Testability of an Idea

from [ Marc Abrams (990816.2150) ]

A recent phone conversation I had with BP about the CSG Conference next year
led to some reflection on my part and I'd like to share my insights about
that conversation.

I feel very strongly that we need to "expand" our horizons for the
conference. I suggested to Bill that there is an "intimidation" factor both
on the net and at the conference. People are afraid of exchanging ideas and
possibly getting plastered by Rick, Bill, or others for speculating. But
Bill straightened me out with regard to this and I happen to agree with him.
I would also think that Rick feels the same way.

What is troublesome is _not_ the speculation. What is troublesome is the
lack of effort in trying to talk about and devise ways of _testing_ these
ideas.. Testing an idea can take _many_ forms. It is for the most part a
creative endeavor not a technical one. ( at least initially ). So when
someone comes on the net and speculates about a "spiritual" level, the
argument is not for or against the _idea_. It's comes down to the
_testability_ of the idea. Speculation about various aspects of the model
i.e. memory, levels, reference level, etc.. ) is fun and easy. Devising
ways of testing those ideas is another animal. :-).

I think speculating is important. it's where all good enquiry starts.
Devising creative ways of testing those ideas is more of a challenge.
Testing does not require computers, models, or programming. They _do_
require creative thinking. I think we have a number of very creative people
on this net. Bill provided the fundamental question that must be answered
for any test. " What would I observe if my theory, conjecture, idea,
insight, etc. were true.?" For example. If I believed ( and I don't :slight_smile: )
that there was a "short" and "long" term memory. What would I observe that
would lead me to that conclusion. How can I test for that? This of course
starts to bring in other questions, Like, how do I define short and long,
etc.

My point being that I think we can be of much more help to one another in
helping us explore _our_ own areas of interest with regard to PCT then we
can in pushing our own interests.

Any thoughts about this?

Marc
Bill, we spoke about a workshop at the conference on "testing your ideas".
maybe a discussion about it on the net might prove to be useful. We all seem
to have our own interests in specific aspects of the model. Mine is in
memory. I also believe that memory, reorganization and the hierarchy are
_all_ part of the "Control Process". I don't think you can "look" at them
separately,

[From Rick Marken (990817.1000)]

Marc Abrams (990816.2150)--

What is troublesome is the lack of effort in trying to talk about
and devise ways of _testing_ these ideas.

I don't find the lack of testing troublesome as much as I find
it unfortunate. I found that testing PCT (by actually building
the models and/or making the appropriate observations) not only
helped me understand PCT as a theory but it also helped me
understand that PCT is about real behavior. It also helped me
understand _how_ PCT relates to what we see people (and other
organisms) doing.

I can think of two tests of PCT that I would find interesting
and doable. One would be an experiment monitoring a controlled
variable in an animal. I think it should be possible to set up
an experiment like my "Test for the Controlled Variable" demo at

http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/ControlDemo/ThreeTrack.html

with some non-verbal animal as the subject. The idea would be
to monitor a controlled variable (monitor the variable as the
animal continually protects it from disturbance) so that it is
obvious that the animal is, indeed, intentionally producing the
result. It would be nice if the situation could be set up so that
the animal would occasionally have to change the variable being
controlled (change intentions) in order to achieve some higher
level goal. This kind of experiment would be interesting to me
because it would show how PCT obviates the need for verbal
interaction as a means of determining intentions. It would also
show that "lower organisms" are purposeful systems who are
capable of changing intentions to achieve higher level purposes.

Another test (which I should work on) would be to improve my
"Hierarchy of Perception and Control" experiment at

http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/ControlDemo/HP.html

I have to figure out how to make the time on this more precise
and machine independent. It would also be nice to make the display
better and the disturbance continuous (rather than binary). I
also think it should be relatively easy to build models of the
controlling of these different variables. The models would make it
possible to determine the extent to which differences in timing
for control of the different perceptions is due to differences
in transport lag (higher level perceptions will have longer lags
than lower level perceptions), speed of control system operation
(higher level control systems should be slower than lower level
systems) and time to compute the perception itself ((higher level
control perceptions must take longer to compute than lower level
perceptions because they occur over a longer period of time).

I also think it's possible for people to test PCT ideas right
here in the real world. All one has to do is guess what variable
a person (or pet) might be controlling, apply various disturbances
to that variable and see if the variable is protected from those
disturbances; if not, then revise the hypothesis about the
controlled variable and try again. Keep trying until you are
pretty confident that you know what variable is under control.
Descriptions of these kind of "naturalistic" observations of
controlled variables would be an excellent contribution to a
database of tests of PCT ideas.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bruce Gregory (990817.1318 EDT)]

Rick Marken (990817.1000)

I also think it's possible for people to test PCT ideas right
here in the real world. All one has to do is guess what variable
a person (or pet) might be controlling, apply various disturbances
to that variable and see if the variable is protected from those
disturbances; if not, then revise the hypothesis about the
controlled variable and try again. Keep trying until you are
pretty confident that you know what variable is under control.
Descriptions of these kind of "naturalistic" observations of
controlled variables would be an excellent contribution to a
database of tests of PCT ideas.

There are certainly no shortage of examples. The NYT today has an
article on drug-sniffing dogs. We know exactly what input the dogs are
controlling and we can see them making adjustments in their actions to
bring this about. Conventional psychologists would interpret the
behavior in S-R terms. The only way they would get in trouble would be
if they ever tried to model the dog's behavior. Since they readily admit
that they can't do this, S-R theory, like theology, lives long beyond
the time it might have been any use.

Bruce Gregory

from [ Marc Abrams (990817.1416) ]

[From Rick Marken (990817.1000)]

Marc Abrams (990816.2150)--

> What is troublesome is the lack of effort in trying to talk about
> and devise ways of _testing_ these ideas.

I don't find the lack of testing troublesome as much as I find
it unfortunate. I found that testing PCT (by actually building
the models and/or making the appropriate observations) not only
helped me understand PCT as a theory but it also helped me
understand that PCT is about real behavior. It also helped me
understand _how_ PCT relates to what we see people (and other
organisms) doing.

Yes, the entire process of enquiry ( testing ) provides lots of
opportunities for insights and learning.

I can think of two tests of PCT that I would find interesting
and doable. One would be an experiment monitoring a controlled
variable in an animal. I think it should be possible to set up
an experiment like my "Test for the Controlled Variable" demo at

Rick my post was not a call for research projects per se. It was a
suggestion that all ideas presented on the net should be looked upon as
testable hypothesis. If the person proposing the idea has no interest in
testing his/her idea why should anyone else. I think we have some very
creative people on the net, who might be able to help others, and themselves
in testing ideas that they present on the net. I think we can all be more
productive in trying to help others who are sincere in their efforts to
understand _their_ ideas. So rather then focusing on the "ideas" people
have, why not focus on the testability of the ideas. To present a
counter-idea is to present a _different_ testing problem and of _no_ help to
the originator of the idea. We each must take responsibility for our own
learning. It would be nice if this forum provided a way for people to better
understand _how_ they may test their ideas and better understand them.

You do not have to be a modeler or a programmer to do this.

http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/ControlDemo/ThreeTrack.html

with some non-verbal animal as the subject. The idea would be
to monitor a controlled variable (monitor the variable as the
animal continually protects it from disturbance) so that it is
obvious that the animal is, indeed, intentionally producing the
result. It would be nice if the situation could be set up so that
the animal would occasionally have to change the variable being
controlled (change intentions) in order to achieve some higher
level goal. This kind of experiment would be interesting to me
because it would show how PCT obviates the need for verbal
interaction as a means of determining intentions. It would also
show that "lower organisms" are purposeful systems who are
capable of changing intentions to achieve higher level purposes.

Rick, we all have our own interests and questions. This is a hypothesis of
yours. Again, I was focusing on people like myself who have some ideas about
various aspects of the PCT model. I am not interested in doing experiments
on aspects of the model _your_ interested in. I _would_ be willing to talk
about various ways you might try and test this idea ( if I actually had an
idea :slight_smile: ) But I would have no interest in actually doing the experiments.
Maybe someone else would, but I kind of doubt it. :slight_smile: Not that your idea is
a bad one. I just don't have an interest in exploring it. I think most on
the net have their own ideas about the hierarchy, memory, reference levels,
etc. Helping us see if these ideas are viable or plausible are important
ways for us to learn about PCT. But only if we are willing to pick up the
ball and run with it for ourselves.

I also think it's possible for people to test PCT ideas right
here in the real world. All one has to do is guess what variable
a person (or pet) might be controlling, apply various disturbances
to that variable and see if the variable is protected from those
disturbances; if not, then revise the hypothesis about the
controlled variable and try again. Keep trying until you are
pretty confident that you know what variable is under control.
Descriptions of these kind of "naturalistic" observations of
controlled variables would be an excellent contribution to a
database of tests of PCT ideas.

Is this the only "offically" :slight_smile: sanctioned test that you can do in the real
world? I think we can do a lot of different things with regard to the
hierarchy, memory and reorganization. What we need are some creative minds
working on it. :slight_smile:

Marc

[From Bruce Gregory (990817.1605 EDT)]

Marc Abrams (990817.1416)

Is this the only "offically" :slight_smile: sanctioned test that you can
do in the real
world? I think we can do a lot of different things with regard to the
hierarchy, memory and reorganization. What we need are some
creative minds
working on it. :slight_smile:

Since you are interested in memory, you might take a look at "How we
remember what we see", Ralph Haber, _Scientific American_ 105, May 1970.
Our issue is bound so a Xerox copy is not very satisfactory, otherwise
I'd send it to you. Obviously the article is far from the cutting edge,
but it has data that you might want to consider.

Bruce Gregory

from [Kenny Kitzke (990817.1500EDT) ]

<Marc Abrams (990816.2150)>

<I feel very strongly that we need to "expand" our horizons for the
conference.>

So do I, but probably for different reasons. One being the low attendance.
We had 17 humans attend (according to the roster). This included three
spouses. It was the lowest number since I began attending. I don't know how
far back in time you have to go to have a lower attendance? I do not
perceive that as an indication of the value of the conference as currently
constructed. Then again, it may be just a statistical anomoly.

There was even a suggestion or two that we take a respit and not have a CSG
conference at all next year. That idea seemed to plop without much
discussion or elaboration and attention quickly turned to where and when we
would have one, presumedly because most attendees wanted to have one again.

<I suggested to Bill that there is an "intimidation" factor both
on the net and at the conference. People are afraid of exchanging ideas and
possibly getting plastered by Rick, Bill, or others for speculating.>

I don't know what evidence of this you have or thought you had regarding the
conference? It did not apply to me. I was asked whether I wanted to present
a rather controversial paper I put on the table regarding how HPCT and the
Bible treat human nature. I declined, but not because I felt intimidated.
But, perhaps others felt some intimidation. I can't speak for them. It is
pretty standard human behavior to plaster new ideas that differ from your
own. It goes with the territory.

<So when someone comes on the net and speculates about a "spiritual" level,
the
argument is not for or against the _idea_. It's comes down to the
_testability_ of the idea. Speculation about various aspects of the model
i.e. memory, levels, reference level, etc.. ) is fun and easy. Devising
ways of testing those ideas is another animal. :-).>

Since you used my speculation about a spirit level nature of perception in
man, perhaps at the highest level above, way above logic and reasoning, as an
example, I feel I need to respond.

Science is full of speculation. HPCT is full of speculation. What makes one
CSG person's speculations superior to others? To convert speculative
theories into scientific laws we need testing. And, how to do that is not,
as you say, always as easy as speculating in a creative or inquisitive sense.
The departure of Issac troubles me. I am not sure if I understand why
completely, but it seemed to relate to these issues.

If I need help to test whether there is a spirit level category of human
perception in the HPCT hierarchy, or whether the phenomena it represents for
me is already "in there" adequately, I feel that any number of CSG members
would give me comments or suggestions concerning whatever approach I may come
up with for a demonstration or test. I don't know what more I should
reasonably expect. If I don't do any work, the idea will quickly die out,
especially if I am the only one purporting or pursuing the possibility.
Seems fair.

<Bill provided the fundamental question that must be answered
for any test. " What would I observe if my theory, conjecture, idea,
insight, etc. were true.?">

As usual, Bill has much to offer as a scientist (as opposed to a theologian).
:sunglasses: That is the perfect premise for the paper I hope to present next year
at the Conference concerning man's spirit nature, the references in engenders
and where it is in the proposed HPCT hierarchy. Such challenges to
conventional thinking is one reason that I come to the conference if my
schedule allows.

<My point being that I think we can be of much more help to one another in
helping us explore _our_ own areas of interest with regard to PCT then we
can in pushing our own interests.

Any thoughts about this?>

I am not sure that exploring our own areas of interest isn't pretty much the
same as pushing our own interest. But, that all depends on what we want.
I'm not sure having a special workshop on testing new theoretical ideas is
what will help the conference. Perhaps I am just intiminated by the thought
that no one will be interested in my area?

I would suggest that anyone wishing to make a presentation at the next
conference, post an abstract with the Conference chair at least a month in
advance. This is standard procedure for successful conferences for some
fairly consensual reasons. Then, a tentative schedule of
papers/presentations and speakers can be posted by the chair in advance to
help the membership decide whether to attend. If we can't do that, perhaps
an hiatus as a notable scientific conference is the best approach and we can
have a good ole boy reunion from time to time.

That's my 2 cents for now.

[From Rick Marken (990817.1430)]

Marc Abrams (990817.1416) --

It would be nice if this forum provided a way for people to better
understand _how_ they may test their ideas and better understand them.

You do not have to be a modeler or a programmer to do this.

I wonder. I have a feeling that one has to have a pretty good
understanding of how the model works in order to be able to test
it properly.

Me:

Descriptions of these kind of "naturalistic" observations of
controlled variables would be an excellent contribution to a
database of tests of PCT ideas.

Marc:

Is this the only "offically" :slight_smile: sanctioned test that you can do
in the real world? I think we can do a lot of different things
with regard to the hierarchy, memory and reorganization.

I think that demonstrating and cataloging controlled variables
is the most important "testing" we can do at the moment. Data on
controlled variables will provide the basis for tests of other
aspects of the model, such as the hierarchy, memory and
reorganization. Controlled variables are to PCT what the chemical
elements are to chemistry; the basis of the science. Conventional
psychology got nowhere because it thought the "elements" were stimuli
and responses. PCT suggests that the "elements" are controlled
variables.

What we need are some creative minds working on it. :slight_smile:

Creativity is great. But I'm a classicist, I guess. I think
creativity is most useful when it's disciplined -- in this
case, by the quantitative predictions of a model.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

from [ Marc Abrams (990817.2013) ]

From [Kenny Kitzke (990817.1500EDT) ]

<Marc Abrams (990816.2150)>

<I feel very strongly that we need to "expand" our horizons for the
conference.>

So do I, but probably for different reasons. One being the low

attendance.

We had 17 humans attend (according to the roster).

Anything else attending interested in learning PCT. :slight_smile: ( sorry, a bad
joke )

This included three

spouses. It was the lowest number since I began attending. I don't know

how

far back in time you have to go to have a lower attendance? I do not
perceive that as an indication of the value of the conference as currently
constructed. Then again, it may be just a statistical anomoly.

Attendance was not my major thinking about the matter. I attended in '95 and
have the conference video's from every year. I have some ideas that i think
will help make the conference interesting to more then a hanful of CSG
participants. A Workshop on modeling, Continuing the MOL workshop, a
workshop on Testing ideas, etc. I'll be on the net shortly with a list of
some of my ideas and a request for other activities relating to PCT that
others might want to see.

<I suggested to Bill that there is an "intimidation" factor both
on the net and at the conference. People are afraid of exchanging ideas

and

possibly getting plastered by Rick, Bill, or others for speculating.>

I don't know what evidence of this you have or thought you had regarding

the

conference?

from a number of private exchanges with individuals about CSG. Did you
present your paper at the conference? I understand you did not. Why not?
Very few people come to the conference prepared to present. Most sessions
become adhoc discussions about things that have been discussed a hundred
times before. This isn't necassarily a bad thing. But is it something I want
to spend approx. a $1,000 on. ( transportation, cost of conference, etc. ).
I am also going to try and bring in some "outsiders" who might have an
interest in PCT. My strategy is to get them to the conference. meet face to
face, and then introduce the net to them. Meeting face to face I think is
important. I am not looking to bring in thousands :-). I think around 50
people would make a nice start. Including a few from the life sciences
bio, and chem ). The conference should be stimulating, not confrontational.
We should be exploring PCT and collaborating more where possible. I think
the conference can set the tone for the net.

Just some ideas Ken. I think we need to stir it up a bit.

It did not apply to me. I was asked whether I wanted to present
a rather controversial paper I put on the table regarding how HPCT and the
Bible treat human nature. I declined, but not because I felt intimidated.

What held you back? Why prepare a paper and not attempt to communicate it.

But, perhaps others felt some intimidation. I can't speak for them. It

is

pretty standard human behavior to plaster new ideas that differ from your
own. It goes with the territory.

No, it doesn't "go with the territory". As much as I might think your idea
is invalid I believe we need to support you in _your_ attempt to test your
proposal. If we cannot help and you cannot or do not want to try, that is
your business. But we should never be quick to critisize an _idea_. It's
only when we refuse to acknowledge that the idea is based on faith ( it's
not testable and that's the end of it ) alone and move on. there is nothing
else to discuss. Not on this list. Ken, it's not your ideas that are
'controversial" it's your unwillingness to either attempt to test your ideas
or simply say that they are based on your faith and your faith alone.
Instead it turns into a pi----ng contest about ideas and validity of
beliefs. Debates that a) never end and b) as Bruce G once said, theological
arguments that cannot be won or lost.

<So when someone comes on the net and speculates about a "spiritual"

level,

the
argument is not for or against the _idea_. It's comes down to the
_testability_ of the idea. Speculation about various aspects of the model
i.e. memory, levels, reference level, etc.. ) is fun and easy. Devising
ways of testing those ideas is another animal. :-).>

Since you used my speculation about a spirit level nature of perception in
man, perhaps at the highest level above, way above logic and reasoning, as

an

example, I feel I need to respond.

Not strictly yours. Fred Good made a point about "spiritualism" as well.

Science is full of speculation. HPCT is full of speculation. What makes

one

CSG person's speculations superior to others?

_Only_ our willingness and desire to _test_ those ideas.. That's my _entire_
point. Ideas in and of themselves might be interesting, might be stupid,
brilliant, etc. But the proof is in the pudding. Any idea that is testable
is superior to any idea that isn't. Not because the idea is better or worse.
But because we can ultimately know something more about the testable idea
then we can about the untested one. For some that is important for others
it's not. If we put _everything_ we know on a continous line like this:

Verifiable, Repeatable Experiences
_____________________________________________________ Pure faith
(Facts)

It would all fall _somewhere_ on this line. _Everything_ is a combination of
the two. We all have different tolerances for different things being more to
the right or left on the scale It's really very simple. The more testable
something is, the more sure _some_ of us are of it's existence. PCT is a
_testable_ theory. All the tests in the world will never prove it right. But
every test that is done shows that it is not wrong. Again, as Bill likes to
say. We only "know" as much as our last data collection showed. That is
always subject to change

To convert speculative
theories into scientific laws we need testing. And, how to do that is

not,

as you say, always as easy as speculating in a creative or inquisitive

sense.

Being creative and inquisitive is extremely important in trying to figure
out how to test. Things are not always so obvious. In your 12th level
conjecture, the question becomes; "If my theory is correct, what would I
observe happening?" How would I know that I was in fact "experiencing"
another level?". I'm serious here. The questions then move the focus away
from the "controversial" idea to how you might be able to test for this. I
think what a lot of people are saying is not "Your ideas are stupid". They
are saying you cannot test for this, and since you can't, there is really
nothing else to talk about.

The departure of Issac troubles me. I am not sure if I understand why
completely, but it seemed to relate to these issues.

e-mail Isaac and ask. They might. But there is very little he can do Off the
net to help improve things on the net.

If I need help to test whether there is a spirit level category of human
perception in the HPCT hierarchy, or whether the phenomena it represents

for

me is already "in there" adequately, I feel that any number of CSG members
would give me comments or suggestions concerning whatever approach I may

come

up with for a demonstration or test. I don't know what more I should
reasonably expect. If I don't do any work, the idea will quickly die out,
especially if I am the only one purporting or pursuing the possibility.
Seems fair.

That's my point in a nutshell.

<Bill provided the fundamental question that must be answered
for any test. " What would I observe if my theory, conjecture, idea,
insight, etc. were true.?">

As usual, Bill has much to offer as a scientist (as opposed to a

theologian).

:sunglasses: That is the perfect premise for the paper I hope to present next

year

at the Conference concerning man's spirit nature, the references in

engenders

and where it is in the proposed HPCT hierarchy. Such challenges to
conventional thinking is one reason that I come to the conference if my
schedule allows.

I hope next year you will present your paper. With some suitable tests
already attempted :slight_smile:

<My point being that I think we can be of much more help to one another in
helping us explore _our_ own areas of interest with regard to PCT then we
can in pushing our own interests.

Any thoughts about this?>

I am not sure that exploring our own areas of interest isn't pretty much

the

same as pushing our own interest. But, that all depends on what we want.

Sure it is :-). Nothing wrong with that, unless we refuse to acknowledge and
respect that others feel the same way :slight_smile:

I'm not sure having a special workshop on testing new theoretical ideas is
what will help the conference.

I don't know either, But I think that most think that you need to model and
program in order to test ideas. That is not true. You also don't need to be
in some lab at some top University in some graduate program either. It can't
hurt. :slight_smile:

Perhaps I am just intiminated by the thought
that no one will be interested in my area?

Ken, if you can provide some testable hypothesis, then I think you will
have tremendous interest. If you are there talking about your faith, I don't
think there will be the same level of interest.

I would suggest that anyone wishing to make a presentation at the next
conference, post an abstract with the Conference chair at least a month in
advance. This is standard procedure for successful conferences for some
fairly consensual reasons. Then, a tentative schedule of
papers/presentations and speakers can be posted by the chair in advance to
help the membership decide whether to attend. If we can't do that,

perhaps

an hiatus as a notable scientific conference is the best approach and we

can

have a good ole boy reunion from time to time.

That's my 2 cents for now.

Good idea. I have similar thoughts.

I'll be back on the net soon with an update about the conference. I am
currently trying to settle on a site in the Boston area. I have some ongoing
discussions with 4 different sites. I should be back on the net with details
by next Monday. ( I won't be able to speak to 2 people because of vacations
till then )

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (990817.2141) ]

[From Rick Marken (990817.1430)]

Marc Abrams (990817.1416) --

> It would be nice if this forum provided a way for people to better
> understand _how_ they may test their ideas and better understand them.
>
> You do not have to be a modeler or a programmer to do this.

I wonder. I have a feeling that one has to have a pretty good
understanding of how the model works in order to be able to test
it properly.

"Understanding" how the model works _is_ important. I was suggesting that
you can test the model with tests other then mathematical ones. Like
experiments that do not involve computers, programming, or modeling. The
Plooij's did it and I bet there are a lot of similair things that can be
done without models or computers. I understand Dick Roberston put together
an early experiment.

Me:

> Descriptions of these kind of "naturalistic" observations of
> controlled variables would be an excellent contribution to a
> database of tests of PCT ideas.

Marc:

> Is this the only "offically" :slight_smile: sanctioned test that you can do
> in the real world? I think we can do a lot of different things
> with regard to the hierarchy, memory and reorganization.

I think that demonstrating and cataloging controlled variables
is the most important "testing" we can do at the moment. Data on
controlled variables will provide the basis for tests of other
aspects of the model, such as the hierarchy, memory and
reorganization.

Why not the other way around? I am not disputing what you say. But by
looking at memory you are "forced" to look at CV's . So why not speculate on
what might be controlled and how that controlling process works through
several levels.?

Controlled variables are to PCT what the chemical
elements are to chemistry; the basis of the science. Conventional
psychology got nowhere because it thought the "elements" were stimuli
and responses. PCT suggests that the "elements" are controlled
variables.

No question. But there are always any number of ways of looking at a
phenomenon. I'd like to try some different routes.

> > What we need are some creative minds working on it. :slight_smile:

Creativity is great. But I'm a classicist, I guess. I think
creativity is most useful when it's disciplined -- in this
case, by the quantitative predictions of a model.

Yes. I agree. That's why I say that every idea should be followed by a
discussion of how one might test the viability of that idea. That does
require discipline, but it does not necessarily follow that it must be
mathematical, or programmable. There are alternatives. :slight_smile: The _goal_ should
ultimately be a quantitative model. The question then becomes, what is the
best way of getting there. In order to build a model you need to have a good
understanding of what it is your trying to represent. You need to have a
good idea of what your "supposed" to see. All of this needs to come from
"data collection". Whether that data is a limited number of private
observations or a truckload of data from structured experiments doesn't
really matter. ( not initially ) One can then help inform the other. ( i.e.
model and data collection ). As you said in an earlier post. This process is
an educational one. It provides terrific learning opportunities. But it's
not for eveyone.

Marc

[From Rick Marken (990818.0740)]

Me:

I have a feeling that one has to have a pretty good understanding
of how the model works in order to be able to test it properly.

Marc Abrams (990817.2141)

"Understanding" how the model works _is_ important. I was suggesting that
you can test the model with tests other then mathematical ones. Like
experiments that do not involve computers, programming, or modeling.

I agree completely. I also agree with the point you made in your
original post on this topic [Marc Abrams (990816.2150)] -- that it
would be nice if people would describe ways to _test_ whatever
ideas (explanations of behavior) they propose.

Me:

I think that demonstrating and cataloging controlled variables
is the most important "testing" we can do at the moment. Data on
controlled variables will provide the basis for tests of other
aspects of the model, such as the hierarchy, memory and
reorganization.

Marc:

Why not the other way around? I am not disputing what you say. But by
looking at memory you are "forced" to look at CV's . So why not speculate
on what might be controlled and how that controlling process works
through several levels.?

This could work. But I think you are only "forced" to look at CVs
if you look at memory through control theory glasses. Conventional
psychologists have managed to look at memory for over 100 years
without being "forced" to look at one single CV.

Best

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

from [ Marc Abrams (990818.1400) ]

[From Rick Marken (990818.0740)]

Me:

> I have a feeling that one has to have a pretty good understanding
> of how the model works in order to be able to test it properly.

Marc Abrams (990817.2141)

> "Understanding" how the model works _is_ important. I was suggesting

that

> you can test the model with tests other then mathematical ones. Like
> experiments that do not involve computers, programming, or modeling.

I agree completely. I also agree with the point you made in your
original post on this topic [Marc Abrams (990816.2150)] -- that it
would be nice if people would describe ways to _test_ whatever
ideas (explanations of behavior) they propose.

Me:

> I think that demonstrating and cataloging controlled variables
> is the most important "testing" we can do at the moment. Data on
> controlled variables will provide the basis for tests of other
> aspects of the model, such as the hierarchy, memory and
> reorganization.

Marc:

> Why not the other way around? I am not disputing what you say. But by
> looking at memory you are "forced" to look at CV's . So why not

speculate

> on what might be controlled and how that controlling process works
> through several levels.?

This could work. But I think you are only "forced" to look at CVs
if you look at memory through control theory glasses. Conventional
psychologists have managed to look at memory for over 100 years
without being "forced" to look at one single CV.

I agree. So far with the small amount of literature I have been able to get
my hands on is, unfortunately done from the S->R perspective. Even "Adaptive
Neural Control Processes" ( Neural nets applied to Control theory ). Add the
hierarchy to the mix and you basically have nothing close. The search
continues :slight_smile:

Marc