[Martin Taylor 981231 12:12]
[From Rick Marken (981231.0840)]
PCT shows that you _can_ influence the references set by others;
you can do it by coercion; you can do it by disturbing variables
that can only be kept under control in specific ways (the
reinforcement approach); you can do it by negotiation; you can
do it by being a trusted mentor.
Also, and in the long run more importantly, remember that each person
is part of the environmental feedback path of every other person, some
trivially, some in an important way. When one's actions working through
the environmental feedback path do not result in effective control of
a perception those actions are intended to influence, one is likely to
reorganize. Reorganization almost certainly will affect reference levels,
at least for all lower-level pereptions that are being controlled as part
of the higher-level loop.
If one is a primary component of the environmental feedback path for some
importantly controlled perception of another person--such as being the
main provider of food--one can often induce reorganization by changing
the effect of the other's actions on their perception--such as by denying
food if the other fails to perform some action one desires. The reorganization
may well not result in the other's reference values changing in the way
one wants, but they are likely to change. And so will one's own, the other
being in one's own environmental feedback path.
In the long run, this kind of reorganization can settle into a stable
state only when both parties can control their own perceptions, or when
one or other has given up attempting to control (perhaps by being dead).
That can happen in lots of different ways, often by one or both finding
another environmental feedback path whereby the perception can be
favorably influenced (e.g. the other finds a new food provider, eliminating
the influence one has on their environmental feedback path).
This kind of mutual reorganization, in a more subtle form, is at the heart
of the building of social and cultural communities. And, I venture to say,
it is how PCT shows why people have views of "right" and "wrong" and
why some of those views are universal and some differ dramatically from
community to community.