Thanks again for the paper.
I agree with Bill; you are likely to create quite a stir with it.
It is very, very clear; well-written; easily understood; dispassionate, calm, rational and logical. At the same time it elicits a “Holy S—t!” reaction.
I think you have done a fine job of pointing to a huge, gaping hole in current experimental psychology and you have done so in a way that will be extremely difficult to refute. I can imagine there will be some blustering but no well-founded criticisms. You dismantled it a piece at a time and there is no reassembling it.
I absolutely LOVE your opening line: “. . . yet they pursue this goal using research methods that ignore the possibility that the behavior they study is as purposeful as their own.”
The only place I stumbled was on page 190 where you wrote that the reference value was assumed to be zero. My immediate reaction was, “Huh?” Then I got it.
On page 191 where you talk about behavior always having strong and immediate feedback effects, I made a note related to the notions of Proximate, Intermediate and Ultimate in relation to controlled variables and effects upon them.
On page 193, Figure 6, the top portion, I made a note about “Skinner’s Black Box.” In my early days (the heyday of behaviorism), I understood Skinner’s Black Box to refer to Skinner’s view that what goes on inside the organism is in fact extremely important but we can’t get at it so he treated what’s inside as a black box. What your paper and PCT do is make visible what is likely going on in there.
On page 194 I like the way you deftly introduced the notion of a hierarchy of control systems.
On page 195 I really liked the way you introduced a disturbance into the reaction time task. What was going on in me (I think) and what I hope will go on in lots of others is that your arguments have been moving forward, slowly, in small steps, with surgical precision and, suddenly, there’s no going back. A coup de grace has been dealt to the old model.
On page 197 I greatly appreciated you pointing out that conventional researchers use methods that ignore purpose yet they themselves rely on it to make those methods work.
I will have a great deal of use for this paper and plan on pointing to it as often as possible.
From hence forward I will refer to you as “Marken the Magnificent.”
With great respect,
From: Richard Marken [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2013 5:33 PM
To: Martin Taylor; Grace Gadsby; Andrew Nichols; Fred Nickols; davidmg; firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Powers; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Richard Marken
Subject: Marken Psych Reports Paper
I think I’ve copied all those who asked to see the paper. Thanks you all for asking.
I believe that Psychological Reports publishes comments on published papers. So if you do have any comments or criticisms you can get them into print by submitting them to Psychological Reports.
I welcome your comments, criticisms or suggestions for further work. which you can send to me personally or to CSGNet.
Thank you all for asking!
Richard S. Marken PhD