[From: Dennis Delprato (940411)]
Bill Powers (940411.07)
On reflection, I don't really think that a press release will make
people want to know more about PCT ....
I don't think that PCT can be sold by extolling
its virtues -- by talking _about_ it. It can be sold only by
teaching it, and it can be taught only to people who want to learn
I have tried previously, without success, to make it more
likely that those in positions to teach will teach PCT.
Scientific and other intellectual products that gain
acceptance via commercial activity are unlikely to be
around long. Despite the growing overlap between scholarly
and commercial realms, there is still a place for the
former, and all it implies. [Let me be clear that I am
not opposed to commercial operations. I do not view them as
less meritorious and thus base. But the purpose of commercial
activity simply is not to promote anything of enduring value.
David Letterman, a well-known entertainer in this decade, put
it well when he said, so I was told, that the worse possible
thing that could happen to his audience would be if they
What is needed for the teaching of PCT is for the demos
to be formatted into scientific laboratory modules. As
the demos currently stand, they cannot be used as
laboratory activities without modification. They do not
I did prepare a very interesting and informative lab based
on Rick Marken's e-coli program (I called the lab "Goal-
Seeking With Random Consequences of Responses"). I worked
with a student who programmed a self-contained Mac-based
session for me. The lab had detailed instructions so my
untrained lab instructors could understand it and conduct
the lab. Student learners switched on the computer and
followed instructions for what seemed like a neat computer
game. They obtained data, printed out different graphs, and
could compare there data with others.
Sadly, my amateur programmer overlooked something and the
program crashed out the Macs. Gone is an opportunity to
expose 440 students a year here to a fascinating, interesting,
and informative lab on PCT.
I would be interested in working with someone to get some
PCT-based labs on line, probably starting with the one I
just mentioned. Indeed, I can foresee a publisher being
interested in a package that would be prepared for one
level or another of student. Despite all we hear about
computers in higher ed, useful packages for psychology
labs are inexistent. The neat thing is that PCT need not
be put forth as the primary feature of the lab package.
It would merely be a lab package with numerous desirable
features for instructors and learners. The PCT aspect
would be incidental and thus not forced onto anyone.
Dept. of Psychol.
Eastern Mich. U.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197