Test, coercion...PCT on Science

Bill Powers (980804.0900 MDT)--

...This is a common experience among people learning PCT, and it's a
crisis point. This is a point where you have to decide whether to accept
the logical arguments stemming from the PCT model, or maintain what
you've always believed that is in conflict with PCT.

In this sort of crises, there are only two real solutions. One is to show
what is wrong with the logic of PCT and the experimental evidence that
seems to support it. That of course doesn't prove that your older idea is
right, but it does say that PCT doesn't deserve preference. The other
solution, if you can't find the flaw in PCT, is to look for the flaw in the
reasoning or evidence that led to your older belief.

If neither of these things occurs, all you can do is fall back on faith.
You can only say that the PCT proposal is absurd, or self-evidently wrong,
or that your belief is obviously and self-evidently right. And of course in
a scientific venue, when you do such things you know you're in the wrong,
which naturally leads to defensiveness or attack, and high emotions, and
unfortunate communications.

...and giving up.

While your statement is specific to learning PCT, I believe it
compactly
characterizes a general methodology which would be valuable to develop
in
the public school curriculum. While many efforts have been made to
develop such "critical thinking" skills, two critical elements have
been
lacking:

    1) such proposals do not specify a developmental program which spans
       the entire K-12 process (you don't just get a "lesson" and are
done);

    2) there has been no analysis of scientific behavior which is
       based on anything like an accurate theory of human behavior
(usually
       some combination of Science Logically Reconstructed, a few
insights
       or misconceptions from Piaget, and folk psychology).

I look forward to the day when a book like, "Science: a PCT
perspective"
is published.

Best regards,
cc