"powers 1973" - new results

Hi there CSGers,Â

I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

Warren

Vancouveravoidance.pdf (882 KB)

···

Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

···

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hi Richard, I think that your criticisms are fair, but you failed to mention all of its strengths, crotchety! :wink:

···

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 6:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1040)]

···

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 10:27 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: Hi Richard, I think that your criticisms are fair, but you failed to mention all of its strengths, crotchety! :wink:

RM: I thought I’d leave that to the real PCT experts on CSGNet, who managed to find all the strengths of the power law of movement research (and none of the flaws, which apparently don’t exist anyway;-).

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 6:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]


Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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JavaScript available, learn more at http://activatejavascript.org …¦

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.11.25.1035)]

Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)

  1. The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

(2) Compare the apparent choice of fight, flight, or freeze. They involve the same physiological state, it is said (though it’s hard to reconcile “freeze” with “arousal for action”). All three control a perception of relationship to a predator or other threat (presence zero, distance ‘adequate’…). The difference is in the means of control. The means used is determined at a higher level. At the Program level, an if-then-else contingency is appropriately called a choice.Â

(3) I remember Bill’s assertion that we control the sunrise, as would be evidenced by our behavior should it fail to occur. I’m not advocating slavish conformity to Bill’s passing comments, just suggesting that the distinction between recognition and control may not always be obvious.

···

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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JavaScript available, learn more at http://activatejavascript.org …¦

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)]

···

 Bruce Nevin (2017.11.25.1035)

Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)

  1. The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

BN: (2) Compare the apparent choice of fight, flight, or freeze. They involve the same physiological state, it is said (though it’s hard to reconcile “freeze” with “arousal for action”). All three control a perception of relationship to a predator or other threat (presence zero, distance ‘adequate’…). The difference is in the means of control. The means used is determined at a higher level. At the Program level, an if-then-else contingency is appropriately called a choice.Â

RM: The difference between fight, flight and choice is not in the means of control but in what is controlled (fight involves control of the opponent’s behavior, flight and freeze involve control of distance from the opponent ) and in the reference for what is controlled (flight involves control of distance relative to a reference of being far from the opponent; freeze involves two systems with equal gain controlling for different reference distances from the opponent, one system controlling for moving away and the other controlling for moving closer – perhaps in order to get closer to those headlights) . And the program level in PCT Is assumed to control for a program perception, not to produce a program of output (choice). That is, in PCT, the program level controls for perceiving that “if A, then B else C” is occurring as a perception if the reference is for a perception of "if A, then B else C ". The “choice” component of Jeff’s model is not a program control system; it is an S-R system that responds A if B is true and C otherwise.Â

BN: (3) I remember Bill’s assertion that we control the sunrise, as would be evidenced by our behavior should it fail to occur. I’m not advocating slavish conformity to Bill’s passing comments, just suggesting that the distinction between recognition and control may not always be obvious.

RM:Â I think I know what Bill was talking about when he said that we are controlling for the sunrise. He was saying that we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

BestÂ

RickÂ

Â

/B


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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JavaScript available, learn more at http://activatejavascript.org …¦

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.11.26.16:59 ET)]

Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)–

Ah, I see that I misread you when you said

There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal

I thought you were saying there is no ‘choice’ function in PCT. Since you had already denied that there can be approach goals and avoidance goals there clearly can be no choice function that chooses between them.

A goal is a reference value. The ‘approach’ or ‘avoidance’ part is the relationship between the reference value and the perceptual input, expressed as the error signal, and evidenced to an observer by behavior that reduces the error.Â

In fight/flight the error output goes to two systems, one for combat and the other for escape. Many studies suggest a catastrophe cusp between these, and that in turn suggests a flip-flop such as we have discussed for perception of categories. Other inputs tip the balance–what’s at stake (a morning snack or my babies) relative size (can I beat him?), etc. I suppose you could call a flip-flop a choice function. But it’s not choosing between goals, its choosing between means (lower control systems which in turn have their own goals).Â

Interesting that you think the ‘freeze’ option is a perfectly balanced conflict resulting in zero behavioral output, rather than the purposeful output of a control system that has been established by evolution as biological heritage. Could be.Â

I don’t have access to the PDF behind the paywall, but I gather that the prevailing view had been that avoiding noxious things was managed differently from approaching pleasing things. In the conception that Jeff is addressing, an “avoidance goal is an undesired state from which a person seeks to distance themselves.” Apparently, people thought that avoiding something undesirable requires a positive feedback loop, and Jeff demonstrated that this doesn’t work, something that is obvious to us but apparently not to the readers his paper addresses. The abstract states a conclusion: “The findings provide an important step toward theoretical parsimony by demonstrating that avoidance goal regulation, like approach goal regulation, can be understood using a negative feedback control system framework.” PCT accounts for control by means of either approaching or avoiding, depending on the reference level. For us, it’s so obvious, why bother saying it?Â

we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

I was responding to what you said about controlling a perception of the age of a predator’s tracks.

The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.

I was suggesting that the distinction between recognizing and controlling is not entirely clear all the time.

I can’t say what it has to do with Jeff’s model, because I can’t see the paper. Maybe someone could post the PDF.

···

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)]

 Bruce Nevin (2017.11.25.1035)

Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)

  1. The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

BN: (2) Compare the apparent choice of fight, flight, or freeze. They involve the same physiological state, it is said (though it’s hard to reconcile “freeze” with “arousal for action”). All three control a perception of relationship to a predator or other threat (presence zero, distance ‘adequate’…). The difference is in the means of control. The means used is determined at a higher level. At the Program level, an if-then-else contingency is appropriately called a choice.Â

RM: The difference between fight, flight and choice is not in the means of control but in what is controlled (fight involves control of the opponent’s behavior, flight and freeze involve control of distance from the opponent ) and in the reference for what is controlled (flight involves control of distance relative to a reference of being far from the opponent; freeze involves two systems with equal gain controlling for different reference distances from the opponent, one system controlling for moving away and the other controlling for moving closer – perhaps in order to get closer to those headlights) . And the program level in PCT Is assumed to control for a program perception, not to produce a program of output (choice). That is, in PCT, the program level controls for perceiving that “if A, then B else C” is occurring as a perception if the reference is for a perception of "if A, then B else C ". The “choice” component of Jeff’s model is not a program control system; it is an S-R system that responds A if B is true and C otherwise.Â

BN: (3) I remember Bill’s assertion that we control the sunrise, as would be evidenced by our behavior should it fail to occur. I’m not advocating slavish conformity to Bill’s passing comments, just suggesting that the distinction between recognition and control may not always be obvious.

RM:Â I think I know what Bill was talking about when he said that we are controlling for the sunrise. He was saying that we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

BestÂ

RickÂ

Â

/B


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

Skip to main content Skip to sections This service is more advanced with

JavaScript available, learn more at http://activatejavascript.org …¦

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

OK, another duh moment. I didn’t scroll down far enough in Warren’s original post to see the attachment. I’ll read the paper. (Thanks for the repeat, Warren.)

···

On Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 5:03 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.11.26.16:59 ET)]

Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)–

Ah, I see that I misread you when you said

There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal

I thought you were saying there is no ‘choice’ function in PCT. Since you had already denied that there can be approach goals and avoidance goals there clearly can be no choice function that chooses between them.

A goal is a reference value. The ‘approach’ or ‘avoidance’ part is the relationship between the reference value and the perceptual input, expressed as the error signal, and evidenced to an observer by behavior that reduces the error.Â

In fight/flight the error output goes to two systems, one for combat and the other for escape. Many studies suggest a catastrophe cusp between these, and that in turn suggests a flip-flop such as we have discussed for perception of categories. Other inputs tip the balance–what’s at stake (a morning snack or my babies) relative size (can I beat him?), etc. I suppose you could call a flip-flop a choice function. But it’s not choosing between goals, its choosing between means (lower control systems which in turn have their own goals).Â

Interesting that you think the ‘freeze’ option is a perfectly balanced conflict resulting in zero behavioral output, rather than the purposeful output of a control system that has been established by evolution as biological heritage. Could be.Â

I don’t have access to the PDF behind the paywall, but I gather that the prevailing view had been that avoiding noxious things was managed differently from approaching pleasing things. In the conception that Jeff is addressing, an “avoidance goal is an undesired state from which a person seeks to distance themselves.” Apparently, people thought that avoiding something undesirable requires a positive feedback loop, and Jeff demonstrated that this doesn’t work, something that is obvious to us but apparently not to the readers his paper addresses. The abstract states a conclusion: “The findings provide an important step toward theoretical parsimony by demonstrating that avoidance goal regulation, like approach goal regulation, can be understood using a negative feedback control system framework.” PCT accounts for control by means of either approaching or avoiding, depending on the reference level. For us, it’s so obvious, why bother saying it?Â

we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

I was responding to what you said about controlling a perception of the age of a predator’s tracks.

The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.

I was suggesting that the distinction between recognizing and controlling is not entirely clear all the time.

I can’t say what it has to do with Jeff’s model, because I can’t see the paper. Maybe someone could post the PDF.

/Bruce

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)]

 Bruce Nevin (2017.11.25.1035)

Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)

  1. The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

BN: (2) Compare the apparent choice of fight, flight, or freeze. They involve the same physiological state, it is said (though it’s hard to reconcile “freeze” with “arousal for action”). All three control a perception of relationship to a predator or other threat (presence zero, distance ‘adequate’…). The difference is in the means of control. The means used is determined at a higher level. At the Program level, an if-then-else contingency is appropriately called a choice.Â

RM: The difference between fight, flight and choice is not in the means of control but in what is controlled (fight involves control of the opponent’s behavior, flight and freeze involve control of distance from the opponent ) and in the reference for what is controlled (flight involves control of distance relative to a reference of being far from the opponent; freeze involves two systems with equal gain controlling for different reference distances from the opponent, one system controlling for moving away and the other controlling for moving closer – perhaps in order to get closer to those headlights) . And the program level in PCT Is assumed to control for a program perception, not to produce a program of output (choice). That is, in PCT, the program level controls for perceiving that “if A, then B else C” is occurring as a perception if the reference is for a perception of "if A, then B else C ". The “choice” component of Jeff’s model is not a program control system; it is an S-R system that responds A if B is true and C otherwise.Â

BN: (3) I remember Bill’s assertion that we control the sunrise, as would be evidenced by our behavior should it fail to occur. I’m not advocating slavish conformity to Bill’s passing comments, just suggesting that the distinction between recognition and control may not always be obvious.

RM:Â I think I know what Bill was talking about when he said that we are controlling for the sunrise. He was saying that we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

BestÂ

RickÂ

Â

/B


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
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Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.26.1440)]

···

Bruce Nevin (2017.11.26.16:59 ET)

BN: A goal is a reference value. The ‘approach’ or ‘avoidance’ part is the relationship between the reference value and the perceptual input, expressed as the error signal, and evidenced to an observer by behavior that reduces the error.Â

RM: Vancouver models it as two control systems, one with an avoidance reference and one with an approach reference to the same variable. Â

BN: In fight/flight the error output goes to two systems, one for combat and the other for escape.

RM: In which case it does neither.

Â

BN: I suppose you could call a flip-flop a choice function. But it’s not choosing between goals, its choosing between means (lower control systems which in turn have their own goals).Â

RM: Show me the functional diagram. I don’t understand how this relates to Bill’s ICT model. To the extent that there is anything that could be called “choice” of lower level control systems in ICT, it’s a choice of reference signals to send to those systems.Â

BN: Interesting that you think the ‘freeze’ option is a perfectly balanced conflict resulting in zero behavioral output, rather than the purposeful output of a control system that has been established by evolution as biological heritage. Could be.Â

RM: In certain situations the freeze option probably is a built in way of controlling for not being seen. I suggested a conflict explanation because we were talking about conflict.Â

Â

BN: I don’t have access to the PDF behind the paywall, but I gather that the prevailing view had been that avoiding noxious things was managed differently from approaching pleasing things. In the conception that Jeff is addressing, an “avoidance goal is an undesired state from which a person seeks to distance themselves.” Apparently, people thought that avoiding something undesirable requires a positive feedback loop, and Jeff demonstrated that this doesn’t work, something that is obvious to us but apparently not to the readers his paper addresses. The abstract states a conclusion: “The findings provide an important step toward theoretical parsimony by demonstrating that avoidance goal regulation, like approach goal regulation, can be understood using a negative feedback control system framework.” PCT accounts for control by means of either approaching or avoiding, depending on the reference level. For us, it’s so obvious, why bother saying it?Â

RM: What I would have preferred is that he had bothered to model it correctly, in terms of ICT.Â

we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

BN: I was responding to what you said about controlling a perception of the age of a predator’s tracks.

The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.

BN: I was suggesting that the distinction between recognizing and controlling is not entirely clear all the time.

RM: Sure it is. You can test to determine whether an animal is controlling (or not) for maintaining a distance that is proportional to the age of the tracks. You can also create simulated environments to test to see if people are actually controlling for the sun coming up or not.Â

BN: I can’t say what it has to do with Jeff’s model, because I can’t see the paper. Maybe someone could post the PDF.

RM: I see you saw that Jeff’s paper was posted by Warren. I’d be interested in hearing what you think of it, from an IPT point of view, after you’ve read it.Â

Best

Rick

Â


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.25.1330)]

 Bruce Nevin (2017.11.25.1035)

Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)

  1. The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control its distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

BN: (2) Compare the apparent choice of fight, flight, or freeze. They involve the same physiological state, it is said (though it’s hard to reconcile “freeze” with “arousal for action”). All three control a perception of relationship to a predator or other threat (presence zero, distance ‘adequate’…). The difference is in the means of control. The means used is determined at a higher level. At the Program level, an if-then-else contingency is appropriately called a choice.Â

RM: The difference between fight, flight and choice is not in the means of control but in what is controlled (fight involves control of the opponent’s behavior, flight and freeze involve control of distance from the opponent ) and in the reference for what is controlled (flight involves control of distance relative to a reference of being far from the opponent; freeze involves two systems with equal gain controlling for different reference distances from the opponent, one system controlling for moving away and the other controlling for moving closer – perhaps in order to get closer to those headlights) . And the program level in PCT Is assumed to control for a program perception, not to produce a program of output (choice). That is, in PCT, the program level controls for perceiving that “if A, then B else C” is occurring as a perception if the reference is for a perception of "if A, then B else C ". The “choice” component of Jeff’s model is not a program control system; it is an S-R system that responds A if B is true and C otherwise.Â

BN: (3) I remember Bill’s assertion that we control the sunrise, as would be evidenced by our behavior should it fail to occur. I’m not advocating slavish conformity to Bill’s passing comments, just suggesting that the distinction between recognition and control may not always be obvious.

RM:Â I think I know what Bill was talking about when he said that we are controlling for the sunrise. He was saying that we are implicitly controlling for the sun coming up but you wouldn’t know that was the case until the sun didn’t come up. What this has to do with Jeff’s model is not clear to me at all.

BestÂ

RickÂ

Â

/B


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.24.1005)]

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: I am circulating a neat new study by Jeff that starts to address Charles Carver’s messing about with ‘control theory’…

RM: I’m sure Jeff’s paper is an improvement over whatever Carver has come up with. But there are several problems with Jeff’s paper – at least from my perspective as one who barely understands PCT so this can be taken as merely the rantings of a crotchety old man -- that make it less than stellar (in my eyes) as an example of a PCT model of control. The problems are: 1) The paper makes a distinction between avoidance and approach goals but there is no such distinction in PCT, where there are just goals (reference states for controlled variables). 2). There is no “choice” function in PCT (see Figure 3 in Jeff’s paper) that chooses between pursuing an approach versus an avoidance goal and 3) The age of a predator’s tracks can’t be a controlled variable (as it is in the single loop example) since the organism can’t control that variable; the organisms can only control it’s distance from the tracks depending on their age.Â

RM: So once again my lack of understanding of PCT (as it is understood on CSGNet anyway) combined with my inability to do mathematics lead me to give the work of a friend of PCT a poor grade. You may all now feel free to set me straight.Â

Best

Rick

Â

Warren

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Google Scholar Alerts scholaralerts-noreply@google.com
Date: Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: “powers 1973” - new results
To: wmansell@gmail.com

The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation

T Ballard, G Yeo, JB Vancouver, A Neal - Motivation and Emotion

Skip to main content Skip to sections This service is more advanced with

JavaScript available, learn more at http://activatejavascript.org …¦

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Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Clinical Psychology

School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk
Â
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589
Â
Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406
Â
Advanced notice of a new transdiagnostic therapy manual, authored by Carey, Mansell & Tai - Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach

Available Now

Check www.pctweb.org for further information on Perceptual Control Theory

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.2.23.05]

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.26.1440)]

Yes. Since it is quite reasonable that at one time one may want to

approach something one wants to avoid at another time, either there
must be two parallel control units, one for approach and one for
avoidance, or one control unit that can be switched between approach
and avoidance mode.

I did that in [Martin Taylor 2017.11.23.11.30]. At least its a

working model of a flip-flop, which could be in the perceptual side
or the output side of the hierarchy. There’s a lot about it that
could be improved, but it is an implementation of a functional
diagram.

Bill's associative memory proposal for the production of reference

values (and their distribution) inherently permits, but does not
require, choice.

Martin
···
                Bruce

Nevin (2017.11.26.16:59 ET)

                  BN: A goal is a reference value. The 'approach'

or ‘avoidance’ part is the relationship between
the reference value and the perceptual input,
expressed as the error signal, and evidenced to an
observer by behavior that reduces the error.

            RM: Vancouver models it as two control systems, one

with an avoidance reference and one with an approach
reference to the same variable.

                  BN: In fight/flight the error output goes to

two systems, one for combat and the other for
escape.

RM: In which case it does neither.

                  BN: I suppose you could call a flip-flop a

choice function. But it’s not choosing between
goals, its choosing between means (lower control
systems which in turn have their own goals).

RM: Show me the functional diagram.

            I don't understand how this relates to Bill's ICT

model. To the extent that there is anything that could
be called “choice” of lower level control systems in
ICT, it’s a choice of reference signals to send to those
systems.

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.27.1400)]

···

Martin Taylor (2017.11.2.23.05)–

MT: Yes. Since it is quite reasonable that at one time one may want to

approach something one wants to avoid at another time, either there
must be two parallel control units, one for approach and one for
avoidance, or one control unit that can be switched between approach
and avoidance mode.

RM: The way we model what is called an “approach-avoidance” conflict in PCT is simply to have two control systems controlling the same variable – perceived distance from the goal --Â relative to two different references; the system with the lowest reference for distance would be seen as the “approach” system and the one with the highest reference for the same distance would be seen as the “avoidance” system.Â

RM: In Jeff’s model, the “avoidance” system is not only functionally different that the “approach” system (the error that drives output for the avoidance system is computed differently than it is for the approach system) but (contrary to what I said) Jeff has each system controlling a different variable. So the reason why the conflict exists in Jeff’s model is completely a result of the “choice” function, which switches between the approach and avoidance systems depending on the relative size of the outputs of the two systems. So according to Jeff’s model, conflicts exists because there is a “choice” function between two control systems controlling two different variables. This is definitely not a PCT model of conflict and it would be easy to demonstrate that the model is incorrect using actual data, like that that can be obtained in experiments like my conflict demo:Â http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Conflict.html

MT: Bill's associative memory proposal for the production of reference

values (and their distribution) inherently permits, but does not
require, choice.

RM: Since Jeff’s “choice” function is clearly an unnecessary (and incorrect) addition to a PCT model of conflict I think we can drop the flip- flop flap for now.

            RM: Vancouver models it as two control systems, one

with an avoidance reference and one with an approach
reference to the same variable. Â

            RM:Â  don't understand how this relates to Bill's ICT

model. To the extent that there is anything that could
be called “choice” of lower level control systems in
ICT, it’s a choice of reference signals to send to those
systems.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.27.17.12

Who do you refer to as "we" in this? The mechanism you suggest is

neither what Powers did for the Crowd demo nor does it seem
workable. All it does is set up a conflict that would park the
variable between the two reference values, as Kent demonstrated in
his CSG-93 presentation.
But Powers’s approach, of creating a variable “distance” that is the
inverse of proximity, doesn’t work in the general case, either.
Imagine the following situations, all of which might plausibly
complete a sentence that starts with “I want to avoid …¦â€?
•Â Â Â bumping into anyone in a crowd
•Â Â Â falling into the old mineshaft in the fieldd.
•Â Â Â falling over the balustrade on the seventh floor balcony.
•Â Â Â seeing the wine glass too near the edge of the table.
•Â Â Â hearing foreigners talking their disgustingg language in the
bus.
•Â Â Â offending that person with whose policies II disagree.
•Â Â Â having that wall red when we redecorate.
•Â Â Â being in the same room with Jack.
•Â Â Â having Rachael see me with Dora.
•Â Â Â making a foot-fault when I serve in tennis…
•Â Â Â having Rachael be within talking distance oof Dora.
•Â Â Â making a burning smell when I cook.
•Â Â Â being served a food to which I am allergic<
•Â Â Â seeing the present government re-elected.

···

On 2017/11/27 4:57 PM, Richard Marken
wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.27.1400)]

Martin Taylor (2017.11.2.23.05)–

                          RM: Vancouver models it as two control

systems, one with an avoidance reference
and one with an approach reference to the
same variable. Â

            MT: Yes. Since it is quite reasonable that at one

time one may want to approach something one wants to
avoid at another time, either there must be two parallel
control units, one for approach and one for avoidance,
or one control unit that can be switched between
approach and avoidance mode.

          RM: The way we model what is called an

“approach-avoidance” conflict in PCT is simply to have two
control systems controlling the same variable – perceived
distance from the goal --Â relative to two different
references; the system with the lowest reference for
distance would be seen as the “approach” system and the
one with the highest reference for the same distance would
be seen as the “avoidance” system.

•Â Â Â  being near someone smoking.

All of these have one thing in common, that there is no specific

preferred alternative to the environmental condition that is to be
avoided – nothing to be approached. For example, your avoiding
being near someone smoking is not the same as your being far from
someone smoking, because that presupposes that you perceive someone
smoking, whereas not perceiving anyone smoking might be even better.
Not falling into a mineshaft is not the same as falling into
something else, or as doing something else with a mineshaft you
perceive to exist. Not offending that person does not imply
offending someone else, or ingratiating oneself with that person.
And so on. For none of these is there an obvious reference value
toward which one’s actions might influence the corresponding
perception, although the tennis example might be an exception, if
the only alternative to a foot-fault is a fair serve.

All of the examples could be preceded by "I want to perceive myself

…" instead of “I want to avoid…” I think this is generally true
of perceptions we want to avoid. On other occasions we might want to
approach any of them. Maybe today I don’t want to perceive Rachael
talking with Doris, but on another occasion I might want to see them
talking. Since there is no obvious opposite variable that could
plausibly have an “approach” reference value, it seems essential
that PCT incorporate an avoidance control concept.

Changing the form of the comparator function is far from a novel

idea within the most classical form of HPCT. Different forms have
been discussed over the years, and this is just another one, in
which the error is high when the to-be-avoided perception is
actually experienced rather than being zero at that point. The same
holds even when the variable is categorical, in which case there is
no sense of distance along which to describe a comparator function.
There are just different levels of error for different categories:
“Red” may be to be avoided, being a colour that might get you into
trouble with supporters of the “Pink” scarved soccer team or street
gang, whereas they wouldn’t take any notice of Blue or Green. “I
want to avoid Red” says nothing about what coulour you do want to
perceive.

Avoidance is an issue not trivially resolved by inverting a variable

or by setting up a conflict between two reference values for the
same variable.

Incidentally, similar issues surround the perception of "not", which

implies a wide range of possible perceptions that differ in many
possible ways from the one specified by the negation.

Martin

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1250)]

···

Martin Taylor (2017.11.27.17.12)

MT: Who do you refer to as “we” in this?

 RM: PCT modelers.Â

Â

MT: The mechanism you suggest is

neither what Powers did for the Crowd demo nor does it seem
workable.

RM: It is not the mechanism Bill used in the agents in the Crowd demo because those agents had no internal conflicts. But the mechanism I suggest is the mechanism of conflict in PCT. Â

MT: But Powers's approach, of creating a variable "distance" that is the

inverse of proximity, doesn’t work in the general case, either.

RM: Again, the proximity control model of the agents in the CROWD demo has nothing to do with conflict.

Â

MT: Imagine the following situations, all of which might plausibly

complete a sentence that starts with “I want to avoid …¦â€?

•Â Â Â  bumping into anyone in a crowd


•Â Â Â  falling into the old mineshaft in the fieldd.

•Â Â Â  falling over the balustrade on the seventh floor balcony...


MT: All of these have one thing in common, that there is no specific

preferred alternative to the environmental condition that is to be
avoided – nothing to be approached.

 RM: Yes, these are descriptions of situations where there is no conflict.Â

MT: For example, your avoiding

being near someone smoking is not the same as your being far from
someone smoking, because that presupposes that you perceive someone
smoking, whereas not perceiving anyone smoking might be even better.
Not falling into a mineshaft is not the same as falling into
something else, or as doing something else with a mineshaft you
perceive to exist. Not offending that person does not imply
offending someone else, or ingratiating oneself with that person.
And so on. For none of these is there an obvious reference value
toward which one’s actions might influence the corresponding
perception, although the tennis example might be an exception, if
the only alternative to a foot-fault is a fair serve.

RM: Right. None is a description of a conflict situation.Â

Â

MT: Avoidance is an issue not trivially resolved by inverting a variable

or by setting up a conflict between two reference values for the
same variable.

RM: The terms “approach” and “avoidance” are just descriptions of behavior from a stimulus-response perspective. From a PCT perspective, what is seen as “approach” is the process of controlling for being at a small distance from a goal state and “avoidance” is controlling for being at a large distance from a goal state. It’s all about control of distance from goals. Conflict exists only when two (or more but we’ll stick with two for now) control systems in the same organism have goals that can only be achieved simultaneously by being at two different distances from those goals at the same time.Â

RM: An “approach - avoidance” conflict exists when one goal is achieved when the desired distance from that goal is 0 and the other goal is achieved when the desired distance from that goal is greater than 0. An example is having the goal of picking up a hammer from the tool shed while also having the goal of not getting near the black widow spider that is crawling on the hammer. The control model of this situation has the higher level systems that iare controlling for picking up the hammer and staying away from the black widow sending two different reference specifications to the lower level system controlling the distance to the hammer and black widow.Â

RM: The same principle applies to what S-R psychologists refer to as “approach-approach”, and “avoidance-avoidance” conflicts. From a PCT perspective, these are all situations where two higher level systems set different references for a lower level system that is being used to achieve the goals of the higher level systems. While the higher level systems in the “approach-avoidance” conflict are using the lower level distance control system to control for being different distances from the same location at the same time, the higher level systems in the “approach-approach” and “avoidance-avoidance” conflicts are using the distance control system to control the distance to two different locations at the same time.Â

RM: In all these cases, the conflict is expressed in terms of a conflict over distance from a goal. The conflict is not between the goals that are being “approached” or “avoided”. For example, there is nothing inherently conflictual about wanting to pick up a hammer and wanting to avoid getting near a black widow. There is only a conflict when circumstances make doing both at the same time physically impossible. And this is the fundamental problem with Jeff’s model of the “approach-avoidance” conflict; he conceives of the conflict as being between the goal that is being “avoided” and the goal that is being “approached”. Since there is nothing inherently conflictual about controlling for these two goals, Jeff had to introduce the “choice” function, that turned two non-conflicting control systems into apparently conflicting ones.Â

RM: One could say that in Jeff’s model, the control theory model came first and the “choice” system was added to produce the phenomenon of conflict. In PCT, the conflict phenomenon comes first; then control theory is used to explain the phenomenon

Best

Rick

Incidentally, similar issues surround the perception of "not", which

implies a wide range of possible perceptions that differ in many
possible ways from the one specified by the negation.

Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

          RM: The way we model what is called an

“approach-avoidance” conflict in PCT is simply to have two
control systems controlling the same variable – perceived
distance from the goal --Â relative to two different
references; the system with the lowest reference for
distance would be seen as the “approach” system and the
one with the highest reference for the same distance would
be seen as the “avoidance” system.Â

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.28.17.05]

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1250)]

I should have asked why you referred to approach-avoidance conflict,

when the issue was about how control of avoidance is performed. You
say that “PCT” does not have any special mechanism for avoidance
control, so I asked how you would control for any (and preferably
all) if the examples I presented.

I'm not going to quote the rest of your message, but I ask how you

would implement…

  "avoidance" is controlling for being at a

large distance from a goal state.

...for the examples I posted. Here's the list again.

Imagine the following situations, all of which might plausibly

complete a sentence that starts with “I want to avoid …¦â€?

•Â Â Â  bumping into anyone in a crowd

•Â Â Â  falling into the old mineshaft in the fieldd.

•Â Â Â  falling over the balustrade on the seventh floor balcony.

•Â Â Â  seeing the wine glass too near the edge of the table.

•Â Â Â  hearing foreigners talking their disgustingg language in the

bus.

•Â Â Â  offending that person with whose policies II disagree.

•Â Â Â  having that wall red when we redecorate.

•Â Â Â  being in the same room with Jack.

•Â Â Â  having Rachael see me with Dora.

•Â Â Â  making a foot-fault when I serve in tennis..

•Â Â Â  having Rachael be within talking distance oof Dora.

•Â Â Â  making a burning smell when I cook.

•Â Â Â  being served a food to which I am allergic<

•Â Â Â  seeing the present government re-elected.
•Â Â Â  being near someone smoking.

All of these have one thing in common, that there is no specific

preferred alternative to the environmental condition that is to be
avoided – nothing to be approached.

Martin
···

Martin Taylor (2017.11.27.17.12)

MT: Who do you refer to as “we” in this?

                        RM: The way we model what is called an

“approach-avoidance” conflict in PCT is
simply to have two control systems
controlling the same variable – perceived
distance from the goal --Â relative to two
different references; the system with the
lowest reference for distance would be seen
as the “approach” system and the one with
the highest reference for the same distance
would be seen as the “avoidance” system.Â

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.11.28 17:18 ET)]

Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1250)–

Rick, granted that in Jeff’s example (hunter-gather wanting nuts and berries but avoiding bear) the model tells us that there is a conflict when both are present at the same time. The question at hand is why is there in fact not a conflict? The hunter-gatherer either gathers nuts and berries or moves away from the perceived or imputed location of the bear. Hunter-gatherers who froze in a conflict that they could not resolve have long since been weeded out of the gene pool. So what kind of control developed to enable this? Jeff plunked a box labeled "choice"Â down between the two control systems, which receives the output from each of the two systems and decides which to pass along into the environment so as to control one variable but not the other.

Capture1.JPG

Rather, a higher-level system “does something” that changes the references values or affects the relative gain of the two control loops. (But I assume that the reference value for quantity of nuts and berries does not go away during the time that the hunter-gatherer is avoiding a bear, any more than it goes away when they pause in their gathering to quench thirst from a stream. Avoiding the bear is an interruption, not a termination.)

The question at hand is the structure and operation of that higher-level system. It could be a Program structure (if big predator, then …). Observationally, it is a cusp catastrophe. Similar cusp boundaries are seen in categorial perception and perception of ambiguous figures (necker cube, damsel-hag, etc.). Martin’s flip-flop structure produces outputs with cusp-catastrophe boundaries, so it does seem to be relevant to the higher-level system that “makes a choice”.

The example of a bear or a black widow spider is unfortunate because in the immediate presence of a big predator the limbic system “makes the choice”. We don’t yet have a clear model of how that ‘primitive’ snap-judgement system interconnects with or takes over from other systems that more usually set the references. (Bill acknowledged that his account of emotion in B:CP (2005) is incomplete.) There are milder forms of avoidance that just involve ordinary Principle-Program-Sequence etc. perceptions without invoking any panic buttons.

You rejected Martin’s list of examples, saying that none of them was a conflict situation. I believe that implicitly they are. Avoiding bumping into someone only occurs when control of some other variable(s) puts you in a place or on a path where collisions are likely (unless you control avoiding them).

So I think we’re agreed that some function resolves a conflict (one system wants to use the eyes and limbs to control a desired quantity of nuts and berries, another system wants to use the same means to control “no bears present”), and that Jeff’s ‘choice’ function has problems. What do we put in its place as a corrective?

···

On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 3:50 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1250)]

Martin Taylor (2017.11.27.17.12)

MT: Who do you refer to as “we” in this?

 RM: PCT modelers.Â

Â

MT: The mechanism you suggest is

neither what Powers did for the Crowd demo nor does it seem
workable.

RM: It is not the mechanism Bill used in the agents in the Crowd demo because those agents had no internal conflicts. But the mechanism I suggest is the mechanism of conflict in PCT. Â

MT: But Powers's approach, of creating a variable "distance" that is the

inverse of proximity, doesn’t work in the general case, either.

RM: Again, the proximity control model of the agents in the CROWD demo has nothing to do with conflict.

Â

MT: Imagine the following situations, all of which might plausibly

complete a sentence that starts with “I want to avoid …¦â€?

•Â Â Â  bumping into anyone in a crowd


•Â Â Â  falling into the old mineshaft in the fieldd.

•Â Â Â  falling over the balustrade on the seventh floor balcony...


MT: All of these have one thing in common, that there is no specific

preferred alternative to the environmental condition that is to be
avoided – nothing to be approached.

 RM: Yes, these are descriptions of situations where there is no conflict.Â

MT: For example, your avoiding

being near someone smoking is not the same as your being far from
someone smoking, because that presupposes that you perceive someone
smoking, whereas not perceiving anyone smoking might be even better.
Not falling into a mineshaft is not the same as falling into
something else, or as doing something else with a mineshaft you
perceive to exist. Not offending that person does not imply
offending someone else, or ingratiating oneself with that person.
And so on. For none of these is there an obvious reference value
toward which one’s actions might influence the corresponding
perception, although the tennis example might be an exception, if
the only alternative to a foot-fault is a fair serve.

RM: Right. None is a description of a conflict situation.Â

Â

MT: Avoidance is an issue not trivially resolved by inverting a variable

or by setting up a conflict between two reference values for the
same variable.

RM: The terms “approach” and “avoidance” are just descriptions of behavior from a stimulus-response perspective. From a PCT perspective, what is seen as “approach” is the process of controlling for being at a small distance from a goal state and “avoidance” is controlling for being at a large distance from a goal state. It’s all about control of distance from goals. Conflict exists only when two (or more but we’ll stick with two for now) control systems in the same organism have goals that can only be achieved simultaneously by being at two different distances from those goals at the same time.Â

RM: An “approach - avoidance” conflict exists when one goal is achieved when the desired distance from that goal is 0 and the other goal is achieved when the desired distance from that goal is greater than 0. An example is having the goal of picking up a hammer from the tool shed while also having the goal of not getting near the black widow spider that is crawling on the hammer. The control model of this situation has the higher level systems that iare controlling for picking up the hammer and staying away from the black widow sending two different reference specifications to the lower level system controlling the distance to the hammer and black widow.Â

RM: The same principle applies to what S-R psychologists refer to as “approach-approach”, and “avoidance-avoidance” conflicts. From a PCT perspective, these are all situations where two higher level systems set different references for a lower level system that is being used to achieve the goals of the higher level systems. While the higher level systems in the “approach-avoidance” conflict are using the lower level distance control system to control for being different distances from the same location at the same time, the higher level systems in the “approach-approach” and “avoidance-avoidance” conflicts are using the distance control system to control the distance to two different locations at the same time.Â

RM: In all these cases, the conflict is expressed in terms of a conflict over distance from a goal. The conflict is not between the goals that are being “approached” or “avoided”. For example, there is nothing inherently conflictual about wanting to pick up a hammer and wanting to avoid getting near a black widow. There is only a conflict when circumstances make doing both at the same time physically impossible. And this is the fundamental problem with Jeff’s model of the “approach-avoidance” conflict; he conceives of the conflict as being between the goal that is being “avoided” and the goal that is being “approached”. Since there is nothing inherently conflictual about controlling for these two goals, Jeff had to introduce the “choice” function, that turned two non-conflicting control systems into apparently conflicting ones.Â

RM: One could say that in Jeff’s model, the control theory model came first and the “choice” system was added to produce the phenomenon of conflict. In PCT, the conflict phenomenon comes first; then control theory is used to explain the phenomenon

Best

Rick

Incidentally, similar issues surround the perception of "not", which

implies a wide range of possible perceptions that differ in many
possible ways from the one specified by the negation.

Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

          RM: The way we model what is called an

“approach-avoidance” conflict in PCT is simply to have two
control systems controlling the same variable – perceived
distance from the goal --Â relative to two different
references; the system with the lowest reference for
distance would be seen as the “approach” system and the
one with the highest reference for the same distance would
be seen as the “avoidance” system.Â

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1950)]

···

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.28.17.05]

MT: I should have asked why you referred to approach-avoidance conflict,

when the issue was about how control of avoidance is performed.

 RM: Because I thought we were talking about Jeff’s model of conflict. And I don’t know what “control of avoidance” would be. We control variables. If so, how do you measure the variable “avoidance”?Â

MT: You

say that “PCT” does not have any special mechanism for avoidance
control, so I asked how you would control for any (and preferably
all) if the examples I presented.

RM: I would have to guess at the variables being controlled in each case. But you seem to think all of these are examples of control of avoidance. I could tell you how I would control for “avoidance” in each of these cases if you could tell me what the “avoidance” variable is that is being controlled in each case.Â

Best

Rick

Â

  "avoidance" is controlling for being at a

large distance from a goal state.

I'm not going to quote the rest of your message, but I ask how you

would implement…

...for the examples I posted. Here's the list again.



Imagine the following situations, all of which might plausibly

complete a sentence that starts with “I want to avoid …¦â€?

•Â Â Â  bumping into anyone in a crowd


•Â Â Â  falling into the old mineshaft in the fieldd.

•Â Â Â  falling over the balustrade on the seventh floor balcony.

•Â Â Â  seeing the wine glass too near the edge of the table.

•Â Â Â  hearing foreigners talking their disgustingg language in the

bus.

•Â Â Â  offending that person with whose policies II disagree.

•Â Â Â  having that wall red when we redecorate.


•Â Â Â  being in the same room with Jack.


•Â Â Â  having Rachael see me with Dora.


•Â Â Â  making a foot-fault when I serve in tennis..

•Â Â Â  having Rachael be within talking distance oof Dora.

•Â Â Â  making a burning smell when I cook.


•Â Â Â  being served a food to which I am allergic<

•Â Â Â  seeing the present government re-elected.
•Â Â Â  being near someone smoking.




All of these have one thing in common, that there is no specific

preferred alternative to the environmental condition that is to be
avoided – nothing to be approached.

Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.28.23.40]

It would be more suitable for you to address what you know to be the

issue rather than to quibble about my use of a common short form.
“Control of avoidance” as opposed to “control of approach” is the
issue, or if you prefer, "controlling to avoid a particular
reference value for the controlled perception as opposed to
“controlling to approach a particular reference value for the
controlled perception”. Personally, I prefer to use the form I did
use, and will continue to do so, knowing that you understand very
well exactly what I mean by it.
Martin

···

On 2017/11/28 9:53 PM, Richard Marken
wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.28.1950)]

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.28.17.05]

            MT: I should have asked why you referred to

approach-avoidance conflict, when the issue was about
how control of avoidance is performed.

          RM: Because I thought we were talking about Jeff's

model of conflict. And I don’t know what “control of
avoidance” would be. We control variables. If so, how do
you measure the variable “avoidance”?

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.29.1715)]

···

Martin Taylor (2017.11.28.23.40)Â

MT: It would be more suitable for you to address what you know to be the

issue rather than to quibble about my use of a common short form.
“Control of avoidance” as opposed to “control of approach” is the
issue, or if you prefer, "controlling to avoid a particular
reference value for the controlled perception as opposed to
“controlling to approach a particular reference value for the
controlled perception”. Personally, I prefer to use the form I did
use, and will continue to do so, knowing that you understand very
well exactly what I mean by it.

RM: I didn’t understand what you really meant. And now I see why. If the issue is “control of avoidance” as opposed to “control of approach” then, from my point of view, the issue is what perceptual variables are referred to by the terms “avoidance” and “approach” because we control perceptual variables and the difference between “control of avoidance” and “control of approach” turns on the difference is between the two controlled variables, “avoidance” and " approach".Â

RM: But your rephrasing of the issue as "controlling to avoid a particular reference value for the controlled perception as opposed to “controlling to approach a particular reference value for the controlled perception” shows that I did not understand what the “issue” was at all. Indeed, your framing of the issue in this way makes it difficult for me to respond in any way other than to say that this issue has nothing to do with PCT. “Controlling to avoid a particular reference value for a controlled perception” is not “control of avoidance” because it’s not control. And “controlling to approach a particular reference value for the controlled perception” is not “control of approach”; it simply control.Â

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

            MT: I should have asked why you referred to

approach-avoidance conflict, when the issue was about
how control of avoidance is performed.

          Â RM: Because I thought we were talking about Jeff's

model of conflict. And I don’t know what “control of
avoidance” would be. We control variables. If so, how do
you measure the variable “avoidance”?Â

[Martin Taylor 2017.11.29.23.17]

[From Rick Marken (2017.11.29.1715)]

Why is it not control? And is not PCT supposed to be a theory about

how people function? Are you saying that people do not try to avoid
situations, or that PCT doesn’t address that aspect of how people
function? You must be saying one or the other. Which is it?

Martin
···

Martin Taylor (2017.11.28.23.40)

            MT: It would be more suitable for you to address

what you know to be the issue rather than to quibble
about my use of a common short form. “Control of
avoidance” as opposed to “control of approach” is the
issue, or if you prefer, "controlling to avoid a
particular reference value for the controlled perception
as opposed to “controlling to approach a particular
reference value for the controlled perception”.
Personally, I prefer to use the form I did use, and will
continue to do so, knowing that you understand very well
exactly what I mean by it.

          RM: ...your rephrasing of the issue as "controlling to

avoid a particular reference value for the controlled
perception as opposed to “controlling to approach a
particular reference value for the controlled perception”
shows that I did not understand what the “issue” was at
all. Indeed, your framing of the issue in this way makes
it difficult for me to respond in any way other than to
say that this issue has nothing to do with PCT.
“Controlling to avoid a particular reference value for a
controlled perception” is not “control of avoidance”
because it’s not control.

                          MT: I should have

asked why you referred to
approach-avoidance conflict, when the
issue was about how control of avoidance
is performed.

                        RM: Because I thought we were talking

about Jeff’s model of conflict. And I don’t
know what “control of avoidance” would be.
We control variables. If so, how do you
measure the variable “avoidance”?

[From Erling Jorgensen (2017.11.30 0735 EST)]

Rick Marken (2017.11.29.1715)

RM [Responding to Martin Taylor]: But your rephrasing of the issue as "controlling to avoid a particular reference value for the controlled perception as opposed to “controlling to approach a particular reference value for the controlled perception” shows that I did not understand what the “issue” was at all. Indeed, your framing of the issue in this way makes it difficult for me to respond in any way other than to say that this issue has nothing to do with PCT. “Controlling to avoid a particular reference value for a controlled perception” is not “control of avoidance” because it’s not control.

EJ: Gosh, Rick, these pronouncements of yours are difficult to take. The Crowd demo has a form of collision avoidance built into it, although I forget just now how it is implemented. Ship captains learn that if the angle of displacement (is that the correct term?) of an orthogonal moving ship is not changing, then they either veer away or slow down to pass behind the other ship. Air traffic controllers try to keep approaching aircraft X-distance apart, and/or at different elevations. There are any number of ways to implement avoidance, whether by controlling distances or displacement angles or one’s own velocity. I cannot see that this has “nothing to do with PCT.”

EJ: We even reveled in someone’s slogan at one point that “Life is collision avoidance in hyperspace!” Hopefully we’re not colliding too awfully much in this post. Maybe I just don’t get how you phrase things.

All the best,

Erling

···

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