Behavior, Perception and What's Really Important About PCT (was Re: Dealing ...)

[From Rick Marken (2017.08.31.1120)]

···

Fred Nickols (2017.08.30.1227 ET)–

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FN: I believe that behavior serves to control our perceptions.Â

RM: That’s true as long as “behavior” is understood to refer only to the observable actions that bring a controlled perception to the reference state and keep it there, protected from disturbance. Â

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FN: However, the perceptions we control are perceptions of something, often some variable in the environment.Â

RM: Right. And these variables are the controlled variables that are also seen as “behaviors”. So by limiting the term “behavior” to refer only to actions (as you do when you say “behavior serves to control perceptions”) you are leaving out a lot of things we call “behaviors”. Indeed, most of the things we call “behavior” are controlled variables – even the actions that keep those variables under control.Â

RM: This is nicely explained in Powers’ paper “A Cybernetic Model for Research in Human Development”, which is reprinted in LCS I (and which I have recommended to this group many times before). In particular, I recommend the section called “The Phenomenon of Control” which starts on page 171 of LCS I. In that section is the following Table:

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RM: The Table nicely illustrates the fact that what we call “Behavior” (the things listed in the first column of the Table) is a process of control, where variable Means (the actions listed in the second column) are used to bring a Variable (the variable aspects of the environment listed in the third column) to a Reference states (the values listed in the fourth column). So the behavior we call “Opening the car door” (Open door) involves using variable Means (acting by appropriately varying one’s grasp to fit the door handle and pulling on the door with the appropriate force; Grasp, pull) to bring a Variable aspect of the environment (the angle of the door relative to the side of the car; Angle of door) to a Reference state (80 degrees).Â

RM: So what you are seeing when you see a Behavior such as “fastening a seat belt” is the Means (buckling) used to bring a Variable (distance between fasteners) to a Reference state (zero distance); in PCT diagrams Means, Variable and Reference state are referred to as Output, Controlled Quantity (or Controlled Variable) and Reference state, respectively. And in virtually all cases where the Means of controlling a variable are visible, these Means are themselves Variables that are controlled (Controlled Variables). So, for example, when you grasp the handle to open a car door, the shape of the grasp is itself a Variable that is brought to a Reference state (one that fits the particular door handle) by variable Means (appropriate variations of the muscle forces exerted on the fingers).Â

FN: It is our perception of that variable we seek to control.Â

RM: Yes, of course. But, again, I think it’s important to keep clear in one’s mind the distinction between observation and theory. Behavior is an observation; PCT is a theory that says that the behavior we observe is the control of perception. What we observe when we see the behavior “opening a car door” is a person bringing a variable (angle of the door) to a reference state (80 degree angle) by appropriate variations in the means (pulling, grasping) used to produce this result. The theory of how a person does this is that the person’s nervous system is producing variable outputs aimed at bringing a perceptual signal that corresponds to the angle of the door into a match with a reference signal that corresponds to the the 80 degree angle of the door relative to the side of the car.Â

RM: While PCT does say that observed behavior is the control of perception, I think that there has come to be an unfortunate emphasis on the “perception” part of that phrase and a de-emphasis on the “control” part.  I think this is unfortunate because it misrepresents what is most important about PCT. Emphasis on the “perception” part of *control of perception *gives the impression that what is important about PCT is the idea that our behavior depends on how we perceive the environment, not on what is actually out there. But the fact is that all theories in psychology recognize that the environment exists for organisms only as perceptions. The problem is that all of these theories say that these perceptions are the ultimate cause of what organisms do – their behavior. By recognizing the fact that behavior itself is a process of control, PCT turns things around completely by showing that organisms themselves are the ultimate cause of what they perceive. It is the idea that organisms autonomously specify, in the form of reference signals, the states that they want their perceptual experience to be in that distinguishes PCT from all other theories of behavior (and mind), including other applications of control theory in psychology. What is important about PCT, then, is that is says that organisms CONTROL, not that they perceive. PCT says that organisms autonomously specify the desired states of perceptual aspects of the environment and act to maintain those variables in those specified states.

BestÂ

Rick

Â

Our behaviors affects the environmental variable and as a consequence our perception of that variable changes. Other factors also affect the variables we perceive and we refer to them as “disturbances.� Fortunately, unless we are overwhelmed, the effects of our behavior nullify the effects of disturbances and thus our perceptions stay aligned with our reference.

Â

Do you have a problem with anything I’ve said above

Â


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

Rick Marken (2017.08.31.1120)–

Indeed, most of the things we call “behavior” are controlled variables – even the actions that keep those variables under control.

If one takes this view the layman’s understanding of “control of behavior” is correct. PCT does not refute that understanding, but provides an explanation of it.

M

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

Rick Marken (2017.08.31.1120)–

Indeed, most of the things we call “behavior” are controlled variables – even the actions that keep those variables under control.

If one takes this view the layman’s understanding of “control of behavior” is correct. PCT does not refute that understanding, but provides an explanation of it.

HB : Could you show me where PCT provides explanation for »control of behavior« ?

Boris

M

···

From: MK [mailto:perceptualposts@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2017 10:51 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Behavior, Perception and What’s Really Important About PCT (was Re: Dealing …)

Hi Fred again.

Rick is manipulating again and again. I wonder when he will stop manipulating with CSGnet forum

image00297.png

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:24 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Cc: Richard Marken
Subject: Behavior, Perception and What’s Really Important About PCT (was Re: Dealing …)

[From Rick Marken (2017.08.31.1120)]

Fred Nickols (2017.08.30.1227 ET)–

FN: I believe that behavior serves to control our perceptions.

RM: That’s true as long as “behavior” is understood to refer only to the observable actions that bring a controlled perception to the reference state and keep it there, protected from disturbance.

HB : Stop bullshitting Rick. Whatever understanding you have for behavior it’s not control. But in your »perceptual illusion« as oberver (psychological eductaion) you can have a feeling that »Behavior is control«. But you never proved how people can »Control behavior«. But Bill did prove that »behavior can’t be controlled«. And you never proved how organisms are protecting themself from disturbances ??

FN: However, the perceptions we control are perceptions of something, often some variable in the environment.

RM: Right. And these variables are the controlled variables that are also seen as “behaviors”.

HB : There is no »controlled variables« in outer environment. The only controlled variable in PCT is »perception«.

Bill P :

FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of a system’s output on it’s own input.

HB : I wonder Rick when you will start using PCT terminology. Your RCT terminology is total negation of PCT.

RM : So by limiting the term “behavior” to refer only to actions (as you do when you say “behavior serves to control perceptions”) you are leaving out a lot of things we call “behaviors”. Indeed, most of the things we call “behavior” are controlled variables – even the actions that keep those variables under control.

HB : When this will stop. Give finaly some PCT proves that there are »controlled variables in environment«, that »actions are control« that there is some Controlled Perceptual Variable« or CPV… and so on. Give us some PCT diagram from many diaagrams that show »controlled variable« in environment. »Controlled variable« can be seen just in RCT diagram.

RM: This is nicely explained in Powers’ paper “A Cybernetic Model for Research in Human Development”, which is reprinted in LCS I (and which I have recommended to this group many times before). In particular, I recommend the section called “The Phenomenon of Control” which starts on page 171 of LCS I. In that section is the following

HB : As usuall you are manipulating with Bills literature. Why don’t you read Chapter to the end.

Table:

Inline image 1

RM: The Table nicely illustrates the fact that what we call “Behavior” (the things listed in the first column of the Table) is a process of control, where variable Means (the actions listed in the second column) are used to bring a Variable (the variable aspects of the environment listed in the third column) to a Reference states (the values listed in the fourth column). So the behavior we call “Opening the car door” (Open door) involves using variable Means (acting by appropriately varying one’s grasp to fit the door handle and pulling on the door with the appropriate force; Grasp, pull) to bring a Variable aspect of the environment (the angle of the door relative to the side of the car; Angle of door) to a Reference state (80 degrees).

HB : We’ve gone through this many times. What an manipulator you are Rick. So you say that people are wearing »protractors« with themselves so that they can measure degress to which they open car door. Are you nuts ?

Bill P : There is one explanation for existance of reference states that has been proposed over and over for centuries : they are determined by the intentions of the behaving system. The driver has inside him, the intention that the door be open. He acts to achieve this purpose, doing whatever is required (if possible) to achive it. Â

FN: It is our perception of that variable we seek to control.

RM: Yes, of course.

HB : No it’s not.

RM : But, again, I think it’s important to keep clear in one’s mind the distinction between observation and theory. Behavior is an observation;

HB : Behavior is not just observation from observers point of view but is also an observation of elements of »muscle tension«. So behavior can be explained from many views. From which view you are explaining behavior. Through »behaviorism«.

RM : PCT is a theory that says that the behavior we observe is the control of perception.

HB : In which sense ???

RM : What we observe when we see the behavior “opening a car door” is a person bringing a variable (angle of the door) to a reference state (80 degree angle) by appropriate variations in the means (pulling, grasping) used to produce this result.

HB : Whatever people will be doing they will never open car door to 80 degress unles they measure it very perciselly. And even then who knows. And  I’ve never seen anbody doing it. Did you open the door to 80 degreess ever ???  The references are set in different way.

RM : The theory of how a person does this is that the person’s nervous system is producing variable outputs aimed at bringing a perceptual signal that corresponds to the angle of the door into a match with a reference signal that corresponds to the the 80 degree angle of the door relative to the side of the car.

HB : When did you see the last time that people are measuring the angle of the door to 80 degress ? How do you know this is the way how nervous system operate ?

RM: While PCT does say that observed behavior is the control of perception,

HB : In which sense…???

RM Â I think that there has come to be an unfortunate emphasis on the “perception” part of that phrase and a de-emphasis on the “control” part. I think this is unfortunate because it misrepresents what is most important about PCT. Emphasis on the “perception” part of *control of perception *gives the impression that what is important about PCT is the idea that our behavior depends on how we perceive the environment, not on what is actually out there.

HB : PCT doesn’t say this. PCT says that behavior depends form how we perceive outer enviornment and from references.

And how do you know what is actually out there ?

RM : But the fact is that all theories in psychology recognize that the environment exists for organisms only as perceptions.

HB : Can you explain us some psychological theories which recognize »that the environment exists for organisms only as perceptions. ???

RM : The problem is that all of these theories say that these perceptions are the ultimate cause of what organisms do – their behavior.

HB : As far as I know these theories are not talking about »perception« but about »physical stimulus«. And thsi is quite different concept.

RM : By recognizing the fact that behavior itself is a process of control, PCT turns things around completely by showing that organisms themselves are the ultimate cause of what they perceive.

HB : PCT never recognized that »Behavior is process of control« but that behavior is important part of control but supporting one.  You sign for it too.

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the core concept of the theory is the observation that living things control perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomen of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

RM : It is the idea that organisms autonomously specify, in the form of reference signals, the states that they want their perceptual experience to be in that distinguishes PCT from all other theories of behavior (and mind), including other applications of control theory in psychology. What is important about PCT, then, is that is says that organisms CONTROL, not that they perceive. PCT says that organisms autonomously specify the desired states of perceptual aspects of the environment and act to maintain those variables in those specified states.

HB : Which aspects of environment and maintaining which variables in specified states ???

Bill P (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

Boris

Best

Rick

Our behaviors affects the environmental variable and as a consequence our perception of that variable changes. Other factors also affect the variables we perceive and we refer to them as “disturbances.� Fortunately, unless we are overwhelmed, the effects of our behavior nullify the effects of disturbances and thus our perceptions stay aligned with our reference.

Do you have a problem with anything I’ve said above

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From MK (2017.09.01.1710 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.01 1430)--

PCT never recognized that »Behavior is process of control« but that behavior is important part of control but supporting one.

"Where I have tried to make the form more comprehensible by suggesting
content I have stepped over the bounds of my knowledge and have
probably made mistakes. I trust that they can be corrected without
obscuring what is most important about this model -- and that is this:
Behavior is the process by which organisms control their input sensory
data. For human beings, behavior is the control of perception. That is
what is important about the model -- that, and all that is implied by
it."

William T. Powers in the B:CP preface

M

[From MK (2017.09.01.1710 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.01 1430)--

PCT never recognized that »Behavior is process of control« but that behavior is important part of control but supporting one.

"Where I have tried to make the form more comprehensible by suggesting content I have stepped over the bounds of my knowledge and have probably made mistakes. I trust that they can be corrected without obscuring what is most important about this model -- and that is this:

Behavior is the process by which organisms control their input sensory data.

HB : Note the meaning : Behavior is process by which orgsnisms control.... it's not that behavior is processs of control"... To confirm this statement I've already

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the core concept of the theory is the observation that living things control perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomen of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

You understand the difference. It doesn't matter how you name behavior : it can be action, process or whatever, but it's not controlling anything. Organism controls.

For human beings, behavior is the control of perception.

HB : AsI said before. This can have double meaning, but diagram (LCS III) is showing that behavior is the result of control of perception. See diagram and you'll that in feed-back function there is no trace of any controlling

Bill P :
FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.

It's obvious that behavior is afffecting input not controlling perception

That is what is important about the model -- that, and all that is implied by it."

You understand ?

William T. Powers in the B:CP preface

M

···

-----Original Message-----
From: MK [mailto:perceptualposts@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2017 5:07 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Behavior, Perception and What's Really Important About PCT (was Re: Dealing ...)

[From MK (2017.09.11.1350 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.02.0704]--

Organism controls.

I agree with this. Organisms are often said to behave. Restricting
ourselves to living individuals in everyday situations and taking the
inside perspective: do you perceive there to be a difference between
the process of behaving and the process of controlling? Are the two
processes as understood by you 1) identical, 2) comparable yet
distinct or 3) totally different from each other?

M

Re: Dealing ...)

[From MK (2017.09.11.1350 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.02.0704]--

Organism controls.

I agree with this. Organisms are often said to behave. Restricting ourselves
to living individuals in everyday situations and taking the inside
perspective: do you perceive there to be a difference between the process of
behaving and the process of controlling? Are the two processes as understood
by you 1) identical, 2) comparable yet distinct or 3) totally different from
each other?

HB : I don't understand what you meant by " difference between the process
of behaving and the process of controlling" ?

I perceive what I'm doing.It doesn't mean that it's always control. And you
?

M

···

-----Original Message-----
From: MK [mailto:perceptualposts@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2017 1:52 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Behavior, Perception and What's Really Important About PCT (was

[From MK (2017.09.13.1155 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.12.1743)--

I perceive what I'm doing.It doesn't mean that it's always control.

During which everyday cirumstances do you consider "what you are
doing" to not constitute an example of control(ling)?

M

Matti...

···

-----Original Message-----
From: MK [mailto:perceptualposts@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:56 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Behavior, Perception and What's Really Important About PCT (was
Re: Dealing ...)

[From MK (2017.09.13.1155 CET)]

Boris Hartman (2017.09.12.1743)--

I perceive what I'm doing.It doesn't mean that it's always control.

During which everyday cirumstances do you consider "what you are doing" to
not constitute an example of control(ling)?

HB :
I'm not sure if I understand what are you asking me. But if it is what I
think it is, then you'll have to wander arroung CSGnet archives and find
answers for yourself. You are a master of searching informations. I have
enough of repeating myself.

Boris

M

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.09.16.08:45 ET)]

MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET) –

Matti, I think I recognize what I’m agreeing with here, but actually I’m not entirely clear what you mean by « the layman’s understanding of “control of behavior” » . Could you please articulate your sense of what that understanding is?

···

On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 4:50 AM, MK perceptualposts@gmail.com wrote:

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

[From MK (2017.09.01.1045 CET)]

Rick Marken (2017.08.31.1120)–

Indeed, most of the things we call “behavior” are controlled variables – even the actions that keep those variables under control.

If one takes this view the layman’s understanding of “control of behavior” is correct. PCT does not refute that understanding, but provides an explanation of it.

M