An Opportunity for PCT PR

[From Richard Pfau (2010.4.6.0930EST)]

The Wikipedia section entitled “List of important publications in psychology” does not have a section on “Control Theory”.

If someone on our list serve who can handle Wikipideia editing could spend 10 minutes adding a new major heading entitled “Control Theory” and a citation to William T. Powers, Behavior: The Control of Perception, Chicago: Aldine, 1973, we would take a step further in making PCT known to a wider audience.

Is anyone up to taking on the task? (I’m not familiar enough with the editing software to do so.)

With Regards,

Richard Pfau

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1100)]

Richard Pfau (2010.4.6.0930EST)--

The Wikipedia section entitled "List of important publications in
psychology" does not have a section on "Control Theory".

If someone on our list serve who can handle�Wikipideia editing could spend
10 minutes adding a new major heading entitled "Control Theory" and a
citation to William T. Powers, Behavior: The Control of Perception, Chicago:
Aldine,�1973, we would take a step further in making PCT known to a wider
audience.

Is anyone up to taking on the task? (I'm not familiar enough with the
editing software to do so.)

I actually added a section on control theory, not just important
citations. I don't know if it's a permanent change or not. I have very
little experience with Wikipedia editing. But I think you should see
the Control Theory entry I wrote when you go to Wikipedia. It should
be at Psychology - Wikipedia. Look in the "Contents"
for Control Theory. Give it a try. If it's there I'd like to here
anyone's comments or suggestions. I did it in some haste (since I have
other work to do) but at least I did it.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Dick Robertson, 2010.04.06.1705CDT]

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1100)]Rick,

Rick,
I didn’t find your entry on Control theory in the first 20 headings under psychology, but I did find a large article on Perceptual Control Theory. Did you do that one, or did someone else? It did list 1973, and your Mind Readings, and Phil’s People… I was a little surprised it didn’t cite IMP, if it is intended to link PCT with psychology. It also had a section on Kinesiology, but I couldn’t find the connection with PCT. It also mentioned clinical psychologist (Phil – I presume) Maher, but in my quick scan I didn’t see how it was related to Tim’s extensive description of MOL.

I think the PCT heading should be linked with the Psychology heading, but I don’t know how to do that either.

Best,

Dick R

[Fred Nickols (2010.04.06.1612 MST)]

Rick: Immediately below is your text from Wikipedia. I had the temerity to
edit it.

Control theory psychology views the behavior of living organisms as the
process of controlling perceptual input variables relative to reference
states specified autonomously by the organism itself. As per the title of
the classic text on the subject [35] behavior is viewed as the control of
perception. Behavior is thus seen as purposeful with observable action being
aimed at maintaining perceptual variables in their specified reference
states, protected from the effects of environmental disturbance. Control
theory explains how organisms do this controlling in an environment made up
of unpredictable and often undetectable disturbances. Understanding behavior
from a control theory perspective means determining what perceptual
variables organisms control and how they control them. [36]. This approach
to understanding behavior differs from the conventional approach which aims
to determine the causes, rather than the purposes, of behavior [37].
Therefore, the science of control theory psychology is still in its infancy.
But an excellent tutorial on how to do control theory science can be found
in books by Powers [38] and Marken [39].

Here's the edited version...

Control theory psychology views the behavior of living organisms as the
means by which they attempt to control selected aspects of the world about
them. Those selected aspects are known as "controlled variables." Control
is exercised when an organism behaves in ways that result in little or no
difference between the organism's perceived state of a controlled variable
and the organism's desired or reference state for that controlled variable.
As the title of the classic text on the subject [35] indicates, behavior,
then, is quite literally the control of perception. From the perspective of
control theory psychology, behavior is seen as purposeful, with observable
action being aimed at maintaining controlled variables in some specified
state despite the effects of any environmental disturbances. Control theory
explains how organisms exercise control in an environment made up of
unpredictable and often undetectable disturbances. Understanding behavior
from a control theory perspective means determining which variables
organisms are attempting to control and how that control is exercised [36].
This approach to understanding behavior differs from the conventional
approach which aims to determine the causes of behavior and often overlooks,
ignores or excludes the purposes of the organism [37]. The science of
control theory psychology is still in its infancy but excellent tutorials on
how to do control theory science can be found in books by Powers [38] and
Marken [39].

Fred Nickols
www.nickols.us
fred@nickols.us

···

-----Original Message-----
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 10:56 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: An Opportunity for PCT PR

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1100)]

Richard Pfau (2010.4.6.0930EST)--

The Wikipedia section entitled "List of important publications in
psychology" does not have a section on "Control Theory".

If someone on our list serve who can handle�Wikipideia editing could spend
10 minutes adding a new major heading entitled "Control Theory" and a
citation to William T. Powers, Behavior: The Control of Perception,

Chicago:

Aldine,�1973, we would take a step further in making PCT known to a wider
audience.

Is anyone up to taking on the task? (I'm not familiar enough with the
editing software to do so.)

I actually added a section on control theory, not just important
citations. I don't know if it's a permanent change or not. I have very
little experience with Wikipedia editing. But I think you should see
the Control Theory entry I wrote when you go to Wikipedia. It should
be at Psychology - Wikipedia. Look in the "Contents"
for Control Theory. Give it a try. If it's there I'd like to here
anyone's comments or suggestions. I did it in some haste (since I have
other work to do) but at least I did it.

Best

Rick
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1745)]

Dick Robertson (2010.04.06.1705CDT)--

Rick,
I didn't find your entry on Control theory in the first 20 headings under
psychology

I think it was removed by someone else on the basis of the fact that
it describes a theory of behavior rather than a sub-discipline, like
social. I think that's probably right. I'll try to put in in the
History section along with Behaviorism and Cognitivism and see if it
flies.

, but I did find a large article on Perceptual Control Theory.

Yes, that's something else.

Did you do that one, or did someone else?

Someone else did it but I may have added a reference or two.

It did list 1973, and your Mind
Readings, and Phil's People.... I was a little surprised it didn't cite IMP,
if it is intended to link PCT with psychology.

You should put it in as a reference. It's pretty easy.

It also had a section on

Kinesiology, but I couldn't find the connection with PCT. It also mentioned
clinical psychologist (Phil -- I presume) Maher, but in my quick scan I
didn't see how it was related to Tim's extensive description of MOL.

I think the PCT heading should be linked with the Psychology heading, but I
don't know how to do that either.

Maybe I'll work on it. Wikipedia is a place where I go to find out
about all kinds of things, I must admit. It would probably be good to
have a nice write up on PCT in there.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1750)]

[Fred Nickols (2010.04.06.1612 MST)--

Here's the edited version...

Control theory psychology views the behavior of living organisms as the
means by which they attempt to control selected aspects of the world about
them...

I like it. I'll use it for the History section.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[Goldstein (2010.04.06.22:44 EST)]

[About Dick Robertson, 2010.04.06.1705CDT]

Rick & Dick

I wrote the stuff about Perceptual Control Theory. It was after the conference in Canada.

David

···

----- Original Message -----

From:
Robertson Richard

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:13 PM

Subject: Re: An Opportunity for PCT PR

[From Dick Robertson, 2010.04.06.1705CDT]

[From Rick Marken (2010.04.06.1100)]Rick,
Rick,
I didn’t find your entry on Control theory in the first 20 headings under psychology, but I did find a large article on Perceptual Control Theory. Did you do that one, or did someone else? It did list 1973, and your Mind Readings, and Phil’s People… I was a little surprised it didn’t cite IMP, if it is intended to link PCT with psychology. It also had a section on Kinesiology, but I couldn’t find the connection with PCT. It also mentioned clinical psychologist (Phil – I presume) Maher, but in my quick scan I didn’t see how it was related to Tim’s extensive description of MOL.

I think the PCT heading should be linked with the Psychology heading, but I don’t know how to do that either.

Best,

Dick R

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2010.05.01,11:35 EUST)]

Richard and other. Go to en Wikepedia, “Control Theory” and tell me if this is OK. Look at "Examples of Control Systems [#1] and References.

bjorn

···

----- Original Message -----

From:
Richard H. Pfau

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 3:33 PM

Subject: An Opportunity for PCT PR

[From Richard Pfau (2010.4.6.0930EST)]

The Wikipedia section entitled “List of important publications in psychology” does not have a section on “Control Theory”.

If someone on our list serve who can handle Wikipideia editing could spend 10 minutes adding a new major heading entitled “Control Theory” and a citation to William T. Powers, Behavior: The Control of Perception, Chicago: Aldine, 1973, we would take a step further in making PCT known to a wider audience.

Is anyone up to taking on the task? (I’m not familiar enough with the editing software to do so.)

With Regards,

Richard Pfau

[From Richard Pfau (2010.5.10.1045DST)]

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2010.05.01,11:35 EUST)]

Richard and other. Go to en Wikepedia, “Control Theory” and tell me if this is OK. Look at "Examples of >Control Systems [#1] and References.

Bjorn,

The major section entitled “Control Theory” in Wikepedia seens to be a hard core engineering view of control theory, perhaps better entitled “Control Theory: Engineering Perspectives”.

The only references to the social sciences that I notice are (1) a link to the section of Wikipedia entitled “Perceptual control theory” under the heading “See also”, and (2) a statement under the heading “Overview” that states that control theory is “an interdisciplinary subfield of science, which originated in engineering and mathematics, and evolved into use by the social sciences, like psychology, sociology, and criminology.”

As it now stands, if someone with an interest in the social sciences were to access this section, they would be stunned by the mathematics and views presented and leave feeling that control theory is only for technocrats and not something for them.

From a PCT perspective, the simplest solution, I think, if for someone with the knowledge to do so (unfortunately, not me) to change the title of the section to something like that indicated above – i.e., “Control Theory: Engineering Perspectives”. A much more difficult endeavor would be to edit this section to include mention of perceptual control theory views and references to PCT.

On a related note, I notice that the major section of Wikipedia entitled “List of people in systems and control” mainly lists engineers, mathematicians, physicists, and system scientists – with no mention of William Powers or Richard Marken, for example. Perhaps someone with the ability to do so (such as Rick) could make one or two additions to the list.

With Regards,

Richard Pfau

[From Bill Powers (2010.05.10.0956 MDT)]

Richard Pfau (2010.5.10.1045DST)

The major section entitled
“Control Theory” in Wikepedia seens to be a hard core
engineering view of control theory, perhaps better entitled
Control Theory: Engineering Perspectives”.

The only references to the social sciences that I notice are (1) a link
to the section of Wikipedia entitled “Perceptual control
theory” under the heading “See also”, and (2) a statement
under the heading “Overview” that states that control theory is
“an interdisciplinary subfield of science, which originated in
engineering and mathematics, and evolved into use by the social sciences,
like psychology, sociology, and criminology.”

Control theory is an enormous field of engineering, dating back to the
1930s and 1940s. Most control engineers don’t know, or if they know they
don’t care, that it has applications in the life sciences. I looked at
the Wiki page you suggested and can’t figure out what its focus is. The
comments on it are pretty insane.

As you can see from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_theory
, the basic model is

this:

fd0f43.jpg

See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Feedback_loop_with_descriptions.svg

for GNU licensing permissions.

Sigh. The “system” is what we would call the environmental
feedback function, and the “system output” is the controlled
variable. The “measured output” is the perceptual signal. The
“System input” is what we call the output quantity, and the
controller is the output function. The comparator and reference signal
don’t seem to be located in the controller, though they do connect
properly to the sensor or input function. The diagram isn’t exactly
wrong, but it has led to some pretty bizarre concepts of how control
works. It all depends on what you put inside the boxes.

Following the Wiki links to social science and psychology is very
discouraging. The best we can do is to keep developing PCT – most of the
world apparently has no inkling of what we’re doing. I think we just have
to sneak up on them.

As it now stands, if someone
with an interest in the social sciences were to access this section, they
would be stunned by the mathematics and views presented and leave feeling
that control theory is only for technocrats and not something for
them.

Well, it’s not. Perceptual control theory is a different matter,
though the math would still apply if one chose.

The problem here is that most of the people looking at these pages are in
that field and would not expect to find references to such squishy fields
as psychology or sociology. I don’t think the engineers realize how
difficult they have made this subject, not only for psychologists but for
themselves.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.05.11.0655 EDT)]

[From Bill Powers (2010.05.10.0956 MDT)]

The problem here is that most of the people looking at these pages are in that field and would not expect to find references to such squishy fields as psychology or sociology. I don't think the engineers realize how difficult they have made this subject, not only for psychologists but for themselves.

Sufficiently difficult that I had an engineer tell me quite emphatically that a thermostatically controlled furnace is not an example of a negative-feedback control system.

If you are not depressed enough, try this statement by Paul Bloom in Sunday's NYR, "Here we began our more focused investigations into baby morality. For these studies, parents took their babies to the Infant Cognition Center, which is within one of the Yale psychology buildings. (The center is just a couple of blocks away from where Stanley Milgram did his famous experiments on obedience in the early 1960s, tricking New Haven residents into believing that they had severely harmed or even killed strangers with electrical shocks.) The parents were told about what was going to happen and filled out consent forms, which described the study, the risks to the baby (minimal) and the benefits to the baby (minimal, though it is a nice-enough experience). Parents often asked, reasonably enough, if they would learn how their baby does, and the answer was no. This sort of study provides no clinical or educational feedback about individual babies; the findings make sense only when computed as a group."

The last sentence describes experimental psychology in a nutshell. It is particularly absurd because elsewhere in the article (which despite its flaws makes very interesting reading) Bloom says, "Again, these results were not subtle; babies almost always showed this pattern of response."

Bruce

From Bjorn Simonsen (2010.05.13,09:25 EUST)

Richard Pfau (2010.5.10.1045DST)]

On a related note, I notice that the major section of

Wikipedia entitled “List of people in systems and
control” mainly lists engineers, mathematicians,
physicists, and system scientists – with no mention
of William Powers or Richard Marken, for example.
Perhaps someone with the ability to do so (such as Rick)
could make one or two additions to the list.

I have more than five times written W:T:P, B:CP in Wikipediaq : Control theory. Everything, that I wrote in “Examples of Control Systems”, “Other related Topics”, “References” and “Furtger Reading” is erased the same day. I am asked to go to Psychological Control Theory.

I stop trying to put in any references to Contril Theory in Wikipedia, maybe I will write something in the Norwegian Wikipedia.

bjorn

[From Bill Powers (2010.05.13.0821 MDT)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.05.11.0655 EDT) --

BG: ... I had an engineer tell me quite emphatically that a thermostatically controled furnace is not an example of a negative-feedback control system.

BP: We had a certified control-system engineer from Israel, somebody Bar-Kana, on CSGnet, years ago, who refused to agree that the room temperature under control was an input to the thermostat, not an output. He insisted that the controlled temperature, moreover, was the temperature out in the room, not the temperature of the thermostat's sensor. When we argued with him about this, he got mad and left the discussion, saying he had no intention of changing the way he thought about these things this late in his career.

BG: If you are not depressed enough, try this statement by Paul Bloom in Sunday's NYR, "Here we began our more focused investigations into baby morality...

BP: I do hope that was a typo for "mortality."

BG: For these studies, parents took their babies to the Infant Cognition Center, which is within one of the Yale psychology buildings ... Parents often asked, reasonably enough, if they would learn how their baby does, and the answer was no. "This sort of study provides no clinical or educational feedback about individual babies; the findings make sense only when computed as a group."

A good lesson in how to make a virtue out of a defect. A bit like an author who once wrote that his hypothesis, athough rejected by the data, was proven to be scientifically valid because it was demonstrably falsifiable, as all good hypotheses must be. I wish I had clipped the article.

Best,

Bill P.

I’ve pitched in and there is now a discussion on the talk page.
Perhaps we can work their concerns. – Martin

···

On 5/13/2010 1:23 AM, Bjorn wrote:

From Bjorn Simonsen
(2010.05.13,09:25 EUST)

Richard Pfau (2010.5.10.1045DST)]

On a related note, I notice that
the major section of

Wikipedia entitled "List of
people in systems and

control" mainly lists engineers, mathematicians,

physicists, and system scientists – with no mention

of William Powers or Richard Marken, for example.

Perhaps someone with the ability to do so (such as Rick)

could make one or two additions to the list.

I have more than five times written
W:T:P, B:CP in Wikipediaq : Control theory. Everything, that I wrote
in “Examples of Control Systems”, “Other related Topics”, “References”
and “Furtger Reading” is erased the same day. I am asked to go to
Psychological Control Theory.

I stop trying to put in any
references to Contril Theory in Wikipedia, maybe I will write something
in the Norwegian Wikipedia.

bjorn

[From Rick Marken (2010.05.13.1140)]

···

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM, Martin Lewitt <mlewitt@comcast.net> wrote:

I've pitched in and there is now a discussion on the talk page.� Perhaps we
can work their concerns.� -- Martin

Where is that page? I'll be happy to try to help if I can.

Best

Rick

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.05.13.1627 EDT)]

[From Bill Powers (2010.05.13.0821 MDT)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.05.11.0655 EDT) –

BG: If you are not depressed enough, try this statement by Paul Bloom in Sunday’s NYR, "Here we began our more focused investigations into baby morality…

BP: I do hope that was a typo for “mortality.”

Afraid not…

Bruce

[From Martin Lewitt 2010 5/13 1606 MDT]

-- Martin L

···

On 5/13/2010 12:38 PM, Richard Marken wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2010.05.13.1140)]

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM, Martin Lewitt<mlewitt@comcast.net> wrote:
   

I've pitched in and there is now a discussion on the talk page. Perhaps we
can work their concerns. -- Martin
     

Where is that page? I'll be happy to try to help if I can.

Best

Rick

[From Rick Marken (2010.05.13.1740)]

Martin Lewitt (2010 5/13 1606 MDT)--

Control theory - Wikipedia

Thanks. I see there's some comments on PCT at the end of the
"Discussion" section. The consensus seems to be that PCT is a "fringe"
theory. If they mean it's a theory that's not accepted by the control
theory in-crowd then they are right. I've argued for years with people
who think that the merits of an idea are evaluated by how many
"important" people support it. It's a useless way to spend one's time.
There's already a PCT listing on Wikipedia, I believe. Let's just make
that one right.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Richard Pfau (2010.05.14.0911DST)]

[From Rick Marken (2010.05.13.1740)] regarding Martin Lewitt (2010

5/13 1606 MDT)--

Thanks. I see there's some comments on PCT at the end of the
"Discussion" section. The consensus seems to be that PCT is a "fringe"
theory. If they mean it's a theory that's not accepted by the control
theory in-crowd then they are right. I've argued for years with people
who think that the merits of an idea are evaluated by how many

"important" people support it. It's a useless way to spend one's time.

There's already a PCT listing on Wikipedia, I believe. Let's just make
that one right.

If someone has the interest and expertise, why not take on the Wikipedia Control Theory group and respond to their doubts? For example, yesterday (under "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Control_theory&quot; in the section titled "perceptual control summary section needed") a skeptic states that the article on Perceptual Control Theory "claims to be testable, but the article provides no evidence of any testable ideas (i.e., could you design an experiment or logical construct to generate a yes/no result regarding a component of this theory). I am not an expert on PCT, but it seems very fringe. User A1 (talk) 16:44, 13 May 2010 (UTC)"

I'd think a knowledgeable member of the CSG ListServe could respond by describing how PCT could be testable and/or has been in the past.

Engaging in such a Wikipedia discussion may help to advance PCT and, if nothing else, sharpen the thinking of the interested CSG ListServe member and others concerning PCT. (A Caution: I think the responding CSG member will need good mathematical skills, since the discussion could well turn in that direction).

With Regards,
Richard Pfau

[From Bill Powers (2010.05.14.1012 MDT)]

Richard Pfau (2010.05.14.0911DST) --

I haven't tried Wiki-ing before, but managed to set up an account (BillPCT) and add the following to the talk page you referenced.

···

=============================================================================
Yes, PCT is quite testable, though I have unsuccessfully lobbied my friends to tone down the hype that sounds like a commercial for toothpaste. I suggest downloading the 13 computer demos that are part of my latest book (you don't have to buy the book to run them). Follow the link http://www.billpct.org/ and follow the instructions (PCs only, I don't know how to program Macs). Source code included, with reference to GNU license. Delphi 7, but if you can read Pascal you can see how everything is done. No spyware, viruses (that I know about), or other tricks. Visitors are counted but not identified.

Please don't bother with my old Brainstorm web page. It's way out of date.

Most of the programs have instructions embedded in them so you can get the idea of what it's about.

Best,

Bill P.