Some people have all the luck

[Tim Carey (981014.2135)]

After reading the "much ado" thread all I can do is bemoan the state of
tertiary institutions in my country as compared with yours. It seems from
the conversation that many academics in the good ol' USofA really
understanding control of perceptual input even though they don't use
precisely the right language. I can assure you, after having almost
completed my first year of my PhD, that none of the academics I have had
contact with this year understand the first thing about perceptual control.
I have been told time and time again that PCT is just like this or just
like that or that it couldn't be that simple or that it couldn't be that
complex. The professor who is the head of my department (who is also my
research supervisor) actually told me I should distance myself from Tom
Bourbon. She met Tom for a couple of hours and Tom spent time running
through some computer demos with her and explaining the basics of the
theory. After listening to him she told me that she didn't think that he
had much to offer and I would not have much to learn from him. One of her
areas of research is to teach kids social skills in the laboratory. Funnily
enough she is really baffled by the fact that the kids don't seem to use
these well learned social skills once they go back to the environments
where they were originally having trouble.

I don't think I'd care what words people used if they only understood the
concepts. Trouble is, it seems to me that if they understood the concepts
they'd probably use words like "controlled variables".

Sigh

Tim

[from Jeff Vancouver 981014.0918 EST]

[Tim Carey (981014.2135)]
I don't think I'd care what words people used if they only understood the
concepts. Trouble is, it seems to me that if they understood the concepts
they'd probably use words like "controlled variables".

Here is my problem.

Let's say 80% of psychologists do not understand closed-loop processes. Of
those, 50% (or 40% of total) say they understand them.

Let's say .005% truly understand closed-loop (that would be Bill and Rick).

That leaves about 20% who somewhat understand it. Included in that 20% are
those who nearly understand it (Tom, Martin), understand it pretty well,
understand it with some significant misinterpretations (Carver?), barely
have a handle (Bandura - yes, I think Bandura has some sense of it).

If this description fits reality, there are a number of observations that
can be made.

1) the average psychologist does not understand it.
2) most psychologist will warn their students off PCT.
3) to Bill and Rick, except for them, no one else understands it.
4) who gets to determine what understanding is anyway?

My approach, when I look at the work of another, is to construct a Venn
diagram. The parts of the others work that overlaps PCT, I highlight
("this is why they are similar"). I work from there to expand that space.
The other approach is to highlight the parts of the Venn diagram to do not
overlap ("this is why they are different"). There is then little attempt
to reduce that space, or to understand that what appears to be different is
a language problem (no doubt because of the poor use of language by the
other party, but a language problem nonetheless). Instead, the entire
circle representing the other, and the other, is ignored (or vilified).

I do not deny that it is important to point out the differences between the
thoughts of others. Otherwise, students may become confused, and the
overlapping space will not expand if it is not addressed. I just prefer
harping on the overlap and quitely working on the differences.

In the movie "Silverado," Kevin Kline's character notes that there are two
ways to go through life. One is to trust the people you meet and the other
is to not trust them. He chooses the first way. (In the movie it both got
him in trouble and was his salvation).

Sincerely,

Jeff

[From Bruce Gregory (981014.1023 EDT)]

Jeff Vancouver 981014.0918 EST

My approach, when I look at the work of another, is to construct a Venn
diagram. The parts of the others work that overlaps PCT, I highlight
("this is why they are similar"). I work from there to expand that space.
The other approach is to highlight the parts of the Venn diagram to do not
overlap ("this is why they are different"). There is then little attempt
to reduce that space, or to understand that what appears to be
different is
a language problem (no doubt because of the poor use of language by the
other party, but a language problem nonetheless). Instead, the entire
circle representing the other, and the other, is ignored (or vilified).

Isn't it interesting that those who claim to have the clearest understanding
of the nature of conflict utterly fail when it comes to minimizing conflict?
At the same time they preach that by understanding PCT, conflict, which is
always undesirable in their view, can be minimized. It never ceases to amaze
me. This is truly "Wonderland", but without the white rabbit. I admire your
persistence.

Bruce Gregory

[From Rick Marken (981014.0830)]

Jeff Vancouver (981014.0918 EST) --

I do not deny that it is important to point out the differences
between the thoughts of others...I just prefer harping on the
overlap and quitely working on the differences.

The problem is that the "overlap" contains nothing interesting,
in terms of understanding behavior. What is not in the overlap
is _controlled variables_. You can harp on the overlap between
PCT and conventional psychology all you like but if you don't
harp on the _absence_ of _controlled variables_ in that overlap
you are leaving out the whole enchilada. It's like talking with
Aristotilean physicists about only the things that "overlap"
with Newtoninan physics, leaving out the non-overlapping part
about _constant acceleration_.

That's why I like your current project; in order to discuss
what the subjects in your schedule cost study are doing
you are going to have to talk about _controlled variables_.

By the way, there are several little problems with you model,
the model maps to the actual situation of the subject than to
it merits as a control model itself. One problem is the
formula for "logic action":

(cost of new schedule-Cost of Schedule)*logic error

It seems like your "logic action" is a way to queue up a new
schedule for cost control. The problem (I think) is that
you subtract the cost of the schedule that was previously
"cost controlled" (Cost of Schedule) from the cost of the new
schedule. Is this the way it actually works? Is the cost of
the next schedule the subject gets a random value _minus_
the end value of the previous schedule?

Also, the control process assumes that the subject can
_continuously_ subtract amounts from the cost of the schedule.
This isn't really true, is it? The subject can only subtract
shifts from the schedule which will remove discreet amounts
(proportional to shift length, I presume) from the cost of each
schedule. To simulate this you might insert a random function
between "action" and "schedule cost"; the size of the random
value determines the cost reduction produced by each "action"
(removal of a shift).

These little nits will be easy to fix. The important thing (to
me) is that you have subjects doing a control task and you
have a way to tell (at least approximately) whether or not they
are _controlling_ a particular variable (cost of schedule). So
you can discuss this research in terms of controlled (and
possibly controlled) variables. Go with it!

Best

Rick

ยทยทยท

from my perspective. These problems have more to do with how
--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bill Powers (981014.0940 MDT)]

Rick Marken (981014.0830)--
writing to Jeff Vancouver

One problem is the formula for "logic action":

(cost of new schedule-Cost of Schedule)*logic error

It seems like your "logic action" is a way to queue up a new
schedule for cost control. The problem (I think) is that
you subtract the cost of the schedule that was previously
"cost controlled" (Cost of Schedule) from the cost of the new
schedule. Is this the way it actually works? Is the cost of
the next schedule the subject gets a random value _minus_
the end value of the previous schedule?

That was just an ad-hoc way to substitute a new schedule for the old one,
after the old one had its cost properly reduced. Since I suggested that way
of doing it, complain to me. I couldn't see any way, in Vensim, to
re-initialize a level variable to a new starting value in the middle of a
run, so the only way to get rid of the previous schedule's cost was to
subtract it out. Strictly a kludge.

Another way to do it would be to use up the budget. Presumably, the money
is there to be spent. So spend it down to zero, then put in the cost of the
next schedule.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Tim Carey (981015.0515)]

[from Jeff Vancouver 981014.0918 EST]

Let's say 80% of psychologists do not understand closed-loop processes.

Of

those, 50% (or 40% of total) say they understand them.

Let's say .005% truly understand closed-loop (that would be Bill and

Rick).

That leaves about 20% who somewhat understand it. Included in that 20%

are

those who nearly understand it (Tom, Martin), understand it pretty well,
understand it with some significant misinterpretations (Carver?), barely
have a handle (Bandura - yes, I think Bandura has some sense of it).

Probably the only thing I want to comment on here is the category you put
Tom in. I see things very differently.

It really doesn't bother me what a person's current understanding is. I'm
just continue to be amazed that in an institution of higher learning, the
people who represent the pinnacle of higher learning would be so closed
minded. I guess for me this is all new that's probably why I commented on
it.

Cheers,

Tim

[from Jeff Vancouver 981014.1741 EST]

[From Tim Carey (981015.0515)]

Probably the only thing I want to comment on here is the category you put
Tom in. I see things very differently.

I actually have no idea where Tom fits, for I am not in the category that
truly understands. I am trying not to let that bother me.

Sincerely,

Jeff

[From Bruce Gregory (981014.1750 EDT)]

Jeff Vancouver 981014.1741 EST]

>[From Tim Carey (981015.0515)]
>
>Probably the only thing I want to comment on here is the category you put
>Tom in. I see things very differently.
>

I actually have no idea where Tom fits, for I am not in the category that
truly understands. I am trying not to let that bother me.

You shouldn't. There are some very distinguished people in this category
with us!

Bruce Gregory