the lack of public interest
in the most important (and ennobling) scientific development
in the last 400 years (PCT of course) I realized that the answer
is really very simple. There are far more reasons for rejecting
than for accepting PCT. In fact, I could think of only one reason
for accepting PCT and here it is:

1. Because the correlation between the behavior of the PCT model
and the behavior of humans in a control task is .999.

Here are a few of the many reasons I could think of for not
accepting PCT:

1. There are no self-help best sellers based on PCT.

2. There are no famous psychologists who support PCT.

3. There are no famous scientists of any kind who support PCT.

4. PCT has been around since the mid- 50s and there have been
very few references to it in the behavioral and life science

5. PCT doesn't tell you the best way to live your life.

6. There are no PCT self-help tapes available in video stores.

7. There are no charismatic motivational speakers telling people
they can "have it all" if they would just control their perceptions.

8. PCT has _not_ been condemned by the Catholic Church nor has
B:CP been placed on the _Index_ (which was a real shot in the
arm for Copernicus;-))

9. PCT is not based on research where rats press bars to get food.
Therefore, it is clearly not relevant to real life.

10. PCT is not based on natural selection so it is either a
religious movement or not very important.

11. PCT can't quantitatively account for all the statistical
reserach results that are readily handled, verbally, by current
theories of behavior.

12. PCT supporters always argue against my favorite theory,
which is almost the same as PCT. PCT is so _negative_.

13. PCT is never mentioned on PBS specials about the brain.

14. PCT says that there is no such thing as reinforcement.

15. Modern neurophysiology has already shown that the brain is
a complex information processing device.

16. Control is bad.

17. That Marken fellow is a real asshole.

18. PCT is against everything.

19. Psychologists have been studying behavior for over 100 years.
They _must_ know what they are doing.

20. Who is this Powers guy anyway?

21. Where does some engineer from Podunk, Illinois get off
thinking he's found a fatal flaw in the life sciences.

22. There are tons of psychology books in the library written
by smart, famous people and advocates of PCT say "What's in
those books is all wrong. I'm afraid you'll have to start all
over again". Get real!

23. PCT can't be very deep becuase it is not based on any
"Golden Age" Greek dramas like "Oedipus" or "Elecktra".

24. PCT doesn't view language as anything special; it's just
another set of perceptions that people control. The non-
Chomskian nerve!

25. No one has gotten rich doing PCT.

26. PCT is too complex.

27. PCT is too simple.

28. PCT doesn't have anything to say about learning.

29. Parts of PCT are right but th etheory doesn't capture the most
important facts about human nature -- the ones captured by [insert
your favorite theory here].

Well, that's enough for now. I guess I'll spend the rest of the
day trying to become less cynical.




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net

[Hans Blom, 970929d]

(Rick Marken (970928.0900))

Great post, Rick!

5. PCT doesn't tell you the best way to live your life.

You're probably right that PCT has no utility ;-). Since PCT teaches
us that all that controllers are concerned with is the achievement of
their goals, what use is something without utility?

Now, on the other hand, if PCT could demonstrate that knowing it
would make the attainment of certain goals easier, it might have a
chance. In other words: are you serious?!