Other Tests of PCT

The recent exchanges between Marc and Rick lead me to pose some questions...and I suspect many will view them as extremely naive and uninformed. So be it.

Regarding the matter of evidence in support of PCT and Marc's comment about the tracking test being insufficient proof, are there experiments other than physical tracking tests that support PCT?

I'm also curious about the nature of such experiments, particularly the experimenter's ability to control all the related variables. In a tracking test, I can see how the tracking behavior can be isolated and the other factors controlled. But in other, less physical settings, I see lots of complicating factors. And they bring to mind the notion of doing "the test" to see if someone is or isn't controlling for a certain perception of a particular variable.

For example, suppose I want to see if someone is controlling for preserving or protecting their dignity or identity or somesuch quality. I might, by way of a test, mildly insult him to see how he reacts. Or I might seriously insult him. In one setting, the person who's been insulted might rise to the occasion and retaliate, preserving his sense of honor or integrity or self-image or whatever. In another setting, say in the midst of a bunch of thugs who are taunting him, this same person might wisely choose to keep his mouth shut. Why? Because he is controlling for other variables as well (which we might call survival or safety or something like that).

Sorry for the long-winded lead in but it seems to me that devising tests of control theory in simple, physical tracking tests is far easier than devising tests of more complicated and complex matters. Why? Because of the difficulty of isolating the task. As a human being, a living control system, I'm not controlling a single perception in relation to a single reference signal. Instead, I'm controlling multiple and interacting perceptions in relation to multiple and interacting reference signals. How, then, does one sort through that complexity so as to devise valid experiments? What might such an experiment look like?

···

--
Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT
Senior Consultant
Distance Consulting
"Assistance at A Distance"
nickols@att.net
www.nickols.us

From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.08.1108)]

[From Fred Nickols (2005.12.08.0851)

Fred,

I think you hit on some important topics and inadvertently hit on a few others.

In thinking about Rick’s post I found myself becoming confused about exactly what we are going to be testing for.

I think one huge problem is that PCT is trying to describe everything and winds up describing nothing.

The discussion on the hierarchy is a good example of this.

Does anyone actually believe Bill’s very elegant solution actually describes what is going on specifically at any one level of abstraction or aggregation?

I mean,what exactly is the hierarchy a blueprint of and what is it supposed to explain? Behavior? As you pointed out in this post, there are many, very often very complex behaviors that seem out of reach of the current model.

Rick’s lack of understanding about cognition and the role that it along with emotions pay in certain types and kinds of behavior to me is unfathomable.

So although they grudgingly pay lip service to the cognitive elements involved in behavior, they still have not hard wired these elements into the model, and I believe for a very good reason. They can’t do it at the levels of abstraction that PCT currently resides.

Which brings up a much bigger point. Bill has often said he is building his model from the bottom up so PCT is supposed to represent control at it’s most basic level. Great, and what level is that exactly?

The modeling and theory are supposed to be at the ‘signal’ or I would say cellular level. But all the discussion on CSGnet is at a much higher level of abstraction. Are the two comparable? I don’t think so, in fact the more I think about it the more I can see where folks might have some big problems.

When we become enmeshed in something we often cannot see beyond our noses and I think we have all become so familiar with the concept of control that we sometimes forget that what the theory and models often talk too are not the same things we actually talk about.

Most discussions on CSGnet about control are at a very high level of abstraction. That is, to use an analogy, we often talk about a computer program at he level if utility, except the theory )PCT) talks about it at the ‘programing’ level, and although we are talking about the same software package the focus is on different areas and one does not necessarily bring understanding to the other for their particular needs

Sorry for my long winded intro, but with this background now let me address

In a message dated 12/8/2005 8:53:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, nickols@ATT.NET writes:

···

Regarding the matter of evidence in support of PCT and Marc’s comment about >the tracking test being insufficient proof, are there experiments other than >physical tracking tests that support PCT?

I know of none. There is non physical evidence that supports the existence of control but not necessarily that of PCT.

Maybe Rick and others know of some, I don’t.

I’m also curious about the nature of such experiments,

Tough to talk about the ‘nature’ of something that doesn’t exist. If you have interest in control then I can address it so I will from the perspective of control and not PCT per se.

particularly the experimenter’s ability to control all the related variables. In a >tracking test, I can see how the tracking behavior can be isolated and the other >factors controlled.

Yes, and a very effective experiment it is. Perfectly suited to the task.

But in other, less physical settings, I see lots of complicating factors. And they >bring to mind the notion of doing “the test” to see if someone is or isn’t >controlling for a certain perception of a particular variable.

I think you are conflating two issues here. The tracking task is supposed to show the existence of control. The TesT is supposed to show what is being controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged sword.

First, we control many things at the same time and what the TesT actually shows is whether another individual is controlling for a variable you are interested in, not necessarily what is of importance to the other individual.

Second, the TesT does not show or ‘prove’ that control is the driving force behind this.

For example, suppose I want to see if someone is controlling for preserving or >protecting their dignity or identity or some such quality.

I might, by way of a test, mildly insult him to see how he reacts. Or I might >seriously insult him. In one setting, the person who’s been insulted might rise to >the occasion and retaliate, preserving his sense of honor or integrity or self->image or whatever. In another setting, say in the midst of a bunch of thugs who >are taunting him, this same person might wisely choose to keep his mouth >shut. Why? Because he is controlling for other variables as well (which we >might call survival or safety or something like that).

That is what I would say. Remember fundamentally why control exists in the first place. It is an adaptive mechanism intended to stabilize a system. So anything that attempts to destabilize a system will encounter control to try to keep it stable. This is true of control at any level of abstraction.

Sorry for the long-winded lead in but it seems to me that devising tests of control >theory in simple,

Please do not use the concept of control interchangeably with that of PCT. PCT is a very specific application of control but is not the only way one might view control and I think this generalization hurts our ability to understand how and where PCT might be weak.

physical tracking tests is far easier than devising tests of more complicated and >complex matters. Why? Because of the difficulty of isolating the task.[?]

That is only part of the problem. It is not simply a matter of ‘isolating’ a task, it is isolating the potential causal factors and PCT does not specifically address two very important ones involved in 99% of all behavior, and that is memory and emotions.

You see the tracking task is wonderful for its simplicity and the ability to isolate the sensory input and reference level involved.

Unfortunately, although it shows control, since it involves no emotion or memory it does not show control in any behavior that might require either of these two things, so you can effectively say the tracking task ‘proves’ the presence of control in all behavior that does not require either memory or emotion.

Not a whole lot is there? But that has not stopped us from extrapolating all this as if memory and emotions were either not needed (Rick’s currently favored position) or that it is somehow already accounted for in the model (Martin Taylor’s preferred option).

Going back a couple of days and a few ideas ago I brought up the concept of necessary conditions as a way of thinking about causal relationships. Applied here if I were to ask; given ‘xyz’ behavior, what needs to exist in order for this too I would venture that you would find some kind of memory and/or emotion component is every action we take.

In fact, every perception we have involves memory, and Rick will soon learn this when he teaches his cognition course.

As a human being, a living control system, I’m not controlling a single perception >in relation to a single reference signal. Instead, I’m controlling multiple and >interacting perceptions in relation to multiple and interacting reference signals. >How, then, does one sort through that complexity so as to devise valid >experiments? What might such an experiment look like?

First of all, the hierarchy is supposed to ‘explain’ the complexity involved, second this addresses my concern for the levels of abstraction and this provides an excellent example of the problems most folks would have reconciling PCT with reality.

Regards,

Marc


Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT
Senior Consultant
Distance Consulting
“Assistance at A Distance”
nickols@att.net
www.nickols.us

...

I think you are conflating two issues here. The
tracking task is supposed to
show the existence of control. The TesT is supposed
to show what is being
controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
sword.

First, we control many things at the same time and
what the TesT actually
shows is whether another individual is controlling
for a variable you are
interested in, not necessarily what is of
importance to the other individual.

I don't find it plausible that people who pursue the
test will think that it does more than test whether or
not a particular factor is under control.

Second, the TesT does not show or 'prove' that
control is the driving force
behind this.

The test is not a test of PCT, nor of control in
general. The test in question is an application of
control theory, where it has been hypothesized that
control systems applies, and furthermore where the
tester makes a stab at what is subject to control.
What is tested is the particular guess as to what
matters to the controlling party.

Tracy Harms

···

--- Marc Abrams <Matzaball50@AOL.COM> wrote:

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From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.08.1804)

Tracy it makes it a great deal easier to reply to a post if you would put a header on your posts, thanks.

In a message dated 12/8/2005 5:47:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, t_b_harms@YAHOO.COM writes:

···

From T.B. Harms (2005.12.081747)]

Marc Abrams Matzaball50@AOL.COM wrote:

I think you are conflating two issues here. The
tracking task is supposed to
show the existence of control. The TesT is supposed
to show what is being
controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
sword.

First, we control many things at the same time and
what the TesT actually
shows is whether another individual is controlling
for a variable you are
interested in, not necessarily what is of
importance to the other individual.

I don’t find it plausible that people who pursue the
test will think that it does more than test whether or
not a particular factor is under control.

Yes a factor of interest to the tester, not the controller. I mis spoke in my last sentence above, instead of ‘other’ I should have said ‘controlling’.

a nd, the TesT does not show or ‘prove’ that
control is the driving force
behind this.

The test is not a test of PCT, nor of control in
general. The test in question is an application of
control theory,

So? That is what I implied by my first comment that I reproduced just below

The tracking task is supposed to
show the existence of control. The TesT is supposed
to show what is being
controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
sword.

where it has been hypothesized that
control systems applies, and furthermore where the
tester makes a stab at what is subject to control.
What is tested is the particular guess as to what
matters to the controlling party.

Sorry, I have a different understanding. Who devises what to test for, ‘controlling party’ or the tester?

From my observations and participation’s in the TesT, it has always been the Tester that has decided which variables were being tested for.

Think about this; if a ‘tester’ were to ask me what I was controlling for by typing at the computer it would be the tester who would have to decide what variables to compare. If you asked me I would say I was typing an e-mail, or whatever it was I was currently working on, but if you really wanted to know what I was feeling at the time and the cause, you would have to make some random guesses.

So it would be the tester who would ultimately be deciding what to test for, not the controlling party.

Where and why do you see this differently?

Regards,

Marc

[From Fred Nickols (2005.12.08.1945 ET)] -

I agree with Tracy.

···

--
Regards,

Fred Nickols, CPT
Senior Consultant
Distance Consulting
"Assistance at A Distance"
nickols@att.net
www.nickols.us
      
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Tracy Harms <t_b_harms@YAHOO.COM>

--- Marc Abrams <Matzaball50@AOL.COM> wrote:

> ...
>
> I think you are conflating two issues here. The
> tracking task is supposed to
> show the existence of control. The TesT is supposed
> to show what is being
> controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
> sword.
>
>
>
> First, we control many things at the same time and
> what the TesT actually
> shows is whether another individual is controlling
> for a variable you are
> interested in, not necessarily what is of
> importance to the other individual.

I don't find it plausible that people who pursue the
test will think that it does more than test whether or
not a particular factor is under control.

>
> Second, the TesT does not show or 'prove' that
> control is the driving force
> behind this.
>

The test is not a test of PCT, nor of control in
general. The test in question is an application of
control theory, where it has been hypothesized that
control systems applies, and furthermore where the
tester makes a stab at what is subject to control.
What is tested is the particular guess as to what
matters to the controlling party.

Tracy Harms

__________________________________________________
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From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.08.1932)

In a message dated 12/8/2005 7:16:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, nickols@ATT.NET writes:

···

[From Fred Nickols (2005.12.08.1945 ET)] -

I agree with Tracy.

That’s fine. What do you agree with him about? Where do you see my understanding lacking and why?

Marc

[From Rick Marken (2005.12.08.1650)]

Fred Nickols writes:

are there experiments other than physical tracking tests that support PCT?

I know that David Goldstein and Dick Robertson did some studies of control
of self-concept using self-descriptions on 3x5 cards (the level of
technology I like). As I recall, they found that people are pretty
consistent about rejecting self- descriptions that do not fit their self
concept. Not very surprising but I think a nice demonstration of control of
a rather high level perception (self).

Of course, I've developed PCT models of baseball catching that work pretty
well. And there's also my PCT model of bimanual coordination, which is
probably more like a tracking task than you'd like but you can see it in
operation at http://www.mindreadings.com/Coordination.html.

I describe a whole set of non-tracking types of phenomena/experiments that
seem to support PCT. These examples range from the egg-rolling of the
Greylag goose to crowd behavior to broom balancing.

The economic behavior demonstration, which lets you experience the Giffen
effect, is at http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Economics.html. And
while my "Hierarchy of perception and control" demo, which is at
http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/HP.html, is like a tracking task,
the variables controlling in that demo are quite different than just line
position.

Bill Powers has also done some experiments involving control of "cognitive"
variables. I remember one where he had you try to keep the name of a
president on the scren while a disturbance pushed adjacent presidents into
view. To keep the same president's name on the screen you have to know the
order of the president's VERY well. It was a tracking task but, again, the
variable controlled was quite complex and certainly not "physical" (by which
I presume you mean lower order, like the position of a line.

There are probably many more. I hope someone else will add examples.

I'm also curious about the nature of such experiments, particularly the
experimenter's ability to control all the related variables.

It's the same as in any experimental situation. If the testing is done "in
the wild" you have little control over extraneous variables that may affect
your conclusions. If it's done it a highly controlled situation then it
doesn't matter how complex the controlled variable might be, if confounding
is reduced or eliminated you'll have a good experiment.

For example, suppose I want to see if someone is controlling for preserving or
protecting their dignity or identity or some such quality. I might, by way of
a test, mildly insult him to see how he reacts. Or I might seriously insult
him. In one setting, the person who's been insulted might rise to the
occasion and retaliate, preserving his sense of honor or integrity or
self-image or whatever. In another setting, say in the midst of a bunch of
thugs who are taunting him, this same person might wisely choose to keep his
mouth shut. Why? Because he is controlling for other variables as well
(which we might call survival or safety or something like that).

I think a researcher has to be smart enough to consider the latter
possibility and do something about it. A far bigger problem in experiments
like the one you describe is tracking the state of the hypothetical
controlled variable (perception of dignity or identity). It's easy to
measure the position of a line to see if it's being stabilized against
disturbance. But how to you measure the state of someone's perception of
their identity. I think research like this will, for the foreseeable future,
depend on the perceptual capabilities of the researcher; the researcher will
have to be able to perceive the state of the presumed controlled variable.

Sorry for the long-winded lead in but it seems to me that devising tests of
control theory in simple, physical tracking tests is far easier than devising
tests of more complicated and complex matters.

I think that's somewhat true. Though the tests of control of complex
variables (like self-concept and a particular president on the screen) have
been pretty simple. I think simple, everyday control of these "complex
matters" should be done regularly and documented as in something like
anthropological field study reports. That would make a nice research
database reference for a science of purpose.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken
MindReadings.com
Home: 310 474 0313
Cell: 310 729 1400

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[From Rick Marken (2005.12.07.1720)]

I said:

I describe a whole set of non-tracking types of phenomena/experiments that
seem to support PCT. These examples range from the egg-rolling of the
Greylag goose to crowd behavior to broom balancing.

I forgot to mention that those examples, which are described in my "Control
Theory Glasses" paper, can be found at:

http://www.mindreadings.com/PCTGlasses.htm

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken
MindReadings.com
Home: 310 474 0313
Cell: 310 729 1400

···

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From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.08.1804)

Tracy it makes it a great deal easier to reply to a
post if you would put a
header on your posts, thanks.

I'd do that if I could, Marc, but since I'm relying on
Yahoo's email service I seem to have no control over
that. Sorry!

In a message dated 12/8/2005 5:47:21 P.M. Eastern
Standard Time,
t_b_harms@YAHOO.COM writes:

>From T.B. Harms (2005.12.081747)]

>> I think you are conflating two issues here. The
>>tracking task is supposed to
>>show the existence of control. The TesT is
>>supposed to show what is being
>>controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
>>sword.

>> First, we control many things at the same time
and
>> what the TesT actually
>>shows is whether another individual is
controlling
>> for a variable you are
>> interested in, not necessarily what is of
>> importance to the other individual.

>I don't find it plausible that people who pursue
the
>test will think that it does more than test
whether or
>not a particular factor is under control.

Yes a factor of interest to the tester, not the
controller. I mis spoke in
my last sentence above, instead of 'other' I should
have said 'controlling'.

I don't think I was confused on who you were referring
to. I understood you to say this:

{{What the TesT actually shows is whether the tested
individual is controlling for a variable the tester is
interested in, not necessarily what is of greatest
importance to the tested individual.}}

My response is, I do not agree that this counts as a
shortcoming because I think anybody who attempts this
kind of test will recognize this limitation and take
it into account. How does this plain fact make for
one "edge" of a "sword"? What do you see as the
problem?

>> and, the TesT does not show or 'prove' that
>> control is the driving force
>> behind this.

>The test is not a test of PCT, nor of control in
>general. The test in question is an application
>of control theory,

So? That is what I implied by my first comment that
I reproduced just below

>>The tracking task is supposed to
>>show the existence of control. The TesT is
supposed
>>to show what is being
>>controlled, but I think the TesT is a two edged
>>sword.

>where it has been hypothesized that
>control systems applies, and furthermore where the
>tester makes a stab at what is subject to control.

>What is tested is the particular guess as to what
>matters to the controlling party.

Sorry, I have a different understanding. Who
devises what to test for,
'controlling party' or the tester?

The tester decides what to test and devises the
attempts at testing. I don't think we have a
different understanding on this.

From my observations and participation's in the
TesT, it has always been the
Tester that has decided which variables were being
tested for.

Think about this; if a 'tester' were to ask me what
I was controlling for by
typing at the computer it would be the tester who
would have to decide what
variables to compare. If you asked me I would say I
was typing an e-mail, or
whatever it was I was currently working on, but if
you really wanted to know
what I was feeling at the time and the cause, you
would have to make some
random guesses.

So it would be the tester who would ultimately be
deciding what to test for,
not the controlling party.

Where and why do you see this differently?

I do not.

What I do not understand is the "two-edged sword"
assertion you've made regarding testing for a
controlled variable. That statement suggests that
applying the test opens the tester to some manner of
risk, and that this risk is inherent in this type of
testing but is not a risk of empirical testing in
general.

Perhaps you can clarify this.

Regards,

Tracy

···

--- Marc Abrams <Matzaball50@AOL.COM> wrote:

>> Marc Abrams <Matzaball50@AOL.COM> wrote:

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From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.09.1215)]

In a message dated 12/9/2005 11:52:39 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, t_b_harms@YAHOO.COM writes:

···

From Tracy Harms (2005.12.09.0852 PST)]

I don’t think I was confused on who you were referring
to. I understood you to say this:

The tester decides what to test and devises the
attempts at testing. I don’t think we have a
different understanding on this.

No, I was :wink: I thought you included part of what Fred had said. I realized that you didn’t but I forgot to remove that comment before sending out the post, sorry.
OK, I didn’t think so, but even we did that would be OK as well. It would be a boring world if we all were in lock-step on everything :wink:

What I do not understand is the “two-edged sword”
assertion you’ve made regarding testing for a
controlled variable.

Here is the two edges I was talking about;

  1. Yes, the TesT allows you to see what someone might be controlling for (edge one)
  1. That test may or may not provide the answers as to what the person being tested thinks are important to him/her. What is, being tested for are the guesses the tester has as to what night be important to the controller. (edge 2)

So although a TesT will show the presence of control, it will not show what Fred was asking it to show; and that is the reason why a controller is controlling for any specific thing the controller and not the tester might be interested in.

Do you see this differently?

That statement suggests that
applying the test opens the tester to some manner of
risk, and that this risk is inherent in this type of
testing but is not a risk of empirical testing in
general.

How does it suggest that? The risk of getting poor or invalid data is a huge concern in all kinds and types of tests and research. I was simply addressing Fred’s notion that the TesT could be used effectively to ‘discover’ why folks did what they did or why folks controlled for the things they do.

Here is the problem; A tester makes assumptions about what a person is or is not controlling for. I don’t need the TesT to find out what may be important to another individual. I need to ask sensible questions. Questions that are crafted toward allowing the controller to trust me and provide the controller with effective reasons for them to want to share that sensitive information with me.

Having someone ‘push-back’ provides no understanding as to why someone is in fact ‘pushing back’, so even if you found out what someone was controlling for you would have no further understanding for the underlying reasons. Again, I don’t need the TesT to tell me I am either infringing in someone’s space or causing a disturbance.

Do you see any of this differently?

Perhaps you can clarify this.

Have I? I Hope so, and thank you for the opportunity to do so. This unfortunately is not a common occurrence on CSGnet.

A side note to Fred if you are reading this. I am extremely interested in knowing what you agree with Tracy about. It seems you seem to think we have a difference of opinion. I am not so sure we do, but that is not the main point.

I am truly interested in where and why you feel my description fails.

I am not in a contest with anyone here. I am attempting to get the best understanding I can. If you have a more fruitful way of thinking about the TesT, I’d like to hear about it, maybe it is something I should adapt.

I value your perspective and I ask you to respond to my questions because of that. In the end we all come out ‘winners’ when we can share our knowledge with others and be open enough to accept the fact that none of us have all the answers.

Regards,

Marc

From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.09.1215)]

In a message dated 12/9/2005 11:52:39 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, t_b_harms@YAHOO.COM writes:

···

From Tracy Harms (2005.12.09.0852 PST)]

I don’t think I was confused on who you were referring
to. I understood you to say this:

The tester decides what to test and devises the
attempts at testing. I don’t think we have a
different understanding on this.

No, I was :wink: I thought you included part of what Fred had said. I realized that you didn’t but I forgot to remove that comment before sending out the post, sorry.
OK, I didn’t think so, but even we did that would be OK as well. It would be a boring world if we all were in lock-step on everything :wink:

What I do not understand is the “two-edged sword”
assertion you’ve made regarding testing for a
controlled variable.

Here is the two edges I was talking about;

  1. Yes, the TesT allows you to see what someone might be controlling for (edge one)
  1. That test may or may not provide the answers as to what the person being tested thinks are important to him/her. What is, being tested for are the guesses the tester has as to what night be important to the controller. (edge 2)

So although a TesT will show the presence of control, it will not show what Fred was asking it to show; and that is the reason why a controller is controlling for any specific thing the controller and not the tester might be interested in.

Do you see this differently?

That statement suggests that
applying the test opens the tester to some manner of
risk, and that this risk is inherent in this type of
testing but is not a risk of empirical testing in
general.

How does it suggest that? The risk of getting poor or invalid data is a huge concern in all kinds and types of tests and research. I was simply addressing Fred’s notion that the TesT could be used effectively to ‘discover’ why folks did what they did or why folks controlled for the things they do.

Here is the problem; A tester makes assumptions about what a person is or is not controlling for. I don’t need the TesT to find out what may be important to another individual. I need to ask sensible questions. Questions that are crafted toward allowing the controller to trust me and provide the controller with effective reasons for them to want to share that sensitive information with me.

Having someone ‘push-back’ provides no understanding as to why someone is in fact ‘pushing back’, so even if you found out what someone was controlling for you would have no further understanding for the underlying reasons. Again, I don’t need the TesT to tell me I am either infringing in someone’s space or causing a disturbance.

Do you see any of this differently?

Perhaps you can clarify this.

Have I? I Hope so, and thank you for the opportunity to do so. This unfortunately is not a common occurrence on CSGnet.

A side note to Fred if you are reading this. I am extremely interested in knowing what you agree with Tracy about. It seems you seem to think we have a difference of opinion. I am not so sure we do, but that is not the main point.

I am truly interested in where and why you feel my description fails.

I am not in a contest with anyone here. I am attempting to get the best understanding I can. If you have a more fruitful way of thinking about the TesT, I’d like to hear about it, maybe it is something I should adapt.

I value your perspective and I ask you to respond to my questions because of that. In the end we all come out ‘winners’ when we can share our knowledge with others and be open enough to accept the fact that none of us have all the answers.

Regards,

Marc

[Martin Taylor 2005.12.09.17.11]

Tracey Harms (apparently Fri, 9 Dec 2005 08:46:05 -0800)

> From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.08.1804)

Tracy it makes it a great deal easier to reply to a
post if you would put a header on your posts, thanks.

I'd do that if I could, Marc, but since I'm relying on
Yahoo's email service I seem to have no control over
that. Sorry!

Tracy, if you can write what you di in the last three lines, why does yahoo make it impossible for you to write a line that looks like

                [Tracy Harms 2005.12.09.08.46]
or
              From Tracy Harms (2005.12.09.08.46)

which would probably have been correct for the e-mail to which I'm replying.

Nobody (so far as I know) has an automated way of writing that line , and if you have a calendar and a watch handy, the line isn't hard to type in. And it does make back referencing SOOO much easier!

Thanks for trying.

Martin

From [Marc Abrams (2005.12.09.1855)

In a message dated 12/9/2005 3:57:47 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, nickols@ATT.NET writes:

···

[From Fred Nickols (2005.12.9.1540)] -

I don’t agree with that as a definitive statement. I believe the test might allow you >to find out what someone is controlling for but I don’t think it’s foolproof.

  1. That test may or may not provide the answers as to what the person being
    tested thinks are important to him/her. What is, being tested for are the
    guesses the tester has as to what night be important to the controller. (edge

I agree with that.

So although a TesT will show the presence of control, it will not show what
Fred was asking it to show; and that is the reason why a controller is
controlling for any specific thing the controller and not the tester might be
interested in.

Hmm. What I wrote originally was this:

And they bring to mind the notion of doing “the test” to see if
someone is or isn’t controlling for a certain perception of a particular
variable.

Yes followed by this;

Ok, so doesn’t that address your first point above? If not how do you see it differing?

For example, suppose I want to see if someone is controlling for preserving or >>>protecting their dignity or identity or some such quality. I might, by way of a >>>test, mildly insult him to see how he reacts

I didn’t mean to imply with my statement above that “the test” is foolproof; >indeed, as I understand it, it’s often a matter of trial and error - or as Tracy said >“a stab” or as you’ve said, Marc, a “guess.”

Yes Fred, but I was addressing the example you used here.

A person is always controlling for their ‘dignity’ and ‘identity’. That is one of the most fundamental reasons I believe we have the control mechanism in the first place. The real questions here are how and why, not what. Questions the test cannot answer.

Do you see this differently?

Hmm. I think “the test” might be better than questions in some instances. I >don’t know that I would place a whole lot of faith in (1) disclosure and (2) people >being that in touch with what they’re up to. I suspect that many people control >for many things without knowing that that’s what they’re up to. Self-knowledge >isn’t all that well developed in lots of people.

I don’t disagree with you here. Getting sensitive information from others is not easy, but as I said above the test is about getting to what not about why and how.

Having someone ‘push-back’ provides no understanding as to why someone is in
fact ‘pushing back’, so even if you found out what someone was controlling
for you would have no further understanding for the underlying reasons. Again,
I don’t need the TesT to tell me I am either infringing in someone’s space
or causing a disturbance.

Do you see any of this differently?

Perhaps. I thought the test was in part a way of testing the observer’s >hypotheses.

About what? If the question surrounds a ‘what’ question then it can be TesTed for. If it surrounds how or why it cannot

To introduce a disturbance, however, suggests to me a great deal of >responsibility and care on the part of the person doing the disturbing.

I agree, there are some things others just don’t want you knowing.

And I also don’t think that “pushing back” is necessarily the response one gets >to a disturbance; in other words, restoring a controlled variable to a reference >value needn’t necessarily entail directly negating the disturbance itself.

I agree, in fact most defensive routines we use we use to avoid directly having to push back, but then again there are many ways of ‘pushing back’ without directly confronting the problem.

Most of us don’t like causing waves so we will ‘push back’ in ways that are hard to see directly.

For instance; Rick pushes back every time he perceives an ‘attack’ on PCT. Sometimes he does so by showing little regard for others, at other times he distorts what others say and mean and at other times he simply ignores you. All of these actions are defensive and they are in place to help Rick maintain some stability in the face of uncertainty. Not that Rick is uncertain, he will never allow himself to be as will none of us. It all depends on what is important to each of us.

So here is an example of where, if you want to be ‘friends’ with Rick understanding what he controls for is important.

Why he controls for PCT with such high gain is an entirely different matter.

I used Rick here because we both have experienced him on CSGnet. Sorry to use you as an example Rick.

Do you see this any differently?

As I understand control, it’s more a matter of compensating for a disturbance >than it is necessarily one of directly canceling it out.

An interesting perspective. First what do you mean by ‘compensating’? The purpose of control is in fact to eliminate the discrepancy. Do we ever do this completely? Probably not, but we do the best we can. It sounds to me like you are saying if you can’t have ‘x’ we will settle for ‘y’, is this your meaning?

If so, that is certainly one way of reducing error and that is to change your goal or reference. But some of us are ‘stubborn’ and have a difficult time ‘compensating’ for something they are used to or feel they need.

Perhaps you could expand your ideas on how you see control as a compensating process?

Just as we have more than >one means to a given end I suspect we have more >than one avenue for restoring >a controlled variable to its reference value.

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Unfortunately, we can only do what we know how to do, and sometimes we are unaware of our choices and believe we only ave a certain number when in fact we may have many.

Have I? I Hope so, and thank you for the opportunity to do so. This
unfortunately is not a common occurrence on CSGnet.

I have a question for you, Mark[c]. Think of it as in keeping with your assertion >above that we can discover controlled variables by asking questions of the >controller. It seems to me that you can be observed taking what I view as >“cheap shots” at many people on this list and, in the instance above, at the list >itself. It would be easy to say that you are controlling for taking cheap shots >because that is the behavior I observe. But taking cheap shots is probably a >means to some other end, a way of controlling for the value of some reference >signal. So, I’ll ask you: What are you controlling for when you take cheap >shots?

Interesting that you think I am taking ‘cheap shots’. What do you consider a ‘cheap shot’? Please give me an example of a cheap shot you believe I gave.

Perhaps the note to you in the response to Tracy?

That was not a cheap shot. I sincerely expressed my desire to hear from you and I did not believe I was going to so I tried reaching out.

Do you believe that we have a free and open exchange of ideas on CSGnet? Is your accusation of me taking ‘cheap shots’ an example of this? You quoted only part of my comment and out of context as well;

Perhaps you can clarify this.

Have I? I Hope so, and thank you for the opportunity to do so. >>This unfortunately is not a common occurrence on CSGnet.

Do you believe folks on CSGnet usually try to understand others before being understood? If so we have different perspectives on the communication that goes on here.

Is your accusation of me taking ‘cheap shots’ an example of the willingness to understand first?

If so, then you and I have a different understanding of what ‘clarifying’ means as well.

Do you often come to these conclusions without testing them? Are you sure I rake cheap shots, or is it the way you happen to be reading me.

You see Fred, in order for you to say that I was taking ‘cheap shots’ you would have to know my intent wouldn’t you?

Do you know my intent? I don’t think so, you never asked me either privately or on CSGnet. So how would or could you?

I’ll tell you how, by you deciding that this was the case.

I’m controlling for many things, but taking ‘cheap shots’ is not one of them, or at least one I am not consciously attempting to do.

The most important thing I am controlling for is honesty. I would also genuinely like to see a free exchange of ideas on CSGnet.

But it seems that getting those two things together at the same time is difficult.

I am not a phoney Fred, what you see from me is what you get. I might be a bit rough around the edges but I am honest in intent and motive. If you believe otherwise I am sorry you do but there is probably little I can do about it because you formed your ideas with private assumptions and with tests I was not involved in. But it sounds to me like you already made up your mind about me, so there seems little I could do.

What would you like me to do? How could I show you I am not taking ‘cheap shots’? By being dishonest? By not saying what I believe to be so? By avoiding talking about things that are unpleasant and distasteful? maybe, but you don’t progress without doing so. Things don’t disappear simply because you don’t discuss them.

So maybe, you’re the one taking a cheap shot here and ‘pushing back’ in a way you feel comfortable with.

I thought more of you than this but I was obviously wrong. I guess you live and learn.

To be honest, I was surprised when you questioned my post in response to >Tracy. I didn’t view what Tracy wrote as at odds with what you’d said.

Why are there times when you are not honest? Is this a ‘cheap shot’? If so I disagree. I don’t have to preface any comment I make with “To be honest”, why do you?

Your one line response to Tracy’s post was;

[From Fred Nickols (2005.12.08.1945 ET)] -

I agree with Tracy.

I had no problem with that. I wanted to know why you felt that way.

What was the purpose of your post? Who cares who you do or do not agree with. I want to know why you said what you did because as I said, your ideas might be worth adopting if I felt they were superior to mine

The MOL is a ‘free association’ method at getting to the how’s and why’s. But even with that, without trust between the asker and the giver there is little chance of an honest exchange. Heck, as you yourself just said most folks are unwilling to trust themselves with information they find uncomfortable.
Why were you surprised? I don’t believe you would have responded if I didn’t ask you to because you did not respond to my questions to your motivation post either but I did not expect this hostile response.

Fred, I’m afraid you outsmarted yourself here. You figured me for something I’m not, and you never had the decency to test those assumptions with me, but you never had a need to did you? Not if you were ‘right’ and you knew you were ‘right’. Well pal, you were wrong. I don’t ask questions to break anyone’s butt and I don’t go around espousing crap I don’t believe in.

I am truly interested in where and why you feel my description fails.

I don’t know that I said or intimated that it did. As a matter of fact, I’ve stopped >saving most of my incoming CSG emails so I don’t have a clue as to what you >originally wrote and I’m not inclined to learn how to dig through the archives to >find it.

What exactly do you think your reply, “I agree with Tracy” means?

What did you think I was responding to?

It seems that ‘agreeing’ with Tracy is also agreeing with me., so maybe unlike Tracy who spent the time and energy in actually clearing up our differences you might want to try to understand others before being understood., but I’m not holding my breath.

Regards,

Marc