"Feedback" as disturbance

[From Rick Marken (960724.0930)]

Fred Nickols (960723) --

It seems to me that PCT is wholly inconsistent with a commonly-held view that
feedback is information from other people, as in "Let me give you some
feedback."

Absolutely correct. "Feedback" that is "given" (whether it is wanted or not)
is just a _disturbance_ from a PCT percspective. It is an environmental
variable over which you have no control but one that may influence some
variable you are controlling. This is what happened in your "Navy days"
example. You were controlling for a perception of your colleage as
"antagonized". His volunteered "feedback" was a disturbance that moved your
perception of his level of antagonism closer to your reference. As you say:

I...had no idea how successful I had been until he shared his "feedback"
with me.

Of course, more often than not, the "feedback" that people "give" you is
a disturbance that tends to move controlled perceptions _away_ from their
reference states. In that case, you are likely to take action that
compensates for the disturbance: for example, you dismiss the "feedback"
(perhaps while saying things like "that's BS") or ignore it or avoid
the person providing it or try to remove the source of the "feedback" (by
getting the person fired), etc.

People who want to "give feedback" are (unintentionally, I'm sure) trying to
make their own attempts at control seem like efforts to _help_ you. In fact,
"giving feedback" is a blatant attempt to control behavior; it is an effort
to get you to adopt the goals implied in the "feedback". When a person gives
you _unsolicited_ feedback like "I think you should keep a little more
distance between you and the car ahead" the person is implicitly trying to get
you to change your reference (goal) for the perception of distance between
you and the car ahead.

I'm not saying, by the way, that there is anything wrong with trying to
control by "giving feedback"; the wrongness of doing this can be determined
by those involved in the process. My point is only that the commonly held
view of "giving feedback" as a _helpful_ process is really equivalent to
disturbing a controlled variable, which may or may not end up being helpful
(getting a perception closer to a reference).

In PCT, feedback cannot be given; it can only be taken;-)

Best

Rick

[Hans Blom, 960725]

(Rick Marken (960724.0930))

Fred Nickols (960723) --

>It seems to me that PCT is wholly inconsistent with a commonly-held view that
>feedback is information from other people, as in "Let me give you some
>feedback."

Absolutely correct. "Feedback" that is "given" (whether it is wanted or not)
is just a _disturbance_ from a PCT percspective. It is an environmental
variable over which you have no control but one that may influence some
variable you are controlling.

Sorry, but I don't get this. "Feedback" that is "given" by a rock, a
refrigerator, a video recorder, a complex chemical plant or nuclear
reactor is of a totally different order than "feedback" given by a
virus, a bacterium, a tree, a dog or a human? Because we can "control"
one and not the other? I don't see the difference, except in terms of
complexity.

Greetings,

Hans