An additional thought on Rick Thread

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.05.07.2243) ]

Purpose: An important insight into my ongoing dialogue with Rick and
hopefully some clarification.

Rick believes it is all over except for empirical testing. I believe
empirical testing to be the _beginning_ :-), not the end. This has been an
endless source of irratation to both of us. As a theoritcian Rick
justifiably believes the basic theoretical work has been done. I do not
disagree with this notion. I simply believe the "real" work on the theory
comes with empirical testing. Physics is a prime example. How did Physisists
come to the theory of Quantum mechanics? I don't think it came about by "the
Thinker" :-). I hope empirical testing will help inform the theory and vise
versa. I don't think Bill thinks the theoretical model will go without any
revision because of the empirical testing. Has this helped?

Marc

[From Rick Marken (2003.05.08.0900)]

Marc Abrams (2003.05.07.2243)

Rick believes it is all over except for empirical testing. I believe
empirical testing to be the _beginning_ :-), not the end.

I'm sure you don't mean it this way but I find this very insulting. If I thought
it were "over except for empirical testing" I wouldn't be doing the empirical
testing. I do the empirical testing because I think that's the only reasonable
basis for making changes to the model if those are necessary. I believe empirical
testing is part of a process; it's not the beginning or the end but part of a
continuous effort to hone the model into the best shape possible. It's also a lot
of fun.

As a theoritcian Rick
justifiably believes the basic theoretical work has been done.

I am far less a theoretician that a researcher. A theoretician is someone who
invents theories. Bill Powers is the theoretician (a far more prestigious position
than researcher) though he is also a great researcher and practical applications
type as well.

I simply believe the "real" work on the theory
comes with empirical testing.

Was there something about the papers in _Mind Readings_ and _More Mind Readings_
that gave you the impression that I thought more of theory than of empirical
testing of the theory?

I hope empirical testing will help inform the theory and vise
versa. I don't think Bill thinks the theoretical model will go without any
revision because of the empirical testing. Has this helped?

Well, actually it has confused me a bit. I could have written this last paragraph
(though I would have said "vice versa" rather than "vise versa";-). Obviously, I
hope that "empirical testing will help inform the theory and vice versa". If I
didn't, why in the world would I have done all that empirical testing? I'm
confused by this post because I don't know whether you think my I have done too
much or too little empirical testing of PCT.

Best regards

Rick

ยทยทยท

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.05.09.0831) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.05.08.0900)]

I'm sure you don't mean it this way but I find this very insulting.

I'm sorry. I certainly did not intend that. I stand corrected on the
theoretician/researcher point.

I simply meant to say that my interest lies in the empirical testing of
phenomena vies a vies the model.

Marc