Rosemary's Baby

[From Rick Marken (980213.1000)]

Bruce Abbott (980213.1145 EST) --

All in all, I continue to be amazed at view being defended here
that 150 years of research on the relationship between stimulation
and perception has no relevance for a view which holds that behavior
is the control of perception.

All in all, I continue to be amazed by your amazement. PCT has
bitten you on reinforcement, natural selection, research methods,
operant conditioning, causality, Ebbinghaus, anticipation and
prediction, model-based control, behavior modification, etc. Now
it's biting you on psychophysics. You probably figure that you've
won all these debates but that's irrelevant; the fact of the matter
is that you keep running up against PCT resistance to nearly
every one of your most cherished beliefs about psychological science.
How long will it take you to figure out that PCT is not the baby you
thought it was when you found it-- it's Rosemary's Baby;-)

By the way, is Sarsi that New Age piano dip?

If a particular line of "conventional research" helps us to
understand how the sensory systems work, I think it would be
idiotic to ignore it just because it wasn't specifically designed
as a control study. I have been trying to get someone -- you,
Rick -- to show me how a PCT analysis reveals that such results
are invalid, but so far, all I have heard are irrelevant
arguments about other matters.

The best answer to this is Bill's post from earlier today. I'm
sure you'll consider it irrelevant as well, but, hey, you've got
a career to defend.

Bill Powers (980213.0627 MST)--

The point of this whole discussion, in case it's been forgotten,
was that standard psychophysical methods that _don't_ involve the
Test have no way of showing that the actual perception supposedly
being measured is closely related to the one the experimenter
thinks it is. Some psychophysical measures _do_ give the subject
control of the perception, and if interpreted in terms of the Test,
can be used to narrow down the possibilities of what the subject
is really perceiving.

And behind that point is another much more important one. It is
that experiments in which the Test was _NOT_ done, or in which no
data were taken that could be retrospectively analyzed in terms
of the Test, must be done over again, because there might have
been controlled variables involved that would make a difference
in the interpretation of the results.

[NB. This is a version of the behavioral illusion, Bruce A. You
have to know what variables are controlled in order to be able
to correctly interpret observed S-R relationships, which are
the results of standard psychophysical experiments-- RM]

I know that you [Martin Taylor but it applies to Bruce A.
too -- RM] would like your own experimental results to stand
forever, but in cases where you did not perform something
equivalent to the Test, your experiments, too, would have
to be done over again. That's what we're really arguing
about, isn't it?

If it weren't for the superior prose style, I'd think I was
reading my own stuff. Look at how Bill carries on about the Test.
Look at how he is critical of standard psychophysical reseach.
Those who think I'm driving all those great scientists away from
PCT should note that Bill hits a pretty good wood shot himself;-)




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail:

[From Rick Marken (980213.1305)]

Bruce Abbott (9802.1455 EST) --

I thought PCT was Bill Powers' baby, and now you say it's
Rosemary's baby

It's anyone's baby who wants it; looks to me like the little tike
is your worst nightmare;-)

Happy Friday the 13th

He [Sarsi] certainly was some kind of dip. By now you may even
have found

Of course! How could I miss that allusion. You were casting
yourself as Galileo and me as the dark monk of ignornace. How
appropriate, given your many empirical contributions to and your
spirited public arguments in defense of the New Science of PCT.




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: