APA Defintion of Control Theory

[From Richard Pfau (2015.03.17 15:10 EDT)]

I just received the new APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed., Gary R. VandenBos Editor in Chief. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2015). It defines “control theory” as follows:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier] 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I’ll soon write the editor about the historic inaccuracy.

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1245)]

···

Richard Pfau (2015.03.17 15:10 EDT)—

RP: I just received the new APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed., Gary R. VandenBos Editor in Chief. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2015). It defines “control theory” as follows:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier] 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

RP: I’ll soon write the editor about the historic inaccuracy.

RM: Thanks for doing this, Richard. I have actually had some truck with VandenBos, over a paper I submitted to American Psychologist in 2012 that he, as managing editor, decided not to even send out for review; he said there wouldn’t be enough interest. Anyway, I might send him something myself but I think it would be good if you do it too. You’ll probably be more politic than me.

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Hi Rick and Richard,

This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

···

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

···

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I really appreciate so many of you jumping on this issue so quickly! At times such as this, I’m reminded (in awe) of the extent of the CSG network. I appreciate all your watchful eyes, and the immediate call to arms to right any wrongs which unfortunately appear now and again.

Thank you!

*barb

···

On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Hi Richard,

Yes do this. It’s necesary for APA to understand who was the first to introduce control theory into psychology.

Best,

Boris

···

From: richardpfau4153@aol.com (via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 8:17 PM
To: csgnet@listserv.illinois.edu
Subject: APA Defintion of Control Theory

[From Richard Pfau (2015.03.17 15:10 EDT)]

I just received the new APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed., Gary R. VandenBos Editor in Chief. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2015). It defines “control theory” as follows:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier] 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I’ll soon write the editor about the historic inaccuracy.

Hi Rick,

Good move. But you could maybe direct the author VandenBos that whatever he descibed under term »control theory« just feet to term »self-regulation« which was really »discovered« by Carver & Scheier. Â

It’s good to see such a »reaction«. I’m proud on you guys.

Maybe you could also inform Jeff Vancouver to help with “cleaning the mess� APA made.

It’s maybe also a good chance to start discussion in other medium if APA won’t “repair� mistake.

Best,

Boris

···

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:05 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: APA Defintion of Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[John Kirkland 20150318 1052 NZT]

Rick, congratulations.

"**control theory 1.** a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. Â

is poetry.

Well done that man.

Kind regards

···

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:34 AM, “Boris Hartman” csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Hi Rick,

Â

Good move. But you could maybe direct the author VandenBos that whatever he descibed under term »control theory« just feet to term »self-regulation« which was really »discovered« by Carver & Scheier. Â

Â

It’s good to see such a »reaction«. I’m proud on you guys.

Â

Maybe you could also inform Jeff Vancouver to help with “cleaning the mess� APA made.

Â

It’s maybe also a good chance to start discussion in other medium if APA won’t “repair� mistake.

Â

Best,

Â

Boris

Â

Â

Â

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:05 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: APA Defintion of Control Theory

Â

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Â

Hi Rick and Richard,

Â

Hi Warren

Â

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

Â

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.Â

Â


Â

Dear Dr. VandenBos

Â

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:Â

Â

“**control theory 1.**Â the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947-Â ) and Michael Scheier]Â 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

Â

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.Â

Â

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948)  but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

Â

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

Â

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

Â

“**control theory 1.** a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Â

Best regards

Â

Rick

Â

Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of  Doing Research on Purpose

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I agree. This about as goid as it can get. Well done, Mr. Marken. This is a keeper!

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

Be sure you measure what you want.

Be sure you want what you measure.

···

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:34 AM, “Boris Hartman” csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Hi Rick,

Good move. But you could maybe direct the author VandenBos that whatever he descibed under term »control theory« just feet to term »self-regulation« which was really »discovered« by Carver & Scheier.

It’s good to see such a »reaction«. I’m proud on you guys.

Maybe you could also inform Jeff Vancouver to help with “cleaning the mess� APA made.

It’s maybe also a good chance to start discussion in other medium if APA won’t “repair� mistake.

Best,

Boris

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:05 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: APA Defintion of Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

This is one of the reasons why I think that the early correspondence Dad had with so many people will be helpful in that these papers will help clarify the historical progression of the development of PCT. I have been told by the archivist at Northwestern, Kevin Leonard, that they hope to be cataloging these papers this summer - and that they will focus on them especially if they know they is an interest in seeing them. I told him that, yes, there is!

···

On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one,

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is not about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classicBehavior: The control of perception. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (control) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Hi there, in the space of 12 hours I have received many signatories. Jeff is one of them. I will send them round shortly.

Warren

···

On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 9:34 PM, “Boris Hartman” csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Hi Rick,

Good move. But you could maybe direct the author VandenBos that whatever he descibed under term »control theory« just feet to term »self-regulation« which was really »discovered« by Carver & Scheier.

It’s good to see such a »reaction«. I’m proud on you guys.

Maybe you c
ould also inform Jeff Vancouver to help with “cleaning the mess” APA made.

It’s maybe also a good chance to start discussion in other medium if APA won’t “repair” mistake.

Best,

Boris

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:05 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: APA Defintion of Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Hi Rick and Richard,

Hi Warren

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one, <
/u>

Warren

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.


Dear Dr. VandenBos

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:

control theory 1. the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947- ) and Michael Scheier]2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is n
ot about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948) but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classic* Behavior: The control of perc
eption*. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior when, in fact, it’s about regulation (contro
l) of perception.

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

control theory 1. a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2 . a field of mathematics and engineering de
aling with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychological Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589

Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406

The highly acclaimed therapy man
ual on A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels is available now.

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

It’s so interesting how a crisis like this can boil down to the nitty gritty essence of something. Here it all is in one paragraph. Thank you everyone for stepping up and speaking out.

···

On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 9:34 PM, “Boris Hartman” csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Hi Rick,

Â

Good move. But you could maybe direct the author VandenBos that whatever he descibed under term »control theory« just feet to term »self-regulation« which was really »discovered« by Carver & Scheier. Â

Â

It’s good to see such a »reaction«. I’m proud on you guys.

Â

Maybe you c
ould also inform Jeff Vancouver to help with “cleaning the mess� APA made.

Â

It’s maybe also a good chance to start discussion in other medium if APA won’t “repair� mistake.

Â

Best,

Â

Boris

Â

Â

Â

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) [mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:05 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: APA Defintion of Control Theory

Â

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.17.1405)]

Â

Hi Rick and Richard,

Â

Hi Warren

Â

WM: This is shocking even though it is so predictable. Yes, Richard, good idea to send an email out as soon as possible. In the mean time, how about we go about collecting signatures for the change to be announced and implemented in the reprints ASAP. We can count on dozens of big names from CSGnet and dozens more from our contacts. I will collate those outside CSGNet and hope others do too: Name, Title, Affiliation, email address?

One for all and all for one, <
/u>

Warren

Â

RM: I just mailed the following note to the editor of the dictionary, Gary VandenBos. I wrote it in haste (so I hope there are not too many errors) and anger (so I hope it’s not too impolitic) but this is really awful. I will sign anything you’ve got, Warren, and do anything you think we can to get this egregious error very publicly corrected.Â

Â


Â

Dear Dr. VandenBos

Â

I don’t know if you remember me but we’ve had some pleasant interactions over papers I’ve submitted (unsuccessfully) to American Psychologist back in 2007 and 2012. This time I’m getting in touch with you regarding an entry in the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed, for which you are Editor in Chief: I don’t receive the dictionary myself but a colleague got in touch with me about a rather serious error in the entry on control theory. Here’s a copy of the entry as it was copied to me:Â

Â

“**control theory 1.**Â the idea that people regulate their behavior through repeated cycles of comparing their current state to a standard and acting to reduce discrepancies. [first proposed in 1982 by U.S. social psychologists Charles S. Carver (1947-Â ) and Michael Scheier]Â 2. a field of mathematics and engineering dealing with monitoring and controlling the behavior of certain physical processes and systems to produce the desired or best outcome.”

Â

I found this very disturbing because just about everything in this entry is wrong.First of all, control theory is n
ot about people regulating their behavior; it’s about people regulating variable aspects of their own *perceptual experience,*a process we see as “behavior”.Â

Â

It’s hard to tell who was first to propose the application of control theory to understanding human behavior (there are many possibilities , ncluding Craik,1947, and N. Weiner , 1948)  but it certainly wasn’t Carver and Scheier. Carver and Scheier’s application of control theory is based on the work of William T. Powers who is, indeed, the first person to correctly apply control theory to understanding the behavior of living organisms. The theory described in Carver and Scheier’s 1982 book is based entirely on Powers’ 1973 classic* Behavior: The control of perc
eption*. And Carver and Scheier certainly didn’t try to hide the fact that Powers’ book was the basis of their work; Powers is referenced throughout their 1982 book.

Â

So it’s a terrible disservice to the memory and contributions of William T. Powers to say that control theory was first proposed by Carver and Scheier, not only because Powers predates Carver and Scheier by nearly 10 years (actually by far more than 10 years since the first published description of Powers’ control theory model appeared in a two part journal article in 1960.) but also because Carver and Scheier didn’t get control theory right anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they think that control theory is about regulation ofbehavior  when, in fact, it’s about regulation (contro
l) of perception.

Â

I hope you will send a note out to those who received a copy of the dictionary explaining the error and providing a corrected version of the control theory entry that would look something like this:

Â

“**control theory 1.** a theory of how organisms produce purposeful behavior by acting so as to maintain perceptual variables in reference states specified by the organism itself. The theory was first proposed by William T. Powers (1926-2013 ) in *Behavior: The Control of Perception *(1973) 2 . a field of mathematics and engineering de
aling with the regulation of certain physical variables and processes to produce the desired outcome.”

Â

Best regards

Â

Rick

Â

Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of  Doing Research on Purpose

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychological Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
 The highly acclaimed therapy man
ual on A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels is available now.

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Angus Jenkinson, March 19, 00:03 GMT

Hi Rick and all

Delighted the travesty was corrected, scholarship is sometimes a funny thing, and an admirable definition; is it first time of publication?

Perhaps this is a signal of a new awareness

Angus

Hi everyone, as I thought Charles Carver has risen up to this. He may use an appropriated version of PCT that we are all very uncomfortable with, but he has not been responsible for the lack of credit for Bill. That seems to be a more pervasive, slippery, prejudice within academia and society as a whole. Charles has provided to the editor a suggested replacement to the text that does not mention him or Michael Scheier, but instead credits Bill and the 1973 book by name. He also mentions the 1960 TOTE model. I had already told the editor that the first published source of Bill’s control theory was in 1960 and I imagine they will want to still do their own research anyway. If it doesn’t appear in their draft of the definition then I will remind them.

The most important person to thank in all this is Richard (Pfau) as it could have gone for years without noticing it!

···

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Angus Jenkinson csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Angus Jenkinson, March 19, 00:03 GMT

Hi Rick and all

Delighted the travesty was corrected, scholarship is sometimes a funny thing, and an admirable definition; is it first time of publication?

Perhaps this is a signal of a new awareness

Angus


Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychological Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589

Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406

The highly acclaimed therapy manual on A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels is available now.

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2015.03.19.1340)]

···

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 1:36 AM, Warren Mansell csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

WM: Hi everyone, as I thought Charles Carver has risen up to this. He may use an appropriated version of PCT that we are all very uncomfortable with, but he has not been responsible for the lack of credit for Bill.

RM: Then who wrote the entry to the 2nd edition of the Dictionary? And who were the six reviewers that OK’d it (as per vanderBos)? Curious minds want to know.

WM: That seems to be a more pervasive, slippery, prejudice within academia and society as a whole.

RM: I don’t see how an academic prejudice can write (or type) an entry in the Dictionary;-).I think this was done by a human being and accepted as OK be other human beings. And I’d really love to know who they were! I don’t yoy, Warren, could discreetly try to find out?

WM: Charles has provided to the editor a suggested replacement to the text that does not mention him or Michael Scheier, but instead credits Bill and the 1973 book by name. He also mentions the 1960 TOTE model. I had already told the editor that the first published source of Bill’s control theory was in 1960 and I imagine they will want to still do their own research anyway. If it doesn’t appear in their draft of the definition then I will remind them.

RM: I guess this is all getting repaired in the Dictionary but I would still like to write something for AP discussing Control Theory in Psychology. I would like the paper to explain why Powers version of control theory is the only correct application of control theory in psychology. Other applications of control theory either get the theory wrong (eg. TOTE), the phenomenon (control) that the theory explains wrong (eg. manual control theory) or both wrong (eg. Carver Scheier). I’m so busy I don’t have the time to write such a paper right now but I will put it on the (not too far) back burner and get it done if I can work this other stuff off my plate.

WM: The most important person to thank in all this is Richard (Pfau) as it could have gone for years without noticing it!

RM: Yes indeed, brilliant find, Richard! Thanks.

Best

Rick

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Angus Jenkinson csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

Angus Jenkinson, March 19, 00:03 GMT

Hi Rick and all

Delighted the travesty was corrected, scholarship is sometimes a funny thing, and an admirable definition; is it first time of publication?

Perhaps this is a signal of a new awareness

Angus


Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychological Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589

Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406

The highly acclaimed therapy manual on A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels is available now.

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory


Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble