Bandura, 2015: On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation

[From MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)]

···

----
Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding
Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),
1025-1044.
DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826
http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the
nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of
triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of
self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control
theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction
through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)
submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending
that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy
was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative
effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include
the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at
cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken
their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief
systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic
goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the
negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize
the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the
perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.
Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their
efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control
theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy
effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and
goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals
and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,
people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for
themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.
As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The
higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for
themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under
distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control
theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance
attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than
under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,
1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most
grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim
described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

"I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell
myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I
cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually
keeps me going at my best speed."

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’
theory. Ever closer ever slower."

----

M

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

···

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–


Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding

Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),

1025-1044.

DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826

http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the

nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of

triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of

self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control

theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction

through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)

submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending

that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy

was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative

effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include

the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at

cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken

their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief

systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic

goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the

negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize

the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the

perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.

Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their

efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control

theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy

effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and

goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals

and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,

people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for

themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.

As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The

higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for

themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual

control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens

effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy

simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.

Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be

expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is

analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not

explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy

is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory

is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals

work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that

effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing

the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,

experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses

tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying

distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder

they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort

goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of

frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more

vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,

1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under

distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control

theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance

attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than

under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,

1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most

grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim

described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

"I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell

myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I

cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually

keeps me going at my best speed."

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’

theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M


Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[From Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)]

  1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

  2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Andrew

···

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–


Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding

Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),

1025-1044.

DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826

http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the

nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of

triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of

self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control

theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction

through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)

submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending

that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy

was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative

effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include

the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at

cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken

their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief

systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic

goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the

negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize

the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the

perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.

Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their

efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control

theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy

effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and

goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals

and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,

people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for

themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.

As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The

higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for

themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual

control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens

effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy

simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.

Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be

expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is

analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not

explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy

is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory

is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals

work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that

effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing

the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,

experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses

tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying

distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder

they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort

goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of

frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more

vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,

1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under

distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control

theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance

attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than

under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,

1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most

grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim

described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

"I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell

myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I

cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually

keeps me going at my best speed."

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’

theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1010)]

···

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)–

AN: 1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

RM: Good question. That’s what I would like to know. Sounds like a bunch of management gobbledygook to me. It is published in the Journal of Management, after all!

AN: 2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

RM: Good point. That’s why I would like to see Bill’s 1991 reply to Bandura. I’d likek to know what Bandura is referring to.

Best

Rick

Andrew

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–


Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding

Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),

1025-1044.

DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826

http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the

nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of

triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of

self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control

theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction

through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)

submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending

that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy

was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative

effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include

the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at

cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken

their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief

systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic

goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the

negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize

the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the

perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.

Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their

efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control

theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy

effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and

goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals

and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,

people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for

themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.

As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The

higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for

themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual

control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens

effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy

simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.

Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be

expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is

analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not

explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy

is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory

is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals

work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that

effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing

the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,

experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses

tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying

distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder

they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort

goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of

frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more

vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,

1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under

distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control

theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance

attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than

under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,

1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most

grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim

described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

"I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell

myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I

cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually

keeps me going at my best speed."

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’

theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Here you are.

Ted

Powers on Bandure 1991.pdf (567 KB)

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 11:08 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Bandura, 2015: On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1010)]

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)–

AN: 1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

RM: Good question. That’s what I would like to know. Sounds like a bunch of management gobbledygook to me. It is published in the Journal of Management, after all!

AN: 2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

RM: Good point. That’s why I would like to see Bill’s 1991 reply to Bandura. I’d likek to know what Bandura is referring to.

Best

Rick

Andrew

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–

Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding
Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),
1025-1044.
DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826
http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a
free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the
nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of
triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of
self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control
theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction
through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)
submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending
that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy
was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative
effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include
the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at
cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken
their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief
systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic
goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the
negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize
the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the
perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.
Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their
efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control
theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy
effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and
goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals
and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,
people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for
themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.
As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The
higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for
themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under
distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control
theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance
attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than
under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,
1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most
grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim
described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

“I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell
myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I
cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually
keeps me going at my best speed.”

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’
theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com

Author of Doing
Research on Purpose
.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing
Research on Purpose
.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Thanks Ted!

···

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 10:14 AM, Ted Cloak tcloak@unm.edu wrote:

Here you are.

Ted

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 11:08 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Bandura, 2015: On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1010)]

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)–

AN: 1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

RM: Good question. That’s what I would like to know. Sounds like a bunch of management gobbledygook to me. It is published in the Journal of Management, after all!

AN: 2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

RM: Good point. That’s why I would like to see Bill’s 1991 reply to Bandura. I’d likek to know what Bandura is referring to.

Best

Rick

Andrew

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–

Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding
Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),
1025-1044.
DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826
http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a
free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the
nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of
triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of
self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control
theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction
through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)
submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending
that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy
was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative
effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include
the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at
cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken
their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief
systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic
goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the
negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize
the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the
perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.
Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their
efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control
theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy
effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and
goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals
and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,
people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for
themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.
As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The
higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for
themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under
distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control
theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance
attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than
under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,
1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most
grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim
described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

“I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell
myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I
cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually
keeps me going at my best speed.”

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’
theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com

Author of Doing
Research on Purpose
.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing
Research on Purpose
.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[From Fred Nickols (2015.09.16.1358)]

Thanks to Andrew for bringing Bandura’s piece to our attention and to Ted Cloak for providing Bill’s 1991 comments.

After reading both, I am dismissive of Bandura’s arguments. The most important reason is that he misstates Bill’s comments. So, as Bill said originally, Bandura doesn’t get it (i.e., understand control theory). That said, someone should probably take Bandura to task for misrepresenting what Bill said. That is most unkind.

Fred Nickols

···

From: Andrew Nichols [mailto:anicholslcsw@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1:02 PM
To: csgnet
Subject: Re: Bandura, 2015: On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation

[From Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)]

  1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

  2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Andrew

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.16.1000)]

MK (2015.09.16.1510 CET)–

Bandura, A. (2015). On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding
Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4),
1025-1044.
DOI: 10.1177/0149206315572826
http://jom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/1025.full

"Conceptual Flaws in Perceptual Control Theory

RM: Well that was unpleasant. Does anyone know where I can find a free copy of Powers’ 1991 reply to Bandura?

Best

Rick

In 1989, I published an article in the American Psychologist on the
nature and function of human agency within the conceptual framework of
triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989). The role of
self-efficacy within this theoretical framework had bearing on control
theories founded on a cybernetic model emphasizing error correction
through negative feedback loops as the driving force. Powers (1991)
submitted a brief commentary to the American Psychologist contending
that self-efficacy has negative effects on performance. Self-efficacy
was never a part of Powers’ control theory. The alleged negative
effects were a speculation based on two false premises. They include
the assumption that self-efficacy and goals work independently and at
cross-purposes. The second assumption is that individuals slacken
their efforts as they draw nearer to the goal.

Powers argued that motivation is regulated by two optimistic belief
systems that operate independently and counteractively. Optimistic
goal beliefs raise effort by increasing the discrepancy in the
negative feedback loop, thereby requiring greater effort to realize
the goal. In contrast, optimistic self-efficacy beliefs shrink the
perceived discrepancy between performance and the goal comparator.
Under a reduced discrepancy, individuals allegedly slacken their
efforts, thereby undermining their performance attainments. Control
theory posited positive goal effects but negative self-efficacy
effects on performance.

Research in both social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997, 2013) and
goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) refute the claim that goals
and self-efficacy operate independently and at cross-purposes. Rather,
people’s beliefs in their capability influence the goals they set for
themselves and their commitment to them in the face of difficulties.
As these findings show, self-efficacy changes the goal comparator. The
higher their self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for
themselves.

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Goal discrepancies are smaller under proximal subgoals than under
distal final ones. Contrary to prediction from perceptual control
theory, people exert higher effort and realize higher performance
attainments under proximal subgoals leading to a distal goal than
under a distal final goal alone (Bandura, 1991; Bandura & Schunk,
1981; Sun & Frese, 2013). Cross-country skiing is one of the most
grueling Olympic sports. The Norwegian superstar Jon Bjorkheim
described the superior motivating power of proximal goals:

“I cheat a little. I look ahead, maybe to the top of rise, and tell
myself that it’s near the end of the course. When I get up there, I
cheat again by looking ahead and again making believe. It usually
keeps me going at my best speed.”

Never bet on an athlete on a track team who runs according to Powers’
theory. Ever closer ever slower."


M

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing Research on Purpose.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

  1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

  2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Andrew

  1.  Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done.  A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher.  The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy with respect to reaching the top of that hill.  (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)
    
  2.  Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization.  In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between the current reference level and the perception being controlled.  As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes.  I assume that by “effort,â€? Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception toward its reference value.  Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â
    

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate, Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Bruce

Bandura (2015):

···

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so, he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully nothing!
Warren

···

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Â

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

Â

1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

Â

2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Â

Andrew

Â

1.     Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

2.     Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,â€? Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â

Â

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

Â

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Â

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate, Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Â

Bruce

Â

Â

Â

 Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

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
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiled� PCT for a generation of young psychologists. He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried
to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

Best

Ted

···

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so,
he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully
nothing!

Warren

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

  1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

  2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Andrew

Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy
with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between
the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,� Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception
toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effort� diminishes as the “goal� is approached.

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes
a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that
are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that
PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate,
Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates
at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the
fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Bruce

Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

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

Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai -

Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

I’m told that Bandura responded to Bill’s 1991 critique not long after. That should be found and included in any response. It certainly calls for response, but not in the typical gladiatorial fashion.Â

Each party to this is reducing what the other says to his own terms. When this happens, there is a great likelihood that what is intended by one terminology does not match what is intended by the other terminology. Bruce Abbott identified one of these terms:

 1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

A quick look through the attached chapter by Bandura has not greatly enlightened me, and unfortunately I’m in the midst of other busyness just now. Efficacy appears to be gaining (or losing) control. On p. 52 (the second page) of the attached, I read

Unless people believe they can produce desired effects by their actions they have little incentive to act. Efficacy belief is, therefore, the foundation of action.

I suspect that Bill and Bandura were (are) talking past each other. If that is so, any response should be framed that way, rather than as a rebuttal in the simple sense. Bandura is talking about some interesting things in the best way he knows how. Sure, say that Bandura doesn’t understand PCT, but by saying it this way you allow his followers the possibility of looking at PCT seriously instead of goading them to resist it.Â

Rolling over with no response would be a good example of what Bandura means by lack of efficacy. If we believe our actions cannot produce desired effects, we have little incentive to act. So: are you setting to prove him right?

I suggest a jointly written response from certified psychologists among us. I know of at least five or six, but there are probably more who I’ve forgotten or who have come in while I’ve been inattentive.Â

Warren, an archive of a previous exchange is promised on the pctweb site where it saysÂ

Another key figure who is critical of PCT is Alfred Bandura, a key figure in the development of social learning theory and the creator of the concept of ‘self-efficacy’. Click here to read his debates with Jeff Vancouver which provide stimulating reading!

But the link is broken.

Personal and collective efficacy in human adaptation and change-Bandura.pdf (1.51 MB)

···

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 7:06 PM, Ted Cloak tcloak@unm.edu wrote:

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiled� PCT for a generation of young psychologists. He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried
to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

Best

Ted

Â

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Â

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so,
he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully
nothing!

Warren

Â

Â

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Â

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

Â

1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

Â

2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Â

Andrew

Â

1.    Â
Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy
with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

2.    Â
Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between
the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,� Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception
toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â

Â

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

Â

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes
a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that
are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that
PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Â

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate,
Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates
at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the
fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Â

Bruce

Â

Â

Â

 Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Â

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
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai -

Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

Â

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.18.0945)]

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

Â

TC: Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiledâ€? PCT for a generation of young psychologists. He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

RM: You give Bandura way too much credit. Bandura's crap was written in the 1990s, way after B:CP was published (in 1974). I starting doing research on PCT in 1978 and was giving talks on it (at the U of M, for example) in 1979 and the resistance to PCT was already clear. The nature of the resistance took two different forms. Among research type psychologists (like Bandura) Â it took the form of open hostility. Among clinical/applied types (like Glasser) it took the form of what I would call enthusiastic misunderstanding. Of course, there was some overlap. There were some research types who enthusiastically misunderstood it (Carver and Scheier, for example) and some clinical/applied types (like Albert Ellis) who were openly hostile. But by and large the breakdown when: research types-hostile, clinical types -- enthusiastic misunderstanding.Â
RM: So it wasn't Bandura who spoiled PCT for a generation of psychologists. It was PCT that did it just by being itself.Â
BestÂ
Rick
 >

···

Best

Ted

Â

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Â

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so, he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully nothing!

Warren

Â

Â

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott <<mailto:bbabbott@frontier.com>bbabbott@frontier.com> wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Â

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

Â

1. What does he mean by "self-efficacy"

Â

2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not "effort".

Â

Andrew

Â

1.     Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that couldâ€? had self-efficacy with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!â€?)

2.     Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,â€? Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â

Â

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

Â

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disprovenâ€? PCT.

Â

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate, Test, Exit.â€? This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,â€? “effortâ€?) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Â

Bruce

Â

Â

Â

 Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Â

--

Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychological Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: <mailto:warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk>warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: <tel:%2B44%20%280%29%20161%20275%208589>+44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.psych-2Dsci.manchester.ac.uk_staff_131406&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=wvKedaO2aQ0G7SbF1qMVS_rgaXIj4E_-bShXwyMLRvI&s=xBugxneNQ8fki4IrqPEszHK5CVkdbTNMPeONoITDc2o&e=> http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406

Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.routledge.com_books_details_9780415738781_&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=wvKedaO2aQ0G7SbF1qMVS_rgaXIj4E_-bShXwyMLRvI&s=R26ParygxcuTsqz6C17Z2RymIuQrVTU8O58fRYL3y9s&e=> Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.pctweb.org&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=wvKedaO2aQ0G7SbF1qMVS_rgaXIj4E_-bShXwyMLRvI&s=LWi5-auTmFDWkqiWEmbTngKkAcQQiWX1hhMJDYfJFPA&e=> www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Â

--
Richard S. MarkenÂ
<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.mindreadings.com&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=YpjA4PLGJn1TCYXq6D-HOWlVIERS5gSdjBRYjV7w_1c&s=lAmM7LHWhH5aePVy_8EzM32MrHa4EInhtRv_U4Ip50w&e=>www.mindreadings.com
Author of  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.amazon.com_Doing-2DResearch-2DPurpose-2DExperimental-2DPsychology_dp_0944337554_ref-3Dsr-5F1-5F1-3Fie-3DUTF8-26qid-3D1407342866-26sr-3D8-2D1-26keywords-3Ddoing-2Bresearch-2Bon-2Bpurpose&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=YpjA4PLGJn1TCYXq6D-HOWlVIERS5gSdjBRYjV7w_1c&s=VNFv2u7GC1UMGSePtzjYyEU5zHFq9QgYzJMS8KsV3Cg&e=>Doing Research on Purpose.Â
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

This guy is a top-notch idiot. I know this because he uses the phrase “self-efficacy” 15 times in less than half a page. And look at what he says:

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that

effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing

the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,

experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses

tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying

distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder

they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort

goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of

frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more

vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,

1973).

PY: Reorganization notwithstanding (don’t assume Bandura read all the way to chapter 14), the effort declines the less the disturbance acts. And if a rodent is thwarted far away from the cheese, we would assume the rodent is reorganizing the cheese away. What more is there to say?       Â
Â

···

On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 9:47 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.18.0945)]

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

Â

TC: Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiled� PCT for a generation of young psychologists. He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried
to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

RM: You give Bandura way too much credit. Bandura’s crap was written in the 1990s, way after B:CP was published (in 1974). I starting doing research on PCT in 1978 and was giving talks on it (at the U of M, for example) in 1979 and the resistance to PCT was already clear. The nature of the resistance took two different forms. Among research type psychologists (like Bandura) Â it took the form of open hostility. Among clinical/applied types (like Glasser) it took the form of what I would call enthusiastic misunderstanding. Of course, there was some overlap. There were some research types who enthusiastically misunderstood it (Carver and Scheier, for example) and some clinical/applied types (like Albert Ellis) who were openly hostile. But by and large the breakdown when: research types-hostile, clinical types – enthusiastic misunderstanding.Â

RM: So it wasn’t Bandura who spoiled PCT for a generation of psychologists. It was PCT that did it just by being itself.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

Best

Ted

Â

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Â

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so,
he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully
nothing!

Warren

Â

Â

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Â

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

Â

1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

Â

2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Â

Andrew

Â

1.    Â
Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy
with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

2.    Â
Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between
the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,� Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception
toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â

Â

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

Â

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes
a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that
are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that
PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Â

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate,
Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates
at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the
fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Â

Bruce

Â

Â

Â

 Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Â

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
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai -

Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

Â


Richard S. MarkenÂ

www.mindreadings.com
Author of  Doing Research on Purpose
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I found what more there is to say. Append this to my last post:
We would assume the rodent is rapidly reorganizing the cheese away, due to the distance of the goal.Â

···

On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 10:48 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This guy is a top-notch idiot. I know this because he uses the phrase “self-efficacy” 15 times in less than half a page. And look at what he says:

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that

effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing

the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,

experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses

tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying

distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder

they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort

goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of

frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more

vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,

1973).

PY: Reorganization notwithstanding (don’t assume Bandura read all the way to chapter 14), the effort declines the less the disturbance acts. And if a rodent is thwarted far away from the cheese, we would assume the rodent is reorganizing the cheese away. What more is there to say?       Â
Â

On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 9:47 AM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.18.0945)]

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

Â

TC: Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiled� PCT for a generation of young psychologists. He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried
to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

RM: You give Bandura way too much credit. Bandura’s crap was written in the 1990s, way after B:CP was published (in 1974). I starting doing research on PCT in 1978 and was giving talks on it (at the U of M, for example) in 1979 and the resistance to PCT was already clear. The nature of the resistance took two different forms. Among research type psychologists (like Bandura) Â it took the form of open hostility. Among clinical/applied types (like Glasser) it took the form of what I would call enthusiastic misunderstanding. Of course, there was some overlap. There were some research types who enthusiastically misunderstood it (Carver and Scheier, for example) and some clinical/applied types (like Albert Ellis) who were openly hostile. But by and large the breakdown when: research types-hostile, clinical types – enthusiastic misunderstanding.Â

RM: So it wasn’t Bandura who spoiled PCT for a generation of psychologists. It was PCT that did it just by being itself.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

Best

Ted

Â

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Â

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so,
he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully
nothing!

Warren

Â

Â

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Â

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

Â

1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”

Â

2. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Â

Andrew

Â

1.    Â
Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy
with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

2.    Â
Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between
the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,� Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception
toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effortâ€? diminishes as the “goalâ€? is approached.Â

Â

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

Â

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes
a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that
are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that
PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Â

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate,
Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates
at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the
fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Â

Bruce

Â

Â

Â

 Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

Â

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
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai -

Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

Â


Richard S. MarkenÂ

www.mindreadings.com
Author of  Doing Research on Purpose
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

TC: Actually, the generation I had in mind was Bandura’s, and these guys you mention, students.

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2015 10:48 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Bandura, 2015: On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation

[From Rick Marken (2015.09.18.0945)]

Ted Cloak [20150917 1706MST]

TC: Regrettably, I fear, Bandura may have “spoiled� PCT for a generation of young psychologists.
He was awfully powerful, as I understand. I wonder if Bill tried to rebut him, and just couldn’t get heard.

RM: You give Bandura way too much credit. Bandura’s crap was written in the 1990s, way after B:CP was published (in 1974). I starting doing research on PCT in 1978 and was giving talks on it (at the U of M, for example) in 1979 and the
resistance to PCT was already clear. The nature of the resistance took two different forms. Among research type psychologists (like Bandura) it took the form of open hostility. Among clinical/applied types (like Glasser) it took the form of what I would call
enthusiastic misunderstanding. Of course, there was some overlap. There were some research types who enthusiastically misunderstood it (Carver and Scheier, for example) and some clinical/applied types (like Albert Ellis) who were openly hostile. But by and
large the breakdown when: research types-hostile, clinical types – enthusiastic misunderstanding.

RM: So it wasn’t Bandura who spoiled PCT for a generation of psychologists. It was PCT that did it just by being itself.

Best

Rick

Best

Ted

Warren [20150917 1007GMT]

Hi folk, what I really like about Bandura is that he actually tries to critique PCT unlike nearly other competing theorists, who just ignore it, or incorporate a tiny element of
what they agree with into their own theory. But in doing so, he epitomises how badly PCT can be misunderstood, often from an aloof, overconfident position of power. If such an esteemed psychologist can misunderstand PCT so comprehensively, what does that tell
us about the likelihood of PCT becoming mainstream? Hopefully nothing!

Warren

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

[From Bruce Abbott (2015.09.17.1000 EDT)]

Andrew Nichols, LCSW (2015.09.16.12:00 CST)

  1. What does he mean by “self-efficacy”
  1. Reorganization slows as the goal is approached, not “effort”.

Andrew

Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to get the job done. A person with high self-efficacy with respect to some task will set the goal higher. The “little engine that could� had self-efficacy
with respect to reaching the top of that hill. (“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!�)

Bandura is talking about the process of control, not the process of reorganization. In a simple proportional control system, the magnitude of the output is proportional to the error between
the current reference level and the perception being controlled. As the error diminishes, the output also diminishes. I assume that by “effort,� Bandura means the magnitude of the output that acts on the controlled variable so as to bring the perception
toward its reference value. Thus, Bandura is right: in a PCT-style control system “effort� diminishes as the “goal� is approached.

Bandura’s evidence against this prediction is that people tend to expend more effort to achieve a goal when they are close to achieving it that when further from it.

A serious problem with Bandura’s analysis is that he imagines that PCT only employs simple one-level proportional control systems to model control over a given perception. Although PCT proposes
a general functional organization, the specific organization that emerges through reorganization to implement control over a given perceptual variable must be discovered through appropriate scientific testing that identifies the perception or perceptions that
are being controlled and the mechanisms through which that control is achieved. If the phenomenon the Bandura points to as proof that PCT is wrong does in fact occur, then it will have to be accounted for within the PCT framework. Bandura has not shown that
PCT is incapable of doing this and thus has not “disproven� PCT.

Bandura seems to adopt a model of control like the Miller, Galanter, and Pribram TOTE model, which analyzes control in terms of a series of steps taken sequentially. TOTE stands for “Test, Operate,
Test, Exit.� This is a computer algorithm: compare current perception to goal. Are you there? Yes: exit; no: perform an action to reduce the discrepancy. Then test again. Are you there? Yes? Exit. No? Repeat. Thus it would seem that his theory operates
at a level equivalent to PCT’s program level, but Bandura’s criticism of PCT assumes incorrectly that PCT-style control always involves simple one-level control systems. Thus his criticism of PCT is based on an inappropriate comparison, not to mention the
fact that his variables (e.g., “self-efficacy,� “effort�) are loose verbal constructs having no grounding in biology.

Bruce

Bandura (2015):

The self-efficacy determination of goals is the nemesis of perceptual
control theory. While it well established that self-efficacy heightens
effort by raising goals, in Powers’ theory high self-efficacy
simultaneously diminished effort by shrinking perceived discrepancy.
Because performers have only one body, self-efficacy cannot be
expanding and shrinking discrepancies simultaneously. This is
analogous to walking right and left concurrently. Powers did not
explain how the negative feedback loop can operate if its discrepancy
is being simultaneously expanded and shrunk. Social cognitive theory
is spared the ontological gridlock because self-efficacy and goals
work together harmoniously rather than at cross-purposes.

The second flaw in Powers’ theory addresses the core assumption that
effort declines the closer one gets to the goal, thereby diminishing
the goal discrepancy. In animal studies of effort goal-gradients,
experimenters equipped fleet-footed rodents with tiny harnesses
tethered to a device that measured how hard they pull at varying
distances to the goal. The closer they got to the goal, the harder
they pulled. Dollard and Miller (1950) extended this effort
goal-gradient to human motivation and performance. In studies of
frustration effects, individuals blocked near a goal respond more
vigorously than when they are thwarted some distance from it (Bandura,
1973).

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

Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai -

Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

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

Richard S. Marken

www.mindreadings.com
Author of Doing
Research on Purpose
.

Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble