PCT says what? (was What PCT Says)

[From Rick Marken (2002.01.08.1415)]

I changed the name of the thread so that Bruce Nevin could have the last words on the
"What PCT says" thread because they are fine words.

Bill Powers (2002.01.04.0152 MST) --

[...] one's arguments tend to reflect the views one is trying to
overcome, in that we often exaggerate a position simply to make clear what
is different from the other view.

Bruce Nevin (2002.01.07 17:09 EST)

Yes. But also, hedged statements are unconvincing. Science is open-ended,
but people demand authoritative conclusions. Engineering demands
reliability, applications demand unequivocal, unhedged utterances of Truth.

I think this may be more true when we talk about the Big Issues, like" Autonomy vs
Determinism", than when we talk about the little issues, like "What will happen if I
push on someone else's (or even my own) controlled variables?" PCT makes detailed
predictions about what will happen and I think it can be very useful to understand "what
PCT says" in this case. Indeed, I think that an understanding of conflict (and how to
avoid it or, when appropriate, ignore it) should be at the heart of an applied PCT.
There is a reasonably good demo of the "Costs of (Intrapersonal) Conflict" at


Best regards



Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
The RAND Corporation
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