Another book!

@@@@@@@@@ CHUCK TUCKER 940401 @@@@@@@@@

      I'm beginning to see myself as a book review editor of a
      newsletter but Dag's recent post with the comments from
      Ed reminded me of a recent book referred to me by my
      colleague Paul Higgins. It is:

       Alfie Kohn. 1993. PUNISHED BY REWARDS: THE TROUBLE WITH
       GOLD STARS, INCENTIVE PLANS, A'S, PRAISE, AND OTHER BRIBES.
       New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-65028-3
       BF505.R48 K65

      The title is one that I wish I had thought to use in something
      I have written but it is a perfect expression for the theme
      of the book. It reminds me of another phrase that I like which
      is also relevant to PCT'ers "There is nothing that leads to
      failure like success."

      CODA

      Yesterday I placed on the file server at the university DEMO1,
      DEMO2, CROWD, ECOLI and MINDREAD. Anyone who has a computer
      the can connect to the university and knows the password for
      the set of files can use these programs. Now my students will
      be able to use these programs in my courses.

      Thanks to Rick and Bill who wrote these programs and to Dag who
      put all of them on one disk. I believe that these programs will
      advance the understand of PCT a giant step.

      I am looking forward to using the programs done by Bill, Tom
      and Rick to replicate past research and gather some additional
      date relevant to PCT. I have already started with Rick's "Cause"
      study (MR, pp. 61-66) and intend to go through all of his
      other studies in a systematic manner. I plan to do the same for
      Tom's (and his many younger colleagues) research and Bill's DEMO1
      program.

      Is this foolish or what?

      Regards, Chuck

From Tom Bourbon [940401.0815]

To Book Man Tucker:

             @@@@@@@@@ CHUCK TUCKER 940401 @@@@@@@@@

     I am looking forward to using the programs done by Bill, Tom
     and Rick to replicate past research and gather some additional
     date relevant to PCT. I have already started with Rick's "Cause"
     study (MR, pp. 61-66) and intend to go through all of his
     other studies in a systematic manner. I plan to do the same for
     Tom's (and his many younger colleagues) research and Bill's DEMO1
     program.

     Is this foolish or what?

Foolish? Heck no! It might be a productive use of time were more people
to follow your lead and master the little bag of PCT programs before they
start suggesting "improvements" and additions to PCT modeling. There aren't
many of those programs, and they deal with topics that strike many people as
trivial (tracking, most of all -- mere stick wiggling -- simple eye-hand
coordination -- and all those other put downs we have come to know and
love), but taken as a whole, the PCT bag of tricks forms a tight web of
facts -- real facts -- about behavior. A foundation for a new science of
behavior? Perhaps, but only if more people take the time and go to the
trouble to do what you are doing right now. Foolishness? Not at all!

Later,

Tom

<[Bill Leach 940401.09:49 EST(EDT)]

CHUCK TUCKER 940401
NET

"PUNISHED BY REWARDS: THE TROUBLE WITH GOLD STARS, INCENTIVE PLANS, A'S,
PRAISE, AND OTHER BRIBES.

...is also relevant to PCT'ers "There is nothing that leads to failure
like success."

Methinks I am about to get into 'trouble' again and I don't know that I
can even phrase me questions intelligibly but...

Is it not likely that the wonderful feeling we often describe as the
"surprise of discovery" is a learned response? and the content "feeling
of accomplishment", from where did it come? Moving down a level, how
about the feeling of "self-worth"?

Is it not probable that the characteristics the we (or at least I) admire
so greatly in some other people are present in those people largely
because they learned a "healthy" set of emotional responses to
disturbance?

Isn't actually true that a child that grows up amoung people that
"express love", criticize and praise appropriately most generally matures
into a happy "successful" adult?

Is it not true that ALL control systems MUST have feedback for the
controlled variable to function?

Gradeless schools and such garbage as OBE are not only "insane concepts"
for rational people they are failures in practice.

There is nothing wrong with praise and certainly nothing wrong with
"grades" per se. There may be a great deal wrong in application and for
grades the meaning of the results are often carried far beyond their
objective significance.

We all apply "standards of measurement". Often not to well but
regardless, we use them and as far as I can tell PCT in its' totality
asserts that we have to do so because we are control systems that is the
only way that a control system functions.

Thus, in the "raising" of a child, it is required that parents and others
that are responsible for the "education" of the child define and set
standards. In the child's earliest years the ONLY means a parent has of
conveying their own perception of a control system error or success are
physical (including timbre of voice).

As a child continues to mature, successively higher and higher levels of
abstraction should be added by the parents. At the same time they should
increasingly question the child about the child's goals or wants.

Through the whole process however, it IS appropriate to set and maintain
standards of BEHAVIOUR that the child is required to meet. This is
"life", we do not live in isolation and members of various levels of
human society do set limits.

Now even I will admit that probably most people charged with the
responsibility of nuturing a child error greatly in these matters and
particularly both in the setting of standards and in dealing with failure
to meet standards.

I am reminded of a geniune shock that I experience around two years ago:
A neighbor, commenting on a shooting that took place at a local "grade
school", said in a very surprised manner: "No wonder! They do not even
have a police officer for that school." (I am often "out of touch" with
"current events") My shock came from the realization that there are
people that expect that it should be quite normal to have police officers
stationed in school continuously. When I went to public school, the
presence of a police office might result in rumors for days!

There is little question in my own mind that most of the problems that we
see today with the increasing violence, street gangs and the like is just
the reflection of what happens when children are left to themselves.
They peceive that no one cares about them, the only adult people with
which they have much interaction do not inspire them to personal
greatness and are miserable enough in their own lives to not serve as
"role models".

     //////////////////////////////////////////
     / /
     / -bill /
     / bleach@bix.com 71330.2621@cis.com /
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     / /
     //////////////////////////////////////////