[From Bruce Nevin (20200603.08:30)]
Boris Hartmann (CSGnet Jun 3, 2020, 12:30 AM) a.k.a. here Borislav_Harihari, objects to what he calls “RCT definition of control”. This is his characterization of what he objects to:
- Control of behavior – controlling some “controlled variable” in external environment to some reference state
- Feedback function : pushing perception of controlled variable in outer environment toward references
- Creation of Controlled perceptual variable by input function – control of CPV in comparator …
- COMPARATOR : Function that takes a perceptual and a reference signal as input and produces an error signal as output,
Setting aside the ad hominem rhetoric of ‘RCT’ meaning “Rick’s control theory”, objections 1 and 2 fail to distinguish experimental methodology from theory.
Methodology : The reference state is observed in the environment. It is quantified as q.i , in the same way that d and q.o are also observed and quantified.
Theory : The reference value is inferred from the observed reference state.
Methodology : The controlled perception and its reference value are identified by the Test for controlled variables. In the Test, the experimenter controls their perception of environmental input to what they perceive to be the perception that the subject is controlling.
Theory : a comparator outputs the difference between the perceptual input signal and the reference signal, producing an error signal which is transformed to muscle tensions producing actions that counter disturbances to their controlled perceptual input.
#3 seems to say that the comparator, and not the input function, creates control. The perceptual input function receives input (from the environment or from lower-level perceptual signals) and creates a perceptual signal. However, the comparator does not control that signal, the entire loop controls that signal. No single function in the loop creates control.
If #4 is an objection to something, the objection is not stated.
Actual experience applying the methodology of PCT is essential for proper understanding of its theory. At minimum, experience working through the Test to identify what is controlled. Confusions about the nature and status of environmental variables come from failure to think carefully about the experience of performing the Test. In the Test, it is essential to assume the subject’s point of view and not impose the observer’s point of view. Understand clearly what the relationship is between what the experimenter is perceiving and controlling and what the subject is perceiving and controlling.