PCT - Spreading the Word - A Thought

[From Rick Marken (2015.11.19.0950)]


Richard Pfau (2015.11.18 10:56 am EST)–

RP: A Thought: One way to spread the word about PCT is to have symposia and workshops at professional meetings of groups such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and Association for Psychological Science (APS).

RP: An APA symposium can apparently consist of discussions about a common theme whereas the APS symposia require completed research not presented or published elsewhere. Workshops focus on specific areas (for example, thinking of PCT, perhaps on areas such as (a) Conducting Research on Controlled Variables and (b) the Method of Levels).

RM: I guess after all my talk about the idea that believing that people won’t get PCT is equivalent to controlling for it I should be all excited about doing this. But I’m kind of conflicted about it. The conflict is over what might be the best way to expend my efforts at promoting PCT. I could expend them on conference workshops, research, books, posting on the net or publishing papers. Actually I’ve tried them all and they have all been essentially unsuccessful (in terms of getting people interested in PCT; the research and writing has been successful in the sense that ot has bee very satisfying to me).

RM: So when I am able to “go up a level” and become conscious of what I really care about – my higher level goals – I realize that what matters to me most is the science of PCT. And what best satisfies that goal for me is doing PCT research and publishing papers on it. I also enjoy teaching PCT but I prefer doing that with a relatively receptive audience. So doing a workshop at a psychological association in front of an audience that is interested only in studying the side effects of control – purposeful behavior – a phenomenon that they don’t even know exists,is not my idea of a good way to spend my time.

RM: So I will try not to believe that people will never “get” PCT; I’ll carry on as though they will eventually get it. But my only contribution to the effort will be doing what satisfies my highest level goals, which is to keep on doing what I have been doing : research and writing on PCT. And not wasting time giving talks on PCT at venues where people either don’t want to hear about it or actively resist learning about it.

RM: But that’s just me. I’m sure there are others who might be willing to do these workshops. I would have nothing but dazed admiration for those who did.



To do this, perhaps a PCTer willing to organize such a symposium or workshop could target an upcoming conference and make his or her interest known on csgnet to make contact with others who may be interested in presenting/contributing to the symposium/workshop being proposed.

Here are APA & APS descriptions of what their symposia/symposiums entail:

**Association for Psychological
Science **

Symposia: A symposium is a
focused session in which multiple participants present their views about a
common theme, issue, or question. The views may or may not be adversarial and
may or may not be supported by brief mention of relevant data. The format of a
symposium usually consists of an introduction to the topic by the chairperson
to provide the audience with a background for the ensuing discussion.
Participants then present their viewpoints, followed by interchange among
participants and between the audience and participants. Often the symposium
will end with an overview of the proceedings by the chairperson or a
discussant. Most important, a symposium is not a paper-reading session. Participants
should prepare presentations in advance so that the chairperson or discussant
can prepare a coherent summary. Participants are encouraged to speak from
notes; reading papers detracts from the spirit of the symposium. The chair or
discussant should not give a separate presentation. Their role is to integrate,
interpret, and highlight the essential issues raised by participants.

American Psychological

Symposium: A symposium is a focused session in which
individual speakers present their research on a common issue. Symposia should
have the dual goals of providing diversity of perspective and integrating those
perspectives into a meaningful whole. A
symposium includes a chair, up to four presenters, and a discussant (optional).
Symposia are scheduled in 80 time slots and should allow for discussion among
presenters and the audience. All
submissions must represent completed work (i.e., please do not submit a
proposal if the data are still pending). Submissions should discuss research that has
not been presented or published elsewhere.

In short, such activities seem a good way to help popularize PCT among professionals and graduate students who attend such events (something that I don’t recall seeing in the USA at least).

Richard S. Marken

Author of Doing Research on Purpose.
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble