A description of the test from Runkel

THE-TEST.DOC

      PERCEPTUAL CONTROL THEORY RESEARCH: THE TEST (after Powers, 1979)*

       "1. Select a variable you think the person might be maintaining
           at some level. In other words, guess at an input quantity.

        2. Predict what will happen if the person is NOT maintaining
           the variable at a preferred level.

        3. Apply various amounts and directions of disturbances
           directly to the variable.

        4. Measure the actual effects of the disturbances.

        5. If the effects are what you predicted under the assumption
           that the person is NOT acting to control the variable,
           STOP HERE. The person is indeed not acting to control it;
           you guessed wrong about the variable.

        6. If an actual effect is markedly smaller that the predicted
           effect, look for what the person might be doing to oppose
           the disturbance. Look for a cause of the opposition to
           the disturbance which, by its own varying, can counterbalance
           variations in the input quantity. That cause may be caused
           by the person's output. You may have found the feedback
           function.

        7. Look for the way the person can sense the variable. If you
           can find no way the person could sense the variable, the
           input quantity, STOP. People cannot control what they
           cannot sense.

        8. If you find a means of sensing, block it so that the person
           cannot now sense the variable. If the disturbance continues
           to be opposed, you have not found the right sensor. If you
           cannot find a sensor, STOP. Make another guess at an input
           quantity.

        9. If all of the above steps are passed, you have found the
           input quantity, the variable the person is controlling (118).

                         .............................

        Predicting the direction of behavior people will exhibit - or in
        practical life, to predict the direction of behavior of a person
        you care about - requires being able to anticipate with some
        accuracy the internal standards the person will bring into play.
        THE TEST is a systematic quide to ferreting out internal
        standards. To learn the perceptual inputs an individual is
        maintaining, THE TEST, though sometimes lengthy, promises
        shorter searches and fewer wild-goose chases than the methods
        currently most in use by social scientists (118-119)."

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        *from Philip J. Runkel. 1990. CASTING NETS AND TESTING SPECIMENS.
         New York: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-93533-7 BF39.R78 1990