[From Rick Marken (960802.0830)]
So what are your introspections on what you perceive, Chris?
Chris Cherpas (960801.1231 PT) --
If I just sit back and just try to look inside, one perception I think I can
control for is:
... a sort of stream of operant (and respondent) "tendencies" which are
continually, interactively filling up momentary experience. Partly self-
talk, I seem to be babbling to myself almost all the time. Part of it is
experiencing images which are not obviously bound to my external
I have these kinds of experiences too but I would refer to them as
imaginations rather than perceptions. I use the word "perception" to refer to
experiences of a world that seems to be "out there". I see a computer screen
and a table and walls and window blinds; I hear the rustle of air
conditioning and feel the keyboard at the tips of my fingers. I use the word
"perception" to refer to what most people (I think) would refer to as aspects
of the "real world"; the intensity of the lights, the color of the screen,
the shape of a chair, the solidity of the table, the movement of people
walking in the quad, the relative position of things and their distance from
me, etc etc. This is the aspect of perception that the PCT hierarchy is
about; it is perception that comes before theory; it is the world that we
take for granted. I was interested in your reflections (introspections) on
the nature of this world -- the world of experience. The world of imagination
is interesting, too. But it seems to me that the world of imagination is
related to the world of perception; I imagine in the same terms as I
percepive -- in terms of intensities, colors, shapes, movements, etc.
So maybe you could just try reflecting (introspecting) on the nature of
your experience of the outside world (you would only know what I'm talking
about when I say "outside world" if your experience is similar to mine;
perhaps it's not; that's one reason why your introspections would be
interesting to me).
Gregory Thomas Wierzbicki (960801) --
It seems there are two ways to control. first to take action on the world
in a manner which brings input perception into close alignment with referent
perception. And second, to change referent perceptions.
Actually, there is only one way to control; by acting to bring perceptions to
reference states and to protect them from disturbance. In a hierarchical
system, control of a perception is often achieved by changing the reference
for lower level perceptions (indirectly changing actions) rather than by
changing actions directly.
At this point I am more interested in the latter, and find the notion of
kicking things up a level less than satisfying. Any other thoughts?
I think you are talking about how you might get another person to adopt
one or another of your goals, like the goal of promulgating a particular
theory of behavior. According to PCT this means that you want another person
to select the same reference you have for a particular perception (like the
perception of the degree of promulgation of the theory). I don't know that
there is any way to make this happen other than by the old standard
approaches -- deprivation, torture or the threat thereof, terrorism, and
other types of violence (my father-in-law, who fought the Nazi's as an
infantryman in WW II, used to say that if he were captured, the Gestapo
they would be saying "we have ways to make you _stop_ talking"). For those of
us who don't care for violence, it seems like the only way we _might_ be able
to get another person to adopt a goal that is more in line with the one we
would like them to have is by trying to get them to see the situation from a
"higher level" perspective.
Just where does this leave you when you use PCT to refute (or confirm for
that matter) itself?
I don't understand this. I use standard scientific tests (not PCT) to refute
(or, as has been the case so far, confirm) PCT. It's true that as long as PCT
is _not_ refuted I take it as a model of my own nature as well as that of the
subjects I test. But I don't _use_ PCT to refute itself, do I? If PCT were
refuted by test, it would just mean that I had been laboring under the wrong
assumption about the nature of human nature and, thus, of my own nature as
Bill Leach (960801.1721 EDT) --
It [The Test] is a wonderful exercise. One postulates theories about what
might be the CEV (or CEVs if one is really 'in to it') and then trys to do
It is incredibly difficult to "do well" at this when trying to be specific
but it is certainly an "eye-opening" experience!
It is, indeed, an "eye opening" experience. Bill Powers said (somewhere) that
it's a lot easier to make sense of what a person is doing (that is, to come
up with plausible explanations of their visible behavior) than to figure out
what they are really doing (what perception(s) they are controlling). One
reason conventional psychologists may not like PCT is because it's HARD to
do PCT research-- The Test is unforgiving. It's a lot easier to look at
behavior and come up with important sounding descriptions of what people are
doing ("conforming", "helping", "advising", "leading", "managing", etc) than
it is to figure out what perceptual variables they are ACTUALLY controlling.
I recommend the "coin game" to anyone who thinks it's easy to tell what
another person is doing.