No offense!

[From Rick Marken (931006.1300)]

Bruce Nevin (Wed 93106 15:38:40 EDT)--

Rick, if you were offended at my directing your attention to perceptions
that you are controlling, I apologize.

No, no no. Not offended at all. I was referring to you description
of how you wanted to do the test, a description that ended with the

T wants to show S that what is being controlled is a categorization of
isosceles vs. scalene.

This is just not the way the test is done. The goal of the coin game,
for example, is not to convince S that he or she is controlling some
particular perception; the goal of the test is for T to discover the
variable that S actual is controlling. T's success is confirmed, not
by asking S (there are many subjects that could not be asked -- like
beavers) but by observing that each disturbance to the variable results
in the predicted corrective action.

I was kindda joking about the annoyingness of telling people what it is
they really want (are controlling for); I find it annoying when people
do it to me when I KNOW that the variables they claim I am controlling
are NOT what I am controlling for. I think the Freudian "revolution"
in psychology led many people to assume that they know more about what
another person wants than the person themselves. The idea seems to be
that people are filled with repressed, unconscious wants (desires) --
like the desire to marry your mom -- and that only the knowing
psychologist can see what those wants really are. Freudian psychology
led to the assumption (still prevalent in many circles in this
society) that whatever one says about what they want is a lie -- or,
at least, a way of camoflaging what they "really" want: want to
go to the store? No, you really want to avoid duties at home;
want to eat some ice cream?; no you really want to punish yourself
for being successful, etc. This is what I find annoying.

I also have a problem with "contrasts" but I'll continue that
therapy in another post.



[From: Bruce Nevin (Thu 93107 08:45:21 EDT)]

Rick Marken (931006.1300) --

I was referring to you description
of how you wanted to do the test, a description that ended with the

>T wants to show S that what is being controlled is a categorization of
>isosceles vs. scalene.

This was not a description of how I wanted to do the test. This was a
description of our situation, in the conversation we have been having.
The description was a description by analogy to the coin game situation.
As an analogy to our conversation, it extended beyond the use of the coin
game to describe the test, just as our conversation has not been limited
to use of the test.

I'd appreciate a response to that, rather than flip dismissal of a single
sentence interpreted contrary to the context in which I said it.

In the analogy to the above sentence, I wanted to direct your attention
to your control of phonetic perceptions of which you are not ordinarily
aware. You thought you were controlling a perception of a p, identical
to the p in pin, when you pronounced "spin" (spaghetti, asparagus, etc.,
even "'sbeen real" as Hal points out). This imagined perception, at the
level of phoneme categories, appears to have completely masked your
awareness of the perceptions you actually do control in such
pronunciations. My motivation was simple. A prerequisite to talking
usefully is to know what one is talking about, and you didn't. Nor did
Bill. This contributed to much useless talk. You wouldn't take my word
as a linguist: all sciences prior to PCT are suspect. My recourse was to
direct your attention to the evidence of your own senses. But this has
not been easy, because of what I wanted to talk about next, once you had
accepted the evidence of your senses.

Given this awareness, I wanted to talk about how an imagined perception
on a higher level, here, on the category level, can mask awareness of the
perceptions actually being controlled. I find that very interesting. I
think that understanding that, and understanding how to recognize when it
is happening, must be a prerequisite to increasing our knowledge and
understanding of the perceptual control hierarchy. I think this is our
shared interest.