Simply PCT

[From Rick Marken (940922.2000)]

Jeff Vancouver (940922) --

When Locke and others are collecting data and then trying to make
inferences of the underlying causes, they are doing inductive research.

We use both "inductive" and "deductive" research in PCT; we favor
neither. The combination of the two is called "science".

Locke and others are, indeed, "collecting data and then trying to make
inferences of the underlying causes" but their data (as we know from
many PCT studies of human behavior) simply represent averaged side
effects of the controlling done by groups of people. Their inferences of
the underlying causes of this behavior are bound to be wrong; that was
the point of my "Blind men and the elephant" paper. Locke et al are
playing a losing game. This is all well known and clearly demonstrated
(with .99 precision) in numerous PCT demos and experiments. Locke et
al are studying irrelevant side effects of control and they don't know it.
It's not like we've been trying to hide this fact from them (or anyone
else). If Locke et al were astronomers they would still be looking for
new epicycles. There's not much one can say to people like this except
"goodby and good luck".

you also note that it is difficult to get tenure doing the PCT thing

I did it. Tom did it.

So what does one do? 1) Give up convincing the scientific
community if they can afford to, or 2) try the convince some of them.
You have choosen the former because you can afford to (or perceive
that you can, which I do not question).

I don't think we have given up trying to convince the scientific
community (or anyone else) that PCT is the best scientific model of
purposeful behavior. The only thing I've given up is the expectation
that I will be successful in my lifetime.

All I am asking is that you do not make my job harder than it already

We don't want to make your job hard. All we want to do (here on
CSG) is provide an accurate representation of PCT. If you want to get
tenure by selling what amounts to a false representation of PCT to
journal editors and your tenure committee, that's up to you (or, as my
grandpa would say, gezunter hait). I would certainly understand why
you might want to do it, but please don't ask me for help.

Truth be told, I don't think it is beyond one's capability to get published
or to get tenure doing PCT. Bill Powers described an approach to
individual, applied PCT that could certainly be turned into an
acceptable research program by someone who understands the basics of

I appreciate your concerns about getting tenure, but they are not the
same as the ones that drove me from academia. I didn't have a
problem because people rejected PCT; I had a problem of conscience
because I didn't want to teach conventional psychology but, at the same
time, I didn't want to be unfair to my students by teaching PCT in a non-
PCT curriculum. But other people have been able to teach an accurate
version of PCT and maintain tenure and their academic position as
well. Dick Robertson comes to mind as one stand-out example. Clark
McPhail and Chuck Tucker are sociologists who seem to have been able
to do it. Gary Cziko has managed to as well. I'm sure there are several
others. Perhaps you could ask these people (those who are on the net)
how they have been able to survive as academic PCTers in a non-PCT