[From Dag Forssell (931208 1400)]
Osmo Eerola (931208)
But I have to admit that either I am stupid or have not realized the
unique idea of PCT from the discussion (maybe I have to read the PCT
bible at first).
I think it is a splendid idea to acquaint yourself with BCP so you
will know what you are listening to on this net. Look in the intro
document for additional references. Then you can judge.
Any undergraduate control engineer can generalize the classical
control theory to that level as applied to human behaviour: i.e. one
has a reference value (target, goal experience), towards which the
system (human being) aims by correcting the behavioural acts as far
as the difference of the reference and result is small enough.
Yes! My letter is about a new science of psychology, not of control.
Anyway, I am interested in learning more how to apply the control
theory in management.
My offer in the letter applies. I have sent the article and booklet
to several netters and will be happy to send it to you. Need address.
If you ask for it, you OWE me a commentary (on the net).
Osmo, while I disagree with your comment, I benefit from it. I am
concerned with how people will react to the letter. I deleted the
science claim in two places as unnecessary to make the point. Since
we read and consider the letter ourselves too, we come up with our own
critique and changes. Rick has helped with a couple of suggestions
in addition to yours. Below is a cut and rearranged version. I'll
dedicate it to Tom this time. Better? By that I mean: Do you think
a secretary would pass it on to the adressee or Human Resource person,
and that s/he would inquire with more that .005 probability?
Tom Bourbon, Research Instructor December 8, 1993
Department of Neurosurgery
University of Texas Houston Medical School
6431 Fannin, Suite 7.148
Houston, TX 77030
Dear Mr. Bourbon:
Isn't it strange that in our scientific age we are unable to find
consistent, lasting answers for chronic problems in leadership,
management, education and relationships, yet continue to find such
answers in the physical sciences? Perhaps we are not as scientific in
as many areas as we like to think. This letter introduces a new
To develop a scientifically valid psychology of the future, which will
be able to show us how to find solutions to our chronic problems, we
must first identify what the central phenomenon of psychology is.
_Perceptual Control Theory (PCT)_ suggests that the phenomenon most
basic to our existence is this: _We act in order to affect what we
experience._ We learn to affect experience to make it come closer to
what we want it to be and keep it that way. We _control_ what happens
to us. Consider why and how you eat, drive your car, argue with your
colleagues, scratch an itch, build your confidence, earn money. To
study this basic phenomenon is to study everything you do, every
moment of every day.
Contemporary psychologies are based on a scientific method that
presumes that each person is _reacting to causes._ The version of the
scientific method used in psychology can easily be shown to be
inadequate to explain the central phenomenon of our existence.
If you agree that _you act in order to affect what you experience,_
100% of the time, you have already grasped the foundation of PCT. As
you learn more, you will quickly see that when you study how people
get along together, it makes a great deal of difference whether you
believe that each person is actively directing his own experiences (or
trying to) or whether each person is responding to stimuli, whether
from the outside or inside.
As a manager, I have tried to understand how and why people behave and
interact, in order to be a better leader. I became aware of PCT
several years ago and have studied it with support from the originator
and a group of researchers who develop and apply it. I have found
that it is clear, provides good direction and leads to mutual respect
and understanding, both at work and at home. I have developed a
training program to teach the theory and show how it can be applied
to improve management practices.
On the back side of this letter, you will find a copy of page 1 and
part of page 2 of an introductory article. We will be pleased to send
you a reprint of the complete article along with a booklet that
describes our training program and suggests ways for you to evaluate
these ideas further, without obligation. Just call or return a copy
of this letter with a note on it.
We would like an opportunity to show you the scientific principles of
perceptual control and how to apply them to improve your
organization's productivity, quality and morale.
Signed Dag Forssell