from [ Marc Abrams (990526.0041) ]
Among some other things that I am doing ( PCT wise ) is trying to come up
with a plausible way of _qualitatively_ rather then quantitatively modeling
the upper levels of the hierarchy and a broader set of behaviors when
dealing with human interactions.
The very fine quantitative modeling done by Bill, Rick, Tom, Richard,
Martin, are important and necessary for the development and growth of PCT. I
also believe that at some level they are also insufficient for "explaining"
human "behavior" in it's continuous totality.
I personally believe that _this_ is what really separates PCT from the more
Let me try to explain my position.
Most conventional psychologists ( and just about everyone else ) that I
have seen and experienced, ( including myself ) seem to view "behavior" as
singular, sequential, events. These events ( goals ) are "optimized" ( or at
least an attempt to do so ) for the system. An example, I have a high level
goal to be a successful banker. All of my subgoals ( reference levels ) in
the hierarchy are then "aligned" ( or at least attempted to ) with this high
level goal. Of course we have many "goals", some short term, some long, but
all follow the same basic strategy of "aligning" our hierarchy with our
higher level goals.
I believe this is a _huge_ mistake, For a number of reasons After doing
and continuing to ) self directed MOL's you begin ( or at least I have
) to see the _continuous_ _always changing_ _SETS_ of _simultaneous_
BEHAVIORS that are continually occurring.
To use an analogy ( probably not a good one ) observing someone's behavior
is like observing the light of a star that is 4 million light years away.
The light ( behavior ) we see is 4 million light years old. It is _not_ the
light that particular star is generating _NOW_. I believe the same holds
true for behavior. ( although obviously not to the same extent :-)) The
behavior we observe in others are _artifacts_ of _attempts_ to reduce
_prior_ errors. Not _ONE_ error. But potentially a whole Busload of them.
Some changes can be done in fractions of a second. Others might take
minutes, hours, days, years.
The point here is that if we ever hope to _begin_ to understand the
hierarchy we will _only_ be able to do it starting with _OURSELVES_.
This has not been easy. I wish I could say it's been a lot of laughs. It
hasn't. What it has been is _EYE OPENING_. Listening to my words about it
are also insufficient. They would be insufficient if Bill, Rick, or even God
explained to you in fine detail what the experience is like.
As Bruce Gregory mentioned in a post to me recently,
"As a strategy, it parallels the idea that one can learn to be a good player
by learning how to apply the rules of chess. While it is true that every
masterful game follows the rules of chess, so does every disastrous game.
The rules are necessary, but far from sufficient. The only way to become an
accomplished chess player is by playing and re-playing many chess games.
Students cannot extract the features of experiences they have not had.
I believe this holds for many things. Including self-directed MOL's..
Tim, David G, Dick, you have all "done" the MOL. Have any of you tried
self-directed ones. If so are you willing to share your experiences? If you
haven't tried are you willing to give it a shot?