Subjective Testing for Controlled Variables (was g(d) = - h (o))

[From Bruce Gregory (981030.1120 EDT)]

Rick Marken (981030.0810)

They are _subjective_ experiments. The only one interpreting them
is _you_ (the subject). So you will just have to be trusted not to
interpret the results in S-R terms;-)

Not quite. I was not performing the experiments, I was listening to your
descriptions of them.

> it would be necessary to show that these emotions (or lack
> thereof) are associated with efforts on your part to control.

Not true (for me, anyway). I experience these emotions whether I
am controlling the perception or not. I don't control whether or
not I meet people who espouse what Republicans humorously refer
to as their "principles" ("greed" and "hatred" and "hypocrisy"
are principles?) but I feel unpleasant emotions when I meet such
people anyway.

Interesting. So perhaps an S-R interpretation _is_ appropriate.

> This. I presume, would require the application of the test.

Yes. When you are dealing with others you have to test to
determine what variables they are controlling. But I'm not
sure that it's even feasible to try to apply the test to oneself.
Remember, the test requires (among other things) the application
of a disturbance to a hypothetical controlled variable while
monitoring to see whether the hypothetical controlled variable is
influenced (as expected) by the disturbance. I don't see how a
person can apply this methodology to themselves.

In the imagination mode, I presume. You imagine a disturbance and observe
your imagined response.

The test for controlled variables is really aimed at determining
what variables others are controlling. I think a person can (if
they pay attention) get a pretty good idea of the perceptions they,
themselves, are controlling. In this case, the method of doing this
is more like introspection than testing for controlled variables.

O.K. But "introspection" is not part of the PCT model. Or is it?

Bruce Gregory

[From Bill Powers (981030.1055 MST)]

Rick Marken (981030.0810)--

I don't know what Bruce Gregory is trying to prove, but it might help if we
reviewed the theory of emotion I have proposed.

Subjective experiments. Just look around. I find that, for _me_,
some perceptions (like the perception of a Republican) are associated
with unpleasant emotions while others (like the perception of the
Mozart C major Piano Quartet) are associated with pleasant emotions

I don't think "association" says enough. My conception of emotion is that
it is a perception that combines sensed physiological states with cognitive
states, the degree and kind of felt emotion depending on the error in the
highest level of control involved. You feel emotion when you want to take
action to control something but are prevented from doing so by your own
inability to initiate control (perhaps due to conflict) or by the
environment not being amenable to being affected by you: in either case,
when the error is not reduced. As Bruce G. is hinting, a bad emotion is not
simply caused by certain perceptions; it's caused by your (frustrated)
desire to control them. I don't quite know how to handle the "good"
emotions, except in cases (like excitement) where they are really bad ones
in disguise.

So your hatred of "Republicans" (a misleadingly oversimplified label)
implies a desire to control them, coupled with an inability to do so. If
you didn't want them to behave differently, and want that to the extent of
actually preparing for action, you would feel nothing when you considered
their sins. That would just be the way they are (as you see them). You
might consider, dispassionately, how to counteract their harmful effects
when you have the opportunity, but you wouldn't always be girding up for
action when no effective action is possible.

As for doing the Test on yourself, I agree mostly with you. It's not
necessary unless you really want to know the details (i.e., exactly what is
it about Republicans that is disturbing, and exactly what perceptions do
they disturb, and exactly how do my actions counteract the disturbance?).
There, you might find some information that had been missing in your
cognitive model of yourself.

Bruce G. says:

O.K. But "introspection" is not part of the PCT model. Or is it?

The answer is, yes it is. In the imagination mode one is inspecting
perceptions that do not represent the present-time state of the external
world or the body, and many perceptions (such as perceptions of your own
thoughts and feelings) necessarily are coming from inside the brain and/or
body even when they are based on real-time sensory information. The term
"introspection" isn't very useful, since it's based on old-fashioned
distinctions like "mental" versus "physical" or "concrete" versus "abstract."


Bill P.


Bill P.

[From Bruce Gregory (981030.1700 EDT)]

Bill Powers (981030.1055 MST)

Rick Marken (981030.0810)--

I don't know what Bruce Gregory is trying to prove...

One of my usual devious plans to undermine PCT :wink: In fact, I was simply
trying to understand. Rick's post and yours have been very helpful.

Bruce Gregory