Spurious Grounds

[From Rick Marken (960127.1700)]

Bruce Abbott (960127.1720 EST)--

You are wrong about my not being interested in rejecting Killeen's
theory. I am just not interested in rejecting it on spurious grounds.

You still seem to think that there is something subtle about the
difference between a model that controls its input (like PCT) and
one that doesn't (like Killeen's). So far as I can recall, every
difference between reinforcement theory and PCT to which we have
pointed over the last several months (and these differences have
_not_ been subtle) has been declared "spurious" by you.

I am impressed by the fact that after well over a year of
studying PCT (you were presumably already familiar with
reinforcement theory) you haven't been able to find one glaring,
non-spurious way in which PCT differs from reinforcement theory;
you can think of no non-spurious basis on which to compare these
two theories. Doesn't this make _you_ wonder what you are
controlling for?

As for what sorts of things might be exploited in differentiating
Killeen's theory from a (yet to be developed) competing PCT model,
I offered a couple of suggestions concerning where to look

Those suggestions were pretty vague. Why is it so hard to think of
experiments that discriminate between these theories? Is the behavioral
difference between selection _of_ consequences and selection _by_
consequences really that hard to expose via experiment?

When I get the full simulation of Killeen's model going, I may be able
to identify areas in which its predictions and those of a PCT model
are different enough to provide a crucial test, but I'm not there yet.

Forget about identifying "areas". Why not just describe an actual
experiment that discriminates between these theories.