Our IAPCT Researchgate project [was: Re: Ethogram comment on Bruce's ...]

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.09.18.19:56 ET)]

The subject line of Martin’s post (below) provides a good occasion to emphasize that this is intended to be our project, not mine. Researchgate associates it with my name because I got it started, but all who become ‘followers’ of the project and post publications there can become collaborators on the project.

Instructions here explain a restriction on who I can add as collaborators:

  1. You can only add members of your network to your project. Your network includes your co-authors, your department colleagues, your institution colleagues, and researchers who follow you

This is why Step B below tells you how to ‘follow’ the project.

Co-authors of the 2011 joint paper are already there. It is time to open it up to more of us.

(Attachment RG-add2Project2.JPG is missing)


I am inviting all on CSGnet who have PCT publications and other PCT research products to participate in controlling the perception “increased visibility and credibility of PCT” by means of associating your PCT writings and research products with this ‘Project’ in ResearchGate.

A. Log in to ResearchGate

If you don’t have an account, go here to create one:.


(If you do have an account, this link may take you there–it does me.)

By default, you need an email address associated with an academic or research institution to create a ResearchGate account. If you don’t, all is not lost, but you have to submit to be vetted by the administrators as a bonafide researcher.


B. Gain access to the project by ‘following’ it.

Here are the instructions from a Help page on the Researchgate website. For Step 1, go to


To follow a project:

  1. Go to the page of the project you would like to follow
  2. Click the blue**Follow project **button under the list of collaborators on the top right-hand side of the page
  3. You are now following the project and will start getting notified about new project updates and discussions.

C. Add your Researchgate contributions to the project*:*

  1. In the upper right corner of your home page, the down arrow next to your picture pulls down a menu.

Select Your Profile

  1. You see a banner menu that says

Overview Contributions Info Stats Scores Research Interests

select Contributions

  1. You see your contributions listed. Under each title you see a button to add the item to a project. Click the button.

For a new account you have to add your contributions first:


  1. A box opens something like the image below (instead of “data” it may say “conference paper”, or something else, depending on the type of your contribution):

Click the field “Select or create a project” (not the down arrow next to it). You should see the project that you are following listed. Select it.

  1. Do this for each PCT-related item in your list of contributions to Researchgate.

I think this is an effective way to for us to better control the perception “increased visibility and credibility of PCT”. We’re getting quite a few people viewing and downloading already. If you have PCT research products to share, I hope that you are willing and able to participate. Please let me know of any difficulty or confusion you experience.



On Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 12:03 PM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2017.]

This is a “testing” message to see whether I can post a shorter message that nevertheless has some content.

I hope some of you are “following” Bruce Nevin’s PCT project on Researchgate <https://www.researchgate.net/project/Perceptual-Control-Theory-PCT>. If you are, you may have noticed comments by a person called Brad Jesness, advertising his “Ethogram” ideas for a general theory of psychology. Rick has responded to them, but this message is unrelated to the content of those comments and responses.

Jesness claims to be supportive of PCT, but the scientific method used is opposite to that of PCT. He asks that we read his 1985 draft of a book. I have started to do so, from both ends, as he in fact recommends, and I think I have an idea about where he is coming from.

PCT is what I would call a “functional” theory. It starts with the concept that there exists a mechanism (an Elementary Control Unit that can be organized into a hierarchy of similar units), and then asks how well that mechanism accounts for data. Probing (disturbing) hypothesized controlled variables is a primary experimental technique.

The word “experiment” seems antithetical to what Jesness proposes. His ideal procedure is purely observational. As is true in astronomy, he would not influence the subjects of his research at all, if he could avoid doing so. He would infer what happens inside the subject’s skin, where observation is impossible – or was in 1985, perhaps – from correlations and contradictions that are or are not predicted and are or are not observed.

There’s nothing wrong in principle with an observational science. It’s just a lot harder to discover the functional underlay to what you observe than it is if you can probe and do experiments. So one often winds up with a purely descriptive statement of what you observe, but in more concise terms. That’s just what the network nodes do in “Deep Learning”. A complaint often raised about “Deep Learning” is that you can seldom find “Why” this description is as it is. PCT starts out the other way. It presents an answer to “Why” and then asks “What”. The method is more powerful and the result more intelligible, but the results of the two approaches should not conflict.