micro/macro-phenomena; statistics

[Avery Andrews 930106.1856]
Bill Powers (930105.2130)

Putting what Bill says in my terms:

  a) conventional psychologists aren't interested explaining

  b) their quantitative standards for micro-phenomena are too
     low to prevent them from getting buried in trash.

I have a suspicion that this is true of the institutional structure
of psychology, though I suspect that (a) is false for many
individual psychologists, and even more for people on the margins
of psychology, such as AI-ers, broad minded linguists, etc.

Switching subjects, here's a little experiment I did where statistical
evaluation of the results seems essential. Put a piece of paper on
your lap, on a clipboard or something similar, and draw a circle with
a dot in the center. Put your pen on the dot, then close your eyes,
lift the pen from the paper, move it around for a while, and try to put
it back on the dot, all without looking. I find that I can get it
within 2.5cm of the original position, possibly improving to 1.5cm
with practice, but certainly can't get it back to exactly where it is
(without looking), and also not to exactly the same place, so the
only useful description of the results is a statistical one.

My conjecture is that there is some component of the assortment of
control systems involved here that is being pushed to its limits of
resolution, kinesthetic memory being one obvious possibility, but
there are others. I would assume that there are many who would
do better than I at this (blind people, surgeons, Tai Chi adepts,
dancers ...), & that the degree of precision attainable by
the kinesthetic systems is a significant thing to investigate.

I lack the mathematical and conceptual tools to say anything more useful
than this, though it does make me think of some of the things that Martin
Taylor has been saying.