Consequences

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)]

I was reading back through the thread dealing with affordances when I came across this snippet from a post by Bill P:

[From Bill Powers (2012.11.09.1901 MST)] I wrote an “essay on the obvious” which extracted a slightly different point from the same (agreed) facts:

The general [accepted] idea is that it is very hard to find any regularity or order in the behavior of organisms, so we must look beyond the obvious and search for hidden patterns and subtle principles.

But behavior IS orderly and it is orderly in obvious ways. It is orderly, however, in a way that conventional behavioral scientists have barely noticed. It is not orderly in the sense that the output forces generated by an organism follow regularly from sensory inputs or past experience. It is orderly in the sense that the CONSEQUENCES of those output forces are shaped by the organism into highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns.

I think that snippet has triggered a flash of insight on my part but I’ll double-check it.

My immediate reaction was that behaviorists would leap on Bill’s statement and say, “See, behavior is shaped by its consequences.” A moment later came the insight. And here’s how I might respond to that assertion.

“Bill is NOT saying that behavior is shaped by its consequences. What he IS saying that that we hold reference conditions or goals for various aspects of the world around us and we vary our behavior so as to maintain those “highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns” that constitute achievement of our goals/reference conditions. In other words, we vary our behavior so as to make our perceptions of the current state of targeted variables line up with our goals or reference conditions for those variables. The “CONSEQUENCES” to which Bill refers are our perceptions of the effects our behavior is having on those targeted variables. Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, “Our behavior is not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its [perceived] consequences.” The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.

Any corrections/clarifications greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

Home to The Knowledge Worker’s Tool Room

www.nickols.us | fred@nickols.us

From Bill Powers (2012.11.23.0950 MST)]

Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ) --

FN: My immediate reaction was that behaviorists would leap on Bill's statement and say, "See, behavior is shaped by its consequences." A moment later came the insight. And here's how I might respond to that assertion.

"Bill is NOT saying that behavior is shaped by its consequences. What he IS saying that that we hold reference conditions or goals for various aspects of the world around us and we vary our behavior so as to maintain those "highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns" that constitute achievement of our goals/reference conditions. In other words, we vary our behavior so as to make our perceptions of the current state of targeted variables line up with our goals or reference conditions for those variables. The "CONSEQUENCES" to which Bill refers are our perceptions of the effects our behavior is having on those targeted variables. Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, "Our behavior is not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its [perceived] consequences." The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.

You have clearly understood and have said it clearly. Thanks.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Kenny Kitzke (2012.11.23)]

Conceptually, in theory, I accept both what Bill perceives about behavior (and I like to think primarily about human behavior) and what you have transposed.

I perceive that trying to understand human behavior via PCT/HPCT by using words and concepts which have no definitive meanings in PCT/HPCT is rather futile. If someone with another theory of behavior wants to explain their theory using words like “affordances” or “consequences” or “emotional intelligence” or “mindful cognition” they will probably have difficultly accepting PCT/HPCT.

Unfortunately, PCT/HPCT has its own lingo. And, words, terms and concepts such as “control” or “behavior” or “neural loops” are themselves fraught with various scientific and common definitions or nuances which cause misunderstandings even among PCT/HPCT disciples.

Unless you invest in the understanding of its words as operational definitions, which can be perceived and tested analytically, PCT/HPCT gets snagged into trying to explain or refute these alternative, highly subjective theories. Dag made me aware of this early on in my PCT/HPCT exploration. And, it seems to me that most people find this as a disturbance to their currently held principles and choose to stick with what they believe rather than confront a theoretical internal conflict that can easily become an external conflict with other human beings. Where is the value in that effort? It is easier to just move on.

Bill’s idea of a refined “Project” makes sense to me. I suspect that PCT/HPCT can easily become confined to the dust heap of great ideas and books on library shelves or data bases that were never widely accepted as valuable. If those who have believed in PCT/HPCT can’t collaborate now, with Bill’s guidance, and write a new book with testable proofs of how PCT/HPCT benefits our understanding of human behavior, then the future looks rather dim to me.

As for me, I am battling two potentially debilitating and life-ending illnesses. This gets one thinking about what is there left for me to do? I have applied PCT/HPCT theory in several areas of knowledge and vocation. The differences in what one might term “consequences” seem obvious and superior to me. I am willing to offer some collaboration in the following disciplines: Management or Leadership (I mention this first only because you are one of the PCT disciples in this area and together perhaps we could do something profound?), private business or free enterprise as an economic factor, and the Bible.

This last area may not be of much interest to the CSGNet but might be to some two billion Christians and Jews. I have made some progress with just a handful who are willing to accept science as a “God” given and useful method for understanding the observable creation and its Creator. I doubt if that segment of humans will pay much attention to atheists or agnostics purporting a strictly scientific theory. Perhaps they would consider something from one of their “own?”

Best wishes to you Fred.

Kenny

In a message dated 11/23/2012 11:29:17 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, fred@NICKOLS.US writes:

···

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)]

I was reading back through the thread dealing with affordances when I came across this snippet from a post by Bill P:

[From Bill Powers (2012.11.09.1901 MST)] I wrote an “essay on the obvious” which extracted a slightly different point from the same (agreed) facts:

The general [accepted] idea is that it is very hard to find any regularity or order in the behavior of organisms, so we must look beyond the obvious and search for hidden patterns and subtle principles.

But behavior IS orderly and it is orderly in obvious ways. It is orderly, however, in a way that conventional behavioral scientists have barely noticed. It is not orderly in the sense that the output forces generated by an organism follow regularly from sensory inputs or past experience. It is orderly in the sense that the CONSEQUENCES of those output forces are shaped by the organism into highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns.

I think that snippet has triggered a flash of insight on my part but I’ll double-check it.

My immediate reaction was that behaviorists would leap on Bill’s statement and say, “See, behavior is shaped by its consequences.� A moment later came the insight. And here’s how I might respond to that assertion.

“Bill is NOT saying that behavior is shaped by its consequences. What he IS saying that that we hold reference conditions or goals for various aspects of the world around us and we vary our behavior so as to maintain those “highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns� that constitute achievement of our goals/reference conditions. In other words, we vary our behavior so as to make our perceptions of the current state of targeted variables line up with our goals or reference conditions for those variables. The “CONSEQUENCES� to which Bill refers are our perceptions of the effects our behavior is having on those targeted variables. Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, “Our behavior is not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its [perceived] consequences.� The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.

Any corrections/clarifications greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT

Managing Partner

** Distance Consulting LLC**

Home to The Knowledge Worker’s Tool Room

www.nickols.us

fred@nickols.us

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1040)]

Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)--

FN: Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, �Our behavior is not
shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its
[perceived] consequences.� The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as
my grandmother used to say.

RM: Exactly right Fred. B. F. Skinner thought behavior was controlled
by it's consequences; he even managed to get a paper describing his
theory of behavior published in _Science_;the title was "Selection by
consequences". I published a paper some years later titled "Selection
of consequences" arguing that Skinner (and behaviorists in general)
did, indeed, have it bass- ackwards; organisms select (control) the
consequences of their behavior, bringing them to goal states, not the
other way around. My conclusion was based on a little experiment I
developed (now on the net) which shows that a person can produce a
consistent goal result even when the consequences of their every
action is completely random. The net version is at:

http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Select.html

When you press the "Subject" button you are the subject in a test to
see whether you can move the open circle to the filled target circle.
You do this by pressing the space bar. The consequence of a bar press
is that the white circle moves in a new randomly selected direction.
The consequences of your actions (bar presses) are random but it's
fairly easy to press the bar to get the open circle to the target.
When you do this little demo as a subject you will experience the fact
that it is unquestionably you controlling the consequences of your
action (you are controlling the direction of the white circle). The
consequences are certainly not controlling you. If they were you would
be pressing randomly (as does the Reinforcement model that is run when
you press the Reinforcement button) and the open circle would get to
the target (if it ever got there) only by chance.

The thing I like about this demo (other than the fact that it
demolishes the foundations of conventional scientific psychology;-) is
that it let's you experience the fact that it is you in control of
those random consequences, not vice versa. You don't need no stinkin'
theory to see that this is true (although it's certainly nice to have
the theory to help us understand how it works;-). Phenomena phirst, as
I always say;-)

PCT replaces "control _by_ consequences" with "control _of_
consequences" as a basic law of behavior. What a difference a little
two letter preposition makes!

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1341 AZ)]

Sorry to hear about the battle, Kenny. I hope and pray you win.Â

Do you have anything particular in mind for the private sector? I’ve long thought PCT could serve as one of the foundational blocks for a new practice of management, one more suited to realizing collaborative, cooperative endeavor among what are essentially autonomous agents, people who should and could be acting on their employers’ behalf and in their employers’ best interests but who are still being shoved into harnesses meant for bundles of muscles seen as little more than instruments of managerial will. Whew! That was a long sentence. Anyway, if we can identify some kind of initiative I’m happy to cooperate and collaborate. How about some executive briefings on a different (and better) lens through which to view their people?

Fred

···

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kitzke Value Creation Systems
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 10:55 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Consequences

[From Kenny Kitzke (2012.11.23)]

Conceptually, in theory, I accept both what Bill perceives about behavior (and I like to think primarily about human behavior) and what you have transposed.

I perceive that trying to understand human behavior via PCT/HPCT by using words and concepts which have no definitive meanings in PCT/HPCT is rather futile. If someone with another theory of behavior wants to explain their theory using words like “affordances” or “consequences” or “emotional intelligence” or “mindful cognition” they will probably have difficultly accepting PCT/HPCT.

Unfortunately, PCT/HPCT has its own lingo. And, words, terms and concepts such as “control” or “behavior” or “neural loops” are themselves fraught with various scientific and common definitions or nuances which cause misunderstandings even among PCT/HPCT disciples.

Unless you invest in the understanding of its words as operational definitions, which can be perceived and tested analytically, PCT/HPCT gets snagged into trying to explain or refute these alternative, highly subjective theories. Dag made me aware of this early on in my PCT/HPCT exploration. And, it seems to me that most people find this as a disturbance to their currently held principles and choose to stick with what they believe rather than confront a theoretical internal conflict that can easily become an external conflict with other human beings. Where is the value in that effort? It is easier to just move on.

Bill’s idea of a refined “Project” makes sense to me. I suspect that PCT/HPCT can easily become confined to the dust heap of great ideas and books on library shelves or data bases that were never widely accepted as valuable. If those who have believed in PCT/HPCT can’t collaborate now, with Bill’s guidance, and write a new book with testable proofs of how PCT/HPCT benefits our understanding of human behavior, then the future looks rather dim to me.

As for me, I am battling two potentially debilitating and life-ending illnesses. This gets one thinking about what is there left for me to do? I have applied PCT/HPCT theory in several areas of knowledge and vocation. The differences in what one might term “consequences” seem obvious and superior to me. I am willing to offer some collaboration in the following disciplines: Management or Leadership (I mention this first only because you are one of the PCT disciples in this area and together perhaps we could do something profound?), private business or free enterprise as an economic factor, and the Bible.

This last area may not be of much interest to the CSGNet but might be to some two billion Christians and Jews. I have made some progress with just a handful who are willing to accept science as a “God” given and useful method for understanding the observable creation and its Creator. I doubt if that segment of humans will pay much attention to atheists or agnostics purporting a strictly scientific theory. Perhaps they would consider something from one of their “own?”

Best wishes to you Fred.

Kenny

In a message dated 11/23/2012 11:29:17 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, fred@NICKOLS.US writes:

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)]

I was reading back through the thread dealing with affordances when I came across this snippet from a post by Bill P:

[From Bill Powers (2012.11.09.1901 MST)] I wrote an “essay on the obvious” which extracted a slightly different point from the same (agreed) facts:

The general [accepted] idea is that it is very hard to find any regularity or order in the behavior of organisms, so we must look beyond the obvious and search for hidden patterns and subtle principles.

But behavior IS orderly and it is orderly in obvious ways. It is orderly, however, in a way that conventional behavioral scientists have barely noticed. It is not orderly in the sense that the output forces generated by an organism follow regularly from sensory inputs or past experience. It is orderly in the sense that the CONSEQUENCES of those output forces are shaped by the organism into highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns.

I think that snippet has triggered a flash of insight on my part but I’ll double-check it.

My immediate reaction was that behaviorists would leap on Bill’s statement and say, “See, behavior is shaped by its consequences.� A moment later came the insight. And here’s how I might respond to that assertion.

“Bill is NOT saying that behavior is shaped by its consequences. What he IS saying that that we hold reference conditions or goals for various aspects of the world around us and we vary our behavior so as to maintain those “highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns� that constitute achievement of our goals/reference conditions. In other words, we vary our behavior so as to make our perceptions of the current state of targeted variables line up with our goals or reference conditions for those variables. The “CONSEQUENCES� to which Bill refers are our perceptions of the effects our behavior is having on those targeted variables. Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, “Our behavior is not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its [perceived] consequences.� The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.

Any corrections/clarifications greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

Home to The Knowledge Worker’s Tool Room

www.nickols.us | fred@nickols.us

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1354 AZ)]

Or instead of saying "Behavior is a function of its consequences" you could
say "Consequences are a function of behavior."

Fred

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 11:39 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Consequences

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1040)]

>Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)--

> FN: Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, "Our behavior is
> not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to
> shape its [perceived] consequences." The behaviorists have it
> bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.

RM: Exactly right Fred. B. F. Skinner thought behavior was controlled by

it's

consequences; he even managed to get a paper describing his theory of
behavior published in _Science_;the title was "Selection by

consequences". I

published a paper some years later titled "Selection of consequences"
arguing that Skinner (and behaviorists in general) did, indeed, have it

bass-

ackwards; organisms select (control) the consequences of their behavior,
bringing them to goal states, not the other way around. My conclusion was
based on a little experiment I developed (now on the net) which shows that
a person can produce a consistent goal result even when the consequences
of their every action is completely random. The net version is at:

http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Select.html

When you press the "Subject" button you are the subject in a test to see
whether you can move the open circle to the filled target circle.
You do this by pressing the space bar. The consequence of a bar press is

that

the white circle moves in a new randomly selected direction.
The consequences of your actions (bar presses) are random but it's fairly
easy to press the bar to get the open circle to the target.
When you do this little demo as a subject you will experience the fact

that it

is unquestionably you controlling the consequences of your action (you are
controlling the direction of the white circle). The consequences are

certainly

not controlling you. If they were you would be pressing randomly (as does
the Reinforcement model that is run when you press the Reinforcement
button) and the open circle would get to the target (if it ever got there)

only

by chance.

The thing I like about this demo (other than the fact that it demolishes

the

foundations of conventional scientific psychology;-) is that it let's you
experience the fact that it is you in control of those random

consequences,

not vice versa. You don't need no stinkin'
theory to see that this is true (although it's certainly nice to have the

theory

to help us understand how it works;-). Phenomena phirst, as I always

say;-)

···

-----Original Message-----

PCT replaces "control _by_ consequences" with "control _of_
consequences" as a basic law of behavior. What a difference a little two
letter preposition makes!

Best

Rick
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Kenny Kitzke (2012.11.23.18:00EST)]

Fred, I believe we can collaborate on something valuable about understanding human behavior based upon PCT. I have my son in town for TG and others coming here tomorrow.

Next week I will brainwrite some ideas I have used in my consulting and training with managers/executives (especially in for-profit, private companies). I am going to do that privately with you to evaluate things that a PCT wise leader/manager of people/employees would do differently than their S-R peers.

When we have agreed on a couple of clear examples, I would be willing to share them with Bill and the CSGNet to get their input and ideas. Otherwise, I suspect that there might be input and reactions that could inhibit our coming to any proposed examples while we get debate and focus on the trees so much that we lose sight of the forest.

While how a manager views a subordinate employee is relevant, I think it is at best only a start. I have listened to the claim that “our employees are our most important resource” till I want to puke. Their actions do not support this view or claim. So, I think the battle revolves around what the manager currently does and can do differently if employees are indeed autonomous perceptual control systems.

Anyway, my brain write ideas will be trying to deal more with how the managers view their own behavior than on any perceptions of how they view the role or importance of employees. There are actually too many examples and whittling them down to the more common or understandable ones is itself a challenging task. If not done, it is like a discussion of one economic policy and its correlation to results without dealing with the many other policies that would confound the conclusion on the one.

Perhaps you can propose some ideas more along the lines of how managers improperly view their employees by not understanding PCT? If we can’t convince one another in this area of our own vocation and observed knowledge, I doubt we will convince the CSG universe or the management universe that it is in everyone’s best interest to better understand human behavior. Am I in favor of burning most of the management and human resource books written by quasi workplace psychologists? Probably, right along with the S-R and Cognitive Psychology books. :sunglasses:

In a message dated 11/23/2012 3:46:28 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, fred@NICKOLS.US writes:

···

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1341 AZ)]

Sorry to hear about the battle, Kenny. I hope and pray you win.

Do you have anything particular in mind for the private sector? I’ve long thought PCT could serve as one of the foundational blocks for a new practice of management, one more suited to realizing collaborative, cooperative endeavor among what are essentially autonomous agents, people who should and could be acting on their employers’ behalf and in their employers’ best interests but who are still being shoved into harnesses meant for bundles of muscles seen as little more than instruments of managerial will. Whew! That was a long sentence. Anyway, if we can identify some kind of initiative I’m happy to cooperate and collaborate. How about some executive briefings on a different (and better) lens through which to view their people?

Fred

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] ** On Behalf Of** Kenneth Kitzke Value Creation Systems
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 10:55 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject:
Re: Consequences

[From Kenny Kitzke (2012.11.23)]

Conceptually, in theory, I accept both what Bill perceives about behavior (and I like to think primarily about human behavior) and what you have transposed.

I perceive that trying to understand human behavior via PCT/HPCT by using words and concepts which have no definitive meanings in PCT/HPCT is rather futile. If someone with another theory of behavior wants to explain their theory using words like “affordances” or “consequences” or “emotional intelligence” or “mindful cognition” they will probably have difficultly accepting PCT/HPCT.

Unfortunately, PCT/HPCT has its own lingo. And, words, terms and concepts such as “control” or “behavior” or “neural loops” are themselves fraught with various scientific and common definitions or nuances which cause misunderstandings even among PCT/HPCT disciples.

Unless you invest in the understanding of its words as operational definitions, which can be perceived and tested analytically, PCT/HPCT gets snagged into trying to explain or refute these alternative, highly subjective theories. Dag made me aware of this early on in my PCT/HPCT exploration. And, it seems to me that most people find this as a disturbance to their currently held principles and choose to stick with what they believe rather than confront a theoretical internal conflict that can easily become an external conflict with other human beings. Where is the value in that effort? It is easier to just move on.

Bill’s idea of a refined “Project” makes sense to me. I suspect that PCT/HPCT can easily become confined to the dust heap of great ideas and books on library shelves or data bases that were never widely accepted as valuable. If those who have believed in PCT/HPCT can’t collaborate now, with Bill’s guidance, and write a new book with testable proofs of how PCT/HPCT benefits our understanding of human behavior, then the future looks rather dim to me.

As for me, I am battling two potentially debilitating and life-ending illnesses. This gets one thinking about what is there left for me to do? I have applied PCT/HPCT theory in several areas of knowledge and vocation. The differences in what one might term “consequences” seem obvious and superior to me. I am willing to offer some collaboration in the following disciplines: Management or Leadership (I mention this first only because you are one of the PCT disciples in this area and together perhaps we could do something profound?), private business or free enterprise as an economic factor, and the Bible.

This last area may not be of much interest to the CSGNet but might be to some two billion Christians and Jews. I have made some progress with just a handful who are willing to accept science as a “God” given and useful method for understanding the observable creation and its Creator. I doubt if that segment of humans will pay much attention to atheists or agnostics purporting a strictly scientific theory. Perhaps they would consider something from one of their “own?”

Best wishes to you Fred.

Kenny

In a message dated 11/23/2012 11:29:17 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, fred@NICKOLS.US
writes:

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.0923 AZ)]
I was reading back through the thread dealing with affordances when I came across this snippet from a post by Bill P:
[From Bill Powers (2012.11.09.1901 MST)] I wrote an "essay on the obvious" which extracted a slightly different point from the same (agreed) facts:
The general [accepted] idea is that it is very hard to find any regularity or order in the behavior of organisms, so we must look beyond the obvious and search for hidden patterns and subtle principles.
But behavior IS orderly and it is orderly in obvious ways. It is orderly, however, in a way that conventional behavioral scientists have barely noticed. It is not orderly in the sense that the output forces generated by an organism follow regularly from sensory inputs or past experience. It is orderly in the sense that the CONSEQUENCES of those output forces are shaped by the organism into highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns.
I think that snippet has triggered a flash of insight on my part but I’ll double-check it.
My immediate reaction was that behaviorists would leap on Bill’s statement and say, “See, behavior is shaped by its consequences.�  A moment later came the insight.  And here’s how I might respond to that assertion.
“Bill is NOT saying that behavior is shaped by its consequences.  What he IS saying that that we hold reference conditions or goals for various aspects of the world around us and we vary our behavior so as to maintain those “highly regular and reliably repeatable states and patterns� that constitute achievement of our goals/reference conditions.  In other words, we vary our behavior so as to make our perceptions of the current state of targeted variables line up with our goals or reference conditions for those variables.  The “CONSEQUENCES� to which Bill refers are our perceptions of the effects our behavior is having on those targeted variables.  Said a little more plainly and much more bluntly, “Our behavior is not shaped by its consequences; instead, we vary our behavior to shape its [perceived] consequences.�  The behaviorists have it bass-ackwards as my grandmother used to say.
Any corrections/clarifications greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT
Managing Partner

** Distance Consulting LLC**

Home to The Knowledge Worker’s Tool Room

www.nickols.us | fred@nickols.us

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1740)]

Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1354 AZ)--

FN: Or instead of saying "Behavior is a function of its consequences" you could
say "Consequences are a function of behavior."

RM: Yes, consequences can be seen to be a function of behavior (
pellets delivery in a Skinner box, for example, is a function of bar
pressing) but there are many consequences of behavior (actions), only
some of which are being controlled; for example, the tapping sounds
that are a consequence of my pressing the keyboard keys; but they are
not a controlled consequence. The main controlled consequence of those
key presses is the lilting prose that you are now reading. So I think
it's better to say that consequences are controlled by behavior
(actions); behavior (actions) is not controlled by their consequences.

By the way, regarding the PCT for managers project that you are
planning with Kenny (I'm very sorry to hear you're ill Kenny; my
sincere best wishes to you and your family), I would be interested in
hearing how you (and/or Kenny) would evaluate the benefits of a PCT
approach to management.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.24.0710 AZ)]

Rick:

I'm not sure I understand your inquiry below about how Kenny and I would
evaluate the benefits of a PCT approach to management. Are you asking us to
list the benefits of doing so? Are you asking how we would actually go
about evaluating it? Can you clarify?

Fred Nickols

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 6:43 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Consequences

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1740)]

>Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1354 AZ)--
>
> FN: Or instead of saying "Behavior is a function of its consequences"
> you could say "Consequences are a function of behavior."

RM: Yes, consequences can be seen to be a function of behavior ( pellets
delivery in a Skinner box, for example, is a function of bar
pressing) but there are many consequences of behavior (actions), only some
of which are being controlled; for example, the tapping sounds that are a
consequence of my pressing the keyboard keys; but they are not a
controlled consequence. The main controlled consequence of those key
presses is the lilting prose that you are now reading. So I think it's

better to

say that consequences are controlled by behavior (actions); behavior
(actions) is not controlled by their consequences.

By the way, regarding the PCT for managers project that you are planning
with Kenny (I'm very sorry to hear you're ill Kenny; my sincere best

wishes to

···

-----Original Message-----
you and your family), I would be interested in hearing how you (and/or
Kenny) would evaluate the benefits of a PCT approach to management.

Best regards

Rick
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.24.0830)]

Fred Nickols (2012.11.24.0710 AZ)--

Rick:

I'm not sure I understand your inquiry below about how Kenny and I would
evaluate the benefits of a PCT approach to management. Are you asking us to
list the benefits of doing so? Are you asking how we would actually go
about evaluating it? Can you clarify?

I'll try. I presume you are advocating PCT for management because you
believe it would improve management in some way. I'm asking how you
believe PCT would improve management; what would be the benefits of
knowing PCT; how would you evaluate these benefits. For example is
one benefit of using PCT in management increasing the productivity of
workers? If so, then how do you measure productivity. If not, then
what is a benefit of PCT for management? I presume you are trying to
encourage managers to use PCT in their management practices. What do
you tell them would be the benefit to them of using PCT? If the
benefit is not to managers but to those managed then I'd like to know
that. So who benefits and what are the benefits of learning/using PCT
in management?

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.25.0655 AZ)]

Thanks for the clarification, Rick. Here are some quick answers.

First off, I think that understanding the PCT view of human behavior would
lead to a great deal of worthwhile rethinking of several aspects of
management. For example: Feedback, the role of the worker/employee (agent
vs instrument), a focus on collaboration instead of compliance, a focus on
the paths from proximate to ultimate results and some new insights into the
nature of conflict and hidden agendas.

I think PCT is the only truly systems view of human behavior and that ought
to garner some attention and appreciation.

I think PCT helps people to better understand and manage their own behavior.
It helps with others, too.

Once accepted by management, that should spark some additional research
(some of which will be good and some of which will be crap).

There is a lot of empirical stuff out there that PCT could put on a better
theoretical footing (e.g., much of what is known about how to improve human
performance is better explained via PCT than via behaviorist or cognitivist
theories).

Finally, I think a PCT view of human performance leads to a different set of
questions.

That might all be wishful thinking on my part because, by and large, people
do pretty much what is expected of them in the workplace and, in hard times
like these, they're even more prone to do that. So, right now, I doubt many
in management think they have a problem with performance at the individual
level. "Hire and fire at will" seems to be the case right now.

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2012 9:30 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Consequences

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.24.0830)]

> Fred Nickols (2012.11.24.0710 AZ)--
>
> Rick:
>
> I'm not sure I understand your inquiry below about how Kenny and I
> would evaluate the benefits of a PCT approach to management. Are you
> asking us to list the benefits of doing so? Are you asking how we
> would actually go about evaluating it? Can you clarify?

I'll try. I presume you are advocating PCT for management because you
believe it would improve management in some way. I'm asking how you
believe PCT would improve management; what would be the benefits of
knowing PCT; how would you evaluate these benefits. For example is one
benefit of using PCT in management increasing the productivity of

workers?

If so, then how do you measure productivity. If not, then what is a

benefit of

PCT for management? I presume you are trying to encourage managers to
use PCT in their management practices. What do you tell them would be the
benefit to them of using PCT? If the benefit is not to managers but to

those

···

-----Original Message-----
managed then I'd like to know that. So who benefits and what are the
benefits of learning/using PCT in management?

Best

Rick

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Bill Powers(12012.11.24.1230 MST)]

Kenny K: I think often about you and your health problems. We're both closer to the end than to the beginning. It's hard to accept that life ends, but to spend however much of it is left in fear or regret would be like throwing the rest away. I like to think of my life as a painting or a sculpture, something I'm making or doing. I want it to look pleasing when it's finished, and it's not too bad now -- a lot of blots and slips have been fixed so you'd hardly know they were there, though I remember them all.

Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1740) --

The main controlled consequence of those
key presses is the lilting prose that you are now reading. So I think
it's better to say that consequences are controlled by behavior
(actions); behavior (actions) is not controlled by their consequences.

This is awkward point. If we say behavior is the visible output of the person, then it can cause consequences, and it can be used by the person to control them, but it can't control them by itself. Behavior is not a control system. Control is accomplished only by a whole control system with input function, comparator, and output functions, plus an external feedback function.

When we say "A controls B," what we mean is often "A can be used by a control system to control B." Think of the controls of a car. If you go look at your car you will see that the controls -- steering wheel, brake and accelerator pedals -- are still there, but they aren't controlling anything.

Best,

Bill

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.25.1045 AZ)]

Rick: A few additional thoughts about your question follow.

Adopting and applying a PCT-based view of human behavior and performance
will reduce the waste, cost and damage done by misdirected and
counter-productive efforts to control employee behavior.

That will come about as a result of more efficient and more effective
management practices as well as more engaged, satisfied and productive
employees.

The ultimate results/benefits/payoffs will include better performing and
more sustainable organizations.

Fred Nickols

From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Fred Nickols
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 7:04 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Consequences

[From Fred Nickols (2012.11.25.0655 AZ)]

Thanks for the clarification, Rick. Here are some quick answers.

First off, I think that understanding the PCT view of human behavior would
lead to a great deal of worthwhile rethinking of several aspects of
management. For example: Feedback, the role of the worker/employee
(agent vs instrument), a focus on collaboration instead of compliance, a

focus

on the paths from proximate to ultimate results and some new insights into
the nature of conflict and hidden agendas.

I think PCT is the only truly systems view of human behavior and that

ought

to garner some attention and appreciation.

I think PCT helps people to better understand and manage their own
behavior.
It helps with others, too.

Once accepted by management, that should spark some additional research
(some of which will be good and some of which will be crap).

There is a lot of empirical stuff out there that PCT could put on a better
theoretical footing (e.g., much of what is known about how to improve
human performance is better explained via PCT than via behaviorist or
cognitivist theories).

Finally, I think a PCT view of human performance leads to a different set

of

questions.

That might all be wishful thinking on my part because, by and large,

people

do pretty much what is expected of them in the workplace and, in hard

times

like these, they're even more prone to do that. So, right now, I doubt

many

···

-----Original Message-----
in management think they have a problem with performance at the
individual level. "Hire and fire at will" seems to be the case right now.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
> [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
> Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2012 9:30 AM
> To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
> Subject: Re: Consequences
>
> [From Rick Marken (2012.11.24.0830)]
>
> > Fred Nickols (2012.11.24.0710 AZ)--
> >
> > Rick:
> >
> > I'm not sure I understand your inquiry below about how Kenny and I
> > would evaluate the benefits of a PCT approach to management. Are
> > you asking us to list the benefits of doing so? Are you asking how
> > we would actually go about evaluating it? Can you clarify?
>
> I'll try. I presume you are advocating PCT for management because you
> believe it would improve management in some way. I'm asking how you
> believe PCT would improve management; what would be the benefits of
> knowing PCT; how would you evaluate these benefits. For example is
> one benefit of using PCT in management increasing the productivity of
workers?
> If so, then how do you measure productivity. If not, then what is a
benefit of
> PCT for management? I presume you are trying to encourage managers to
> use PCT in their management practices. What do you tell them would be
> the benefit to them of using PCT? If the benefit is not to managers
> but to
those
> managed then I'd like to know that. So who benefits and what are the
> benefits of learning/using PCT in management?
>
> Best
>
> Rick
>
>
> --
> Richard S. Marken PhD
> rsmarken@gmail.com
> www.mindreadings.com

[From Kenny Kitzke (2012.11.26)]

My TG company has left. I was pretty much off the Internet during their visit. I see that Fred responded to you, Rick, concerning possible collaboration with me and Fred about how a PCT understanding of behavior would impact and hopefully improve the “science” or “art” of management.

From Fred’s answers to your questions, I think Fred and I are on slightly different pages on what we might be trying to do with this collaborative effort. My purpose is mostly focused on the behavior of manager’s and how if PCT were understood to be true, how it would change their practice of the management function by themselves.

Fred seems to be more focused on the how managers should perceive employees differently if they were to adopt a PCT view of human behavior. And, there is a strong element of the change producing higher productivity and business performance because employees will behave in a better way when perceived as valuable PCT living organisms and not the necessary Indians to do work that the managers are supposed to get accomplished.

I did not see anything that Fred wrote that is not relevant and logical to improving business performance overall. Fred’s goal is simply broader than mine. It is not a case of whether me or Fred are more right or wrong. It is more a case of being different in what we perceive the purpose of having manager’s understand PCT is and perhaps what the first step in producing superior performance in businesses.

I want to focus on first helping managers to understand human behavior as the control of perception. And, if it makes sense to them, how could that change how they manage employees. For a simple example, would it help them be a better manager if they learned that telling employees exactly what needed to be accomplished or how to accomplish it (common and probably standard management theory) doesn’t always work very well. So, what should a manager tell employees instead or should they really not tell but ask?

Anyway, it may well turn out that both what PCT managers do differently and what consequences/results will be produced by workers/employees to improve organization performance are both valuable outcomes of our collaboration.

As Fred and I put our heads together (he has written some very convincing articles), hopefully we can boil things down to where our own understanding of PCT can demonstrate what we both have witnessed as assisting in superior business performance results than having a behavioral or cognitive belief among managers of why people do what they do.

So, it will take some time where Fred and I can state, this is what is important about PCT being applied to the role of management. I don’t want a minority report where Kenny says “tastes great” and Fred says “less filling.” I hope we can craft theory and practice which we both claim is superior and then share it with the rest of the CSG to get their impressions as to its accuracy and effectivness. If these ideas and examples pass the stink test, Fred and I will probably be able to write a best selling book and improve the value that businesses can create in a free market America.

I hope this helps but if you are sure Rick that we are barking up a useless tree at the outset, let us know. And, thanks for the empathy about my health. Just know that I was in liver cirrhosis over 10 years ago with little chance of survival without a liver transplant…but somehow I have managed to endure without a transplant. Liver problems are coming around again along with congestive heart failure but I am hoping my time is not up. I am only 69 and a good friend is convinced that I can make it to 100 if I change what I do. If true, that gives me another 30 years to do something else worthwhile. That is exciting and perhaps this PCT Project contribution could be part of that…which would be pretty kool.

In a message dated 11/23/2012 8:43:02 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rsmarken@GMAIL.COM writes:

···

[From Rick Marken (2012.11.23.1740)]

Fred Nickols (2012.11.23.1354 AZ)–

FN: Or instead of saying “Behavior is a function of its consequences” you could
say “Consequences are a function of behavior.”

RM: Yes, consequences can be seen to be a function of behavior (
pellets delivery in a Skinner box, for example, is a function of bar
pressing) but there are many consequences of behavior (actions), only
some of which are being controlled; for example, the tapping sounds
that are a consequence of my pressing the keyboard keys; but they are
not a controlled consequence. The main controlled consequence of those
key presses is the lilting prose that you are now reading. So I think
it’s better to say that consequences are controlled by behavior
(actions); behavior (actions) is not controlled by their consequences.

By the way, regarding the PCT for managers project that you are
planning with Kenny (I’m very sorry to hear you’re ill Kenny; my
sincere best wishes to you and your family), I would be interested in
hearing how you (and/or Kenny) would evaluate the benefits of a PCT
approach to management.

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com