From Tom Bourbon [940721.1642]
Craig Newton <AGCJN%ASUACAD.email@example.com> writes:
Several days ago, I finished reading "Behavior: the control of perception"
(1973), and via a stroke of pure luck - I happened upon this listserv category
What a nice confluence of events brought you to csg-l: a skeptical prof who
assigned B:CP and some wandering around on the internet. Welcome to our
The professor that suggested I read this book also offered the
following criticism: (roughly paraphrased--) "There have been very few
experiments published that support control theory as a model of complex
human behavior, and Powers has provided broad generalizations about the
applicability of control theory, but he has provided very little empiracle
evidence....control theory is more philosophy than science....there is very
little data mapping occurring."
I can't help wondering who the prof was (no need to identify the person
here, unless you really want to) and why he or she recommended the book.
One thing is for sure, the prof hasn't read much about PCT since reading
Given the above comments, I was hoping that someone could provide a list
of experiments that apply control theory to various questions about human
behavior and use control theory to confirm data predictions about human
behavior that are not explained by other models. I am most interested in how
control theory has been applied to questions that are usually studied using
Greg Williams, who is at firstname.lastname@example.org has an exhaustive
bibliography of material on PCT. There are also some edited collections
available from him. All of this is for a price, though -- not always by
choice, we do a lot of our own publishing. Maybe that's why your prof isn't
aware of PCT research.
Send me your address for paper mail. I'll send you copies of some of my
own work and a few other items that I have left over from my days as a prof
-- copies of PCT research that I used to put on reserve in the library. In
the meanwhile, you might look in your library for the following:
1. A special PCT issue of a journal, some of the articles are on research --
American Behavioral Scientist, 34(1), 1990.
2. An edited book with a few chapters on PCT research --
Wayne A Hershberger (Ed.) (1989). Volitional Action, Elsevier Science
3. For a nifty application to an interesting social phenomenon --
C McPhail, WT Powers & CW Tucker, 1992, Simulating individual and collective
action in temporary gatherings. Social Science Computer Review, 10(1),
I can also send you a list of theses on PCT by some of my former students.
They are available from university microfilms or by interlibrary loan.
I know that I am 20 years behind in my knowledge, but I would really appreciate
any suggestions you have regarding experiments that report human performance
I hope we can satisfy your curiosity!
Can you tell us a little more about yourself? Who are you, other than
"Craig?" Where are you? What are you studying? What did -you_ think about
Department of Neurosurgry
University of Texas Medical School-Houston Phone: 713-792-5760
6431 Fannin, Suite 7.138 Fax: 713-794-5084
Houston, TX 77030 USA email@example.com