An Important Archived Message

[From Bruce Abbott (990926.12:45 EST)]

Hank Folson (990926.0700) --

Presenting an elegant, well proven theory will not be enough, in my
opinion.

It would certainly be a good first step, though. (H)PCT is certainly
elegant. Well proven it ain't.

Bruce A.

[From Bruce Abbott (990926.1805 EST)]

Bruce Gregory (990926.1815 EDT) --

_House of Cards_ documents the facility with which psychologists are able to
ignore even over-whelming evidence.

Don't forget that Robyn Dawes is a psychologist. Moreover, he is not alone
among psychologists in his views on the practice of psychology.

You and Rick are both doing a beautiful job of deflecting attention away
from the fact that there is actually little evidence in support of (H)PCT.
It is as if you were saying, "Harrumph, well, even _if_ there were
overwhelming evidence in favor of PCT, psychologists wouldn't buy it."
Sounds like you're trying to justify not eving bothering to gather the
evidence required. Until you do have such evidence _and_ (H)PCT is rejected
anyway, you're just expressing your own prejudices.

Bruce A.

[From Bruce Gregory (990926.1421 EDT)]

Bruce Abbott (990926.12:45 EST)

It would certainly be a good first step, though. (H)PCT is certainly
elegant. Well proven it ain't.

What competing model do you feel is better proven?

Bruce Gregory

[From Bruce Gregory (990926.1428 EDT)]

Hank Folson (990926.0700)

>She says "Telling anyone that all their past beliefs and actions are
>wrong is no way to win converts to PCT!" This is correct. I think that
>the essence of Pat's complaint is that we indulge in "bashing." And we
>do. If we continue doing this we will end up talking to each other and
>nobody else.

So why not apply the PCT MOL here?

One reason might be that the conflict is not within one individual.

Bruce Gregory

[From Bruce Gregory (990926.1815 EDT)]

Rick Marken (990926.1240)

I think you make Hank's point. PCT is no more (or less) elegant
than cause-effect theory; and PCT is certainly far better proven
(in terms of accuracy of fit to data) than any cause-effect theory.
But psychologists stick with their cause-effect theory because
(as Hank noted) it gives them what they want: control. Cause-effect
theory is the game that's currently being played in psychology.
If you don't play the game, you will lose control of variables
-- like tenure, prestige, textbook contracts, etc. -- that
most psychologists seem to be controlling.

_House of Cards_ documents the facility with which psychologists are able to
ignore even over-whelming evidence.

Bruce Gregory

[From Bruce Gregory (990926.1949 EDT)]

Bruce Abbott (990926.1805 EST)

You and Rick are both doing a beautiful job of deflecting attention away
from the fact that there is actually little evidence in support of (H)PCT.

Thanks.

It is as if you were saying, "Harrumph, well, even _if_ there were
overwhelming evidence in favor of PCT, psychologists wouldn't buy it."
Sounds like you're trying to justify not eving bothering to gather the
evidence required.

No, we're waiting for someone who understands HPCT, such as yourself, to
start gathering evidence to support that generated by Rick and others--or to
show its shortcomings.

Bruce Gregory

[From Hank Folson (990926.0700)]

Subject: Scolding;behaviorism

[From Bill Powers (920212.1200)]

Many important messages in today's posts, perhaps the most important one
being Pat Williams' scolding. I feel like defending myself, which is a
sure sign that she has hit the mark.

She says "Telling anyone that all their past beliefs and actions are
wrong is no way to win converts to PCT!" This is correct. I think that
the essence of Pat's complaint is that we indulge in "bashing." And we
do. If we continue doing this we will end up talking to each other and
nobody else.

So why not apply the PCT MOL here?

At one level, PCT and the other theories are in unresolvable conflict.

At some higher level, PCTers and others _may_ have a common interest or
goal: the understanding of human nature. Here is where there is some
_hope_ of getting past the lower level conflicts.

Presenting an elegant, well proven theory will not be enough, in my
opinion. It is necessary but not sufficient. What should influence others
is applications of PCT that work much better than existing non-PCT
applications. Practical applications and subsequent results are, I think,
at a higher level in our hierarchies than conflicting abstract theories.

Or, putting it another way, PCT suggests (to me) that people are more
interested in successful controlling than in good theories.

Sincerely,
Hank Folson

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

from [ Marc Abrams (990924.2122)]

As usual, Bill is usually poignant and lucid. The basis for this post is
unimportant. It's all in the message. Bruce Nevin followed up with an
equally
well done post.
These are views I share

Marc

···

Date: Wed Feb 12, 1992 3:47 pm PST
Subject: Scolding;behaviorism

[From Bill Powers (920212.1200)]

Many important messages in today's posts, perhaps the most important one
being Pat Williams' scolding. I feel like defending myself, which is a
sure sign that she has hit the mark.

She says "Telling anyone that all their past beliefs and actions are
wrong is no way to win converts to PCT!" This is correct. I think that
the essence of Pat's complaint is that we indulge in "bashing." And we
do. If we continue doing this we will end up talking to each other and
nobody else.

There's nothing wrong with writing hate mail to behaviorists and others
who give us a hard time. But once it's written, we should delete it. Such
attacks reflect both frustration and vulnerability ?? frustration at
being treated, often, just as Pat says we treat others, and vulnerability
in knowing that we have not gone very far toward building a real CTDate:
Thu Feb 13, 1992 7:32 am PST
Subject: dis(covering)agreements

[From: Bruce Nevin (Thu 920113 07:32:57)]

(Mary Powers) --

a way of getting the camel's nose into the tent

This is why it helps to approach adversaries by way of points of
agreement rather than points of disagreement. Not to convert them, but
to provide a situation in which they can be exposed to control theory.
And the point is not to pretend agreement (that's what the dismissive
Behaviorist reviewer does, saying that every CT X reduces to a Y of S?R
theory) but to re?frame the point of agreement with respect to an
internal contradiction that the S?R advocate has overlooked because it
occasions cognitive dissonance. And what is that cognitive dissonance?
What controlled perceptions are being disturbed (unless he or she
ignores something)? What control of the same or alternative perceptions
can be immediately offered to assuage the discomfort?

[From Rick Marken (990926.1240)]

Hank Folson (990926.0700) --

Presenting an elegant, well proven theory will not be enough, in my
opinion.

Bruce Abbott (990926.12:45 EST) --

It would certainly be a good first step, though. (H)PCT is
certainly elegant. Well proven it ain't.

I think you make Hank's point. PCT is no more (or less) elegant
than cause-effect theory; and PCT is certainly far better proven
(in terms of accuracy of fit to data) than any cause-effect theory.
But psychologists stick with their cause-effect theory because
(as Hank noted) it gives them what they want: control. Cause-effect
theory is the game that's currently being played in psychology.
If you don't play the game, you will lose control of variables
-- like tenure, prestige, textbook contracts, etc. -- that
most psychologists seem to be controlling.

Best

Rick

···

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