[From Rick Marken (950629.1845)]
the researchers thought that milk concentration might have a direct
effect, via the organism, on an aspect of responding (postreinforcement
Bruce Abbott (950629.1730 EST) --
How else would it have any effect an aspect of responding but
through the organism?
Recall that the output, o, of a control system will be related to a
disturbance, d, to a controlled quantity, q, by the approximation
o = -1/h(d), where h is the function describing the environmental
connection between o and q via the environment. The researchers
you mentioned studied the relationship between responding, o, and
milk concentration, d, as though o = f(d), where f is the function
describing the organismic connection between o and d via the organism.
This "direct effect", via the organism, of milk concentration, d, on
responding, o, does not exist in a control loop. The causal relationship
between o and d is (approximately) the inverse of the feedback function,
h, relating o to q; it does not reflect a direct connection between o and
d and it does not reveal anything about the nature of the organism
that is controlling a perception of q (see Powers, Science, 1973).
And you assert (without having done a review of the literature in this
area) that EAB researchers did not come up with a model...Perhaps they
have, have you looked? I believe your form of argumentation is called
"begging the question."
I have been begging for an answer: the question has been "what is the
reinforcement theory model of the ratio data". It seems to me that all
you do is keep describing reinforcement theory in control theory terms.
I am waiting to see the reinforcement theory explanation of the ratio
I have not looked for the reinforcement theory model of the ratio data
myself because 1) there is a presumed reinforcement theory expert on the net
(you) 2) I don't have easy access to a reference library 3) others
(such as Bill P) had asked you to present the reinforcement model of the
ratio data and 4) when we present reinforcement models they are typically
referred to as "straw men".
So why all that cant? We're on the same team, aren't we? Why are you
so defensive about reinforcement theory? Let's just see what the theory
can do and how it does it so that we can try to develop better and
clearer ways to show that it's wrong? Isn't that your goal too?