An Example

From [Marc Abrams (2005.02.10.0822)]

A very nice example to back up my last post would be the MOL (Method of Levels)

It seems to me that this is an effective way for some to help others, and for some to help themselves.

You DO NOT need to know PCT in order to either use it or benefit from it.

What connection does PCT have to the MOL beside the fact that both are somewhat hierarchical in nature? Is it the SAME hierarchy?

If NOT, how does PCT explain this? If so, how is this possible?

That is, what can PCT say about how these ‘levels’ work that would benefit anyone interested in using the MOL?

Perceptual input? Hardly. That it is a feedback and not a linear cause and effect process? Who cares, and what difference would it make to the user of the MOL anyway?

Do you see the dilemma? Do you see the problems involved?

In a nut shell; What are the implications of PCT on the MOL?

WITHOUT discussion, these issues cannot be resolved, that is of course unless Bill thinks he needs to go to Tibet and see the Dalai Lama on this one.

[From Bill Powers (2005.02.10.07376 MST)]

Marc Abrams (2005.02.10.0822)–

Marc, your hostile, disgusting, undisciplined, ignorant, megalomaniac
ranting is spoiling CSGnet for a great many people, and is contributing
nothing. It will put newcomers off and drive those who have been
tentatively interested away. This is a cease and desist letter and your
last chance to try to imitate a human being. I hope you just
leave.

Bill Powers

From [Marc Abrams (2005.02.10.1518)

In a message dated 2/10/2005 1:37:05 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, powers_w@FRONTIER.NET writes:

[From Bill Powers (2005.02.10.07376 MST)]

Marc Abrams (2005.02.10.0822)–

Marc, your hostile, disgusting, undisciplined, ignorant, megalomaniac ranting is spoiling CSGnet for a great many people, and is contributing nothing. It will put newcomers off and drive those who have been tentatively interested away. This is a cease and desist letter and your last chance to try to imitate a human being. I hope you just leave.

Bill Powers

You responded to this post;

It seems you have the same answers for this post as you do for all my others.

NONE.

The only thing that will ‘drive’ anyone away is the irrelevancy of PCT and YOUR ignorance and arrogance.

You think by NOT answering legit questions that people are going to ignore the huge holes in PCT. They won’t.

Don’t worry your little mind. I won’t be ‘dirtying’ your precious list any more.

You are a loser and will remain so.

ta, ta asshole. Oh by the way. the P stands for PRICK.

From [Marc Abrams (2005.02.10.0822)]

A very nice example to back up my last post would be the MOL (Method of Levels)

It seems to me that this is an effective way for some to help others, and for some to help themselves.

You DO NOT need to know PCT in order to either use it or benefit from it.

What connection does PCT have to the MOL beside the fact that both are somewhat hierarchical in nature? Is it the SAME hierarchy?

If NOT, how does PCT explain this? If so, how is this possible?

That is, what can PCT say about how these ‘levels’ work that would benefit anyone interested in using the MOL?

Perceptual input? Hardly. That it is a feedback and not a linear cause and effect process? Who cares, and what difference would it make to the user of the MOL anyway?

Do you see the dilemma? Do you see the problems involved?

In a nut shell; What are the implications of PCT on the MOL?

WITHOUT discussion, these issues cannot be resolved, that is of course unless Bill thinks he needs to go to Tibet and see the Dalai Lama on this one.

[From Fred Nickols (990722.1703 EDT)] --

Here's an example to chew on regarding reference conditions, etc...(or,
depending on your reference conditions, "Here's an example regarding
reference conditions, etc. on which to chew..." In case of severe
disturbance, insert your own text here...)...

Yesterday, one of the VPs at ETS asked if I would look over a paper that
was being circulated for the purpose of obtaining input to a critical
decision about one of our major testing programs.

This morning, I sat down and read the paper. As I read it, I highlighted
certain terms, phrases and headers that I considered important.

When I finished reading the paper, I jotted down some notes on the cover
page. These reflect what I see as the major shortcomings or inadequacies
of the paper.

One note referred to the absence of financial information. Another
indicated that the risk factors listed weren't really risks at all but more
in the vein of unpleasant aspects of the options being presented. A third
note observed that no contingencies were set forth for the recommended
option; there was no fall-back position or course of action. Millions and
millions of dollars hang on this decision; perhaps even the future of the
program itself.

As I started writing down this example, it occurred to me that I had given
the reading of the paper no prior thought in the sense of devising a schema
for reading and evaluating it; I simply read it and reacted. I would not
buy for a moment that I was carrying out some kind of encoded "read and
evaluate" routine stored in my short-term or long-term memory. But, by
virtue of hindsight, I think I can safely say that certain standards were
operating (e.g., the presence of financial data, a concept of risk and the
advisability of contingencie plans for critical actions). Whether these
standards constitute reference signals or not I cannot say.

Given that I engaged in activity, presumably I was encountering some
disturbances and, presumably, I was maintaining some kind of reference
condition. What were those disturbances? Why were they? Where were they?
What, if anything, does this example suggest about PCT applied to real
world behavior as Marc Abrams seems to want to focus on? As a one-time
radical behaviorist, I would have a devil of a time explaining this example
in terms of operant conditioning (except at a high level of abstraction and
generalization). I would swear on a stack of bibles that there is no
pre-organized-review-the-XXX-testing-program-proposal stored in either of
my supposed memories (short-term and long-term).

        A Quick Digression - What really solid evidence is there that our memory
can be neatly divided in two?

Comments anyone?

···

--
Regards,

Fred Nickols
Distance Consulting "Assistance at A Distance"
http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm
nickols@worldnet.att.net
(609) 490-0095

[From Bruce Gregory (990722.1830 EDT)]

Fred Nickols (990722.1703 EDT)

Given that I engaged in activity, presumably I was encountering some
disturbances and, presumably, I was maintaining some kind of reference
condition. What were those disturbances? Why were they? Where
were they?

You seem to be comparing what you read with a list of criteria you felt that
a document of this type should contain. Otherwise how would you notice
things were missing? Failure to observe what you wanted to see (your
reference levels) led to an error that you reduced by giving the report a
negative review.

What, if anything, does this example suggest about PCT applied to real
world behavior as Marc Abrams seems to want to focus on?

Seems like a straight forward exercise in control to me! Your references
were stored in long term memory and are probably the outcome of considerable
thought about what a "good" recommendation should look like.

my supposed memories (short-term and long-term).

        A Quick Digression - What really solid evidence is there
that our memory
can be neatly divided in two?

A good deal of evidence. Destruction of areas in the hippocampus leads to a
condition in which the individual seems perfectly normal and can function
quite normally but cannot remember having seen or interacted before with
people they encounter every day. They can learn new motor skills, but not
knew information. Oliver Sacks describes one case in _The Man Who Mistook
His Wife for a Hat_ if I recall. Whether or not this is a drawback depends
on your circumstances. At any rate there is an extensive literature you can
pursue if you are interested; I can give you references.

Bruce Gregory

from [ Marc Abrams (990722.1833)]

[From Fred Nickols (990722.1703 EDT)] --

Yesterday, one of the VPs at ETS asked if I would look over a paper that
was being circulated for the purpose of obtaining input to a critical
decision about one of our major testing programs.

Not trying to nit but the first thing I would want to know is what kind of
"input" is this gentlemen interested in. With regard to these programs, what
might he be controlling for? You need to think in terms of multiple CV's. I
am not suggesting a formal implementation of the Test. But a few well
focused questions wouldn't hurt/

This morning, I sat down and read the paper. As I read it, I highlighted
certain terms, phrases and headers that I considered important.

Yes, but would he? Does it matter what he thinks?

When I finished reading the paper, I jotted down some notes on the cover
page. These reflect what I see as the major shortcomings or inadequacies
of the paper.

Again, are these topics and areas of interest and concern to him?

One note referred to the absence of financial information. Another
indicated that the risk factors listed weren't really risks at all but

more

in the vein of unpleasant aspects of the options being presented.

Fred, think for a minute. Couldn't "unpleasent aspects of the options"
represent "risks" to the individual?

A third note observed that no contingencies were set forth for the

recommended

option; there was no fall-back position or course of action. Millions and
millions of dollars hang on this decision; perhaps even the future of the
program itself.

Why not? As puposeful beings there is a reason why these things were not
included. Are these people incompetent?, stupid?. If not, what are the
_real_ issues? What are the individuals involved here controlling for?
Again, an informal survey might provide you with some important insight. It
seems to me that you think everything is not as it seems or should be. I
think your suspicion is warranted. Big time disturbance.

Given that I engaged in activity, presumably I was encountering some
disturbances and, presumably, I was maintaining some kind of reference
condition. What were those disturbances? Why were they? Where were

they?

See the paragraphs above. To reiterate. I think you are controlling for
competence and the various aspects you believe encompass that "competence".
I also think that you think something is not kosher about this whole review
process.

What, if anything, does this example suggest about PCT applied to real
world behavior as Marc Abrams seems to want to focus on?

I don't know. My focus is not on "applying" PCT as much as it is on getting
a model that encompasses more typical kinds of behavior we might encounter
in the real world. Behaviors that utilize our use of memory. Your example is
an interesting one. Some ot the questions I would ask based upon my interest
in our use of memory and imagination might be;
a) to what extent are you dealing with what actually is, versus what you
might imagine it to be and at what Levels ( what aspects are being
affected ) is this taking place?
b) How much "contamination" ( filtering ) takes place as the perceptual
signal goes up the hierarchy ( or not ) as the case might be.
In your example there are probably at least a couple of dozen pretty high
level variables you are controlling for. An interesting but _very_ complex
situation to model. If we could narrow it down a bit ( quite a bit :slight_smile: )it
might prove to be an interesting exercise.

As a one-time
radical behaviorist, I would have a devil of a time explaining this

example

in terms of operant conditioning (except at a high level of abstraction

and

generalization). I would swear on a stack of bibles that there is no
pre-organized-review-the-XXX-testing-program-proposal stored in either of
my supposed memories (short-term and long-term).

You are thinking of your "behavior" ( in this case, your "plan" ) as a
single happening. PCT tells you that you are controlling for any number of
things and are involved in any number of behaviors in attempting to control
for these high level CV's. Consider Dag Forssell's example, that at _any_
one time ( no matter what your doing ) you are potentially controlling a
matrix of loops 800 X # of levels.

        A Quick Digression - What really solid evidence is there that our

memory

can be neatly divided in two?

If you mean short term vs. long term you got me :-).

Hope this was of some help.

Marc

[From Fred Nickols (990723.1605 EDT)] --

Bruce Gregory (990722.1830 EDT)

Fred Nickols (990722.1703 EDT)

First, thanks, Bruce, for taking the time to respond thoughtfully.

Fred:

Given that I engaged in activity, presumably I was encountering some
disturbances and, presumably, I was maintaining some kind of reference
condition. What were those disturbances? Why were they? Where
were they?

Bruce:

You seem to be comparing what you read with a list of criteria you felt that
a document of this type should contain. Otherwise how would you notice
things were missing? Failure to observe what you wanted to see (your
reference levels) led to an error that you reduced by giving the report a
negative review.

I'm balking at the wording. I don't know that I "wanted" to see anything.
But, what I did see didn't square with what I thought I "should" see. Am I
picking nits here or am I making a valid and useful distinction?

Fred:

A Quick Digression - What really solid evidence is there that our memory

can be neatly divided in two?

Bruce:

A good deal of evidence. Destruction of areas in the hippocampus leads to a
condition in which the individual seems perfectly normal and can function
quite normally but cannot remember having seen or interacted before with
people they encounter every day. They can learn new motor skills, but not
knew information. Oliver Sacks describes one case in _The Man Who Mistook
His Wife for a Hat_ if I recall. Whether or not this is a drawback depends
on your circumstances. At any rate there is an extensive literature you can
pursue if you are interested; I can give you references.

Okay; send me some references.

···

--

Regards,

Fred Nickols
Distance Consulting "Assistance at A Distance"
http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm
nickols@worldnet.att.net
(609) 490-0095

[From Bruce Gregory (990723.1648 EDT)]

Fred Nickols (990723.1605 EDT)

I'm balking at the wording. I don't know that I "wanted" to
see anything.
But, what I did see didn't square with what I thought I
"should" see. Am I
picking nits here or am I making a valid and useful distinction?

You had some expectation of what you would see, otherwise you would not
have been disappointed. This is all I meant by "wanted" to see. There
was a exchange a while back about reference levels for perceptions that
you cannot control. If I recall correctly Bill mentioned the upset that
might encounter seeing the sun rise in the west!

Bruce Gregory

References to follow!

[From Bruce Gregory (990724.0722 EDT)]

Fred Nickols (990722.1703 EDT)

A good place to start is _The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences_.
There is a nice summary of the data supporting "two memories" in the section
"Memory" pp. 514-517. This article also has references to the primary and
secondary literature. Other relevant sections in the encyclopedia include
"Memory, Animal Studies" and "Memory, Human Neuropsychology". Enjoy!

Bruce Gregory