The only thing we have to fear is . . . fear itself.

[From Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST)]

Bill Powers (980618.0434 MDT) --

If everyone, through fear of punishment, carefully avoids getting into
gatherings or more than two people, there will never be any action to
enforce the law (the law is not being broken).

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

Regards,

Bruce

From [Marc Abrams (980618.1701)]

Hi Bruce,

Mind if I jump in. :slight_smile:

[From Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST)]

Bill Powers (980618.0434 MDT) --

If everyone, through fear of punishment, carefully avoids getting

into

gatherings or more than two people, there will never be any action

to

enforce the law (the law is not being broken).

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear

of

punishment" into rigorous PCT?

How 'bout "fear of punishment" as a CV.

Marc

···

Regards,

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (980618.1815)]

Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST) --

How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

If I may: "fear of punishment" = "the emotional result of imagining
a controlled perception in a state well below its reference level".
Imagine meeting me a CSG meeting; that is "fear of punshment" :wink:

Best

Rick

···

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

i.kurtzer (980618)

[From Rick Marken (980618.1815)]

Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST) --

> How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
> punishment" into rigorous PCT?

If I may: "fear of punishment" = "the emotional result of imagining
a controlled perception in a state well below its reference level". >>

This is goobily-gook that is wrapped in the language of PCT. Why don't you
guys say "i don't know" . This redefinition of coersion cannot become any
more zany. Now we have most interactions as coersive, a bounty of new
Maturana-styled words totally empty of empirical support--"control system
parallax" and "universal error curve"--and my favorite a return to
behaviorism--where people are controlled by enviromental contingencies that
induce fear
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is muckily muck lineal recapitulation.

furious at one level
i.

[From Rick Marken (980618.0850)]

Me:

If I may: "fear of punishment" = "the emotional result of imagining
a controlled perception in a state well below its reference
level".

i.kurtzer (980618)

This is goobily-gook that is wrapped in the language of PCT.

I think we can model it; does that reduce the goobily-gookiness
of it for you? The imagination connection is certainly a functional
part of the PCT model and Bill gave a nice description (in LCS II)
of how emotion might fit into a control loop. So I don't think
it is complete goobily-gook; maybe just a moderate amount;-)

Why don't you guys say "i don't know" .

Bruce was asking how PCT _might_ explain a common human experience;
avoiding a behavior (like gathering in a group of two or more) for
fear of punishment. I thought the PCT explanation was pretty clear
in this case. But "I don't know" would have been good too.

This redefinition of coersion cannot become any more zany.

In my dictionary, coercion is defined as "to restrain or dominate by
nullifying individual will". That's how I define coercion, too.
If my definiton of "coercion" is zany, then so is Webster's;-)

Now we have most interactions as coersive

Not at all. Only the coercive interactions are coercive.

a bounty of new Maturana-styled words totally empty of empirical
support--"control system parallax" and "universal error curve"

Control system parallax is easily demonstrated (empirically) by
having one person try to help another keep the knot on the dot
in the rubber band demo. The universal error curve is a working
model (see it at http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/demos.html)
the behavior of which resembles the behavior of living systems
going on and off and on the wagon. So it has some empirical
support (I've seen this happen) but, obviously, systematic
testing is needed.

--and my favorite a return to behaviorism--where people are
controlled by enviromental contingencies that induce fear

That was not my proposal. My proposal suggests that people are
controlling a perception (of fear) by acting to avoid situations
that, in their imagination, would result in this perception.
It's control of perception.

furious at one level

If you had an "I" you could go up a level and calm down;-)

Best

Me

···

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

i.kurtzer (980619.1135)

[From Rick Marken (980618.0850)]

> If I may: "fear of punishment" = "the emotional result of imagining
> a controlled perception in a state well below its reference
> level".

i.kurtzer (980618)

> This is goobily-gook that is wrapped in the language of PCT.

I think we can model it; does that reduce the goobily-gookiness
of it for you?

Modelling yes, thinking about modelling, no.

The imagination connection is certainly a functional
part of the PCT model

One that has no empirical evidence. Nice ideas do not mean inclusion in the
model. Evidence, damn good evidence does.

and Bill gave a nice description (in LCS II)
of how emotion might fit into a control loop.

same for this. nice conjecture currently lacking empirical support.

So I don't think
it is complete goobily-gook; maybe just a moderate amount;-)

Its too much to be used as an argument which is why it was brought up. I
questioned one questionable position only to have you duck to other
questionable positions. That is weirdo.

> This redefinition of coersion cannot become any more zany.

In my dictionary, coercion is defined as "to restrain or dominate by
nullifying individual will". That's how I define coercion, too.
If my definiton of "coercion" is zany, then so is Webster's;-)

You are playing fast and loose with your definitions, my friend. Coersion
previously to you was when two individuals had references tied to the the same
enviromental variable and one had grossly more gain than the other. For you
the emphasis is on gain as that in itself is sufficient in defining a coersive
interaction as the coersee's references are irrelevant. That defintion is
yuck as it defines a interaction as the sole product of one person. That is
skirting lineal causality. References to "fear of punishmnet" are now
skirting Skinnerian behaviorism. This is not good.

> a bounty of new Maturana-styled words totally empty of empirical
> support--"control system parallax" and "universal error curve"

Control system parallax is easily demonstrated (empirically) by
having one person try to help another keep the knot on the dot
in the rubber band demo.

I don't object to the fact that persons can have different references for the
same enviromental variable, just this scientific wording of that. It has now
gone in four days from being a word surrounded by quotes to having enough
credibility in your eyes to go quote-free. There are probably at least three
more slippery slopes going on.

The universal error curve is a working
model (see it at http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/demos.html)
the behavior of which resembles the behavior of living systems
going on and off and on the wagon.

A simulation of a thought is not a model. A simulation explicitely tied to
data is. You have not provided any data of which it resembles. You are a
better scientist than this.

So it has some empirical
support (I've seen this happen)

Again first person evaluative reports are not evidence to me. Unless you want
me to accept Skinner or for that matter Edgar Cayce, both have seen there
intrests happenings as well.

but, obviously, systematic
testing is needed.

yeahhh!!

> --and my favorite a return to behaviorism--where people are
> controlled by enviromental contingencies that induce fear

That was not my proposal. My proposal suggests that people are
controlling a perception (of fear) by acting to avoid situations
that, in their imagination, would result in this perception.

"controlling" "by acting to avoid situtions" that "in their imagination"
"would result in this perception"

this sounds awfully strange.
i'll think about this one.

> furious at one level

If you had an "I" you could go up a level and calm down;-)

i am a cool stream at others, but will be a frothing schlooterbaum at this one

i.

[From Rick Marken (980619.1500)]

i.kurtzer (980619.1135)

For you the emphasis [in defining "coercion"] is on gain as
that in itself is sufficient in defining a coersive interaction
as the coersee's references are irrelevant. That defintion is
yuck as it defines a interaction as the sole product of one
person.

No. Both the coerer and the coercee are included in the definition;
the coercer is the controller; some aspect of the coercee's behavior
is the controlled variable; the actions of the coercee are
disturbances to the controlled variable.

Me:

Control system parallax is easily demonstrated (empirically) by
having one person try to help another keep the knot on the dot
in the rubber band demo.

Isaac:

I don't object to the fact that persons can have different
references for the same enviromental variable, just this
scientific wording of that.

This is not what "control system parallax" refers to. It doesn't
refer to the fact that people can have different references for
the same environmental variable. It refers to the fact that the
same controlled variable will be perceived differently by people
who view it from two different locations. In the rubber band demo,
helper and helpee see the distance from knot to dot from two
different locations (different angles of view relative to the
distance from knot to dot) So even if both helper and helpee
have the same reference (zero) for the same controlled variable
(distance from knot and dot) they will still be in conflict
because of the visual parallax.

Best

Rick

···

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

i.kurtzer (980620.0145)

[From Rick Marken (980619.1500)]

i.kurtzer (980619.1135)

> For you the emphasis [in defining "coercion"] is on gain as
> that in itself is sufficient in defining a coersive interaction
> as the coersee's references are irrelevant. That defintion is
> yuck as it defines a interaction as the sole product of one
> person.

No. Both the coerer and the coercee are included in the definition;
the coercer is the controller; some aspect of the coercee's behavior
is the controlled variable; the actions of the coercee are
disturbances to the controlled variable.

No. Inclusion sans intentions is not inclusion within the framework of
tradition. The coercee is included as one would include a rock.

> Control system parallax is easily demonstrated (empirically) by

>> having one person try to help another keep the knot on the dot
>> in the rubber band demo.

> I don't object to the fact that persons can have different
> references for the same enviromental variable, just this
> scientific wording of that.

This is not what "control system parallax" refers to. It doesn't
refer to the fact that people can have different references for
the same environmental variable. It refers to the fact that the
same controlled variable will be perceived differently by people
who view it from two different locations.

Oops you are right. Sorry about that mind fart, but still the phrasing of
"control system parallax", come on. Its just a little thing so who cares i
suppose.
But its quick evolution as a borrowed term qualified with scare quotes to one
without as if it was as clear as day is strange. That was the point.

i.

[From Bill Powers (980620.0505 MST)]

Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST)--

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

I'll try. Punishment is something that creates intrinsic error, wuch as
pain. It is punishment because it results from your own actions (via another
person who decides that certain of your actions are to cause you pain or
other errors). Your intrinsic or learned reference level for such
experiences is zero; hence you will learn to behave so as to avoid the
punishment.

The "fear" is imagined error, together with the desire to escape from it.

So a child who learns to behave to please a teacher for fear of punishment
is controlling for avoiding pain or error, and not because of any
understanding of the desirability of the behavior.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (980623.1325)]

Bill Powers (980620.0505 MST) --

Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST)

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

I'll try.

Meaning that you are uncertain whether you can translate your verbal
description into a reasonable PCT model?

Punishment is something that creates intrinsic error, wuch as
pain.

Could punishment be something that does not create intrinsic error?

It is punishment because it results from your own actions (via another
person who decides that certain of your actions are to cause you pain or
other errors).

Interesting: This definition of punishment is similar to the EAB
definition, in that it refers to a contingency between behavior and
consequence rather than to the mere presentation of an input to which one is
averse. If differs in that in your definition punishment requires
arrangement by another person; in EAB, punishment can arise through natural
contingencies, as when a child sticks her finger into a live light socket
after an adult has removed a dead bulb and carelessly left the power on.

Your intrinsic or learned reference level for such
experiences is zero; hence you will learn to behave so as to avoid the
punishment.

The "fear" is imagined error, together with the desire to escape from it.

I don't know about this: I can rather vividly imagine a bear attacking me
and having me for lunch (piece by piece: oh, my, there goes the left leg!),
but this image doesn't seem to arouse any fear. Also, if you can't
_perceive_ error in a control system (as you have claimed in the past), how
can you imagine such error? Isn't imagination just internally-generated
perceptions, in your view?

So a child who learns to behave to please a teacher for fear of punishment
is controlling for avoiding pain or error, and not because of any
understanding of the desirability of the behavior.

At first, yes, probably so, at least for young clildren -- even if the adult
has already explained the desirability of the behavior to the child.

Regards,

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (980623.1708 MDT)]

Bruce Abbott (980623.1325)--

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

I'll try.

Meaning that you are uncertain whether you can translate your verbal
description into a reasonable PCT model?

Meaning I'm offering a translation to see if it is acceptable to you.

Punishment is something that creates intrinsic error, wuch as
pain.

Could punishment be something that does not create intrinsic error?

It could be anything you want to propose, if you're prepared to justify it.
I'm proposing that it's something that causes intrinsic error.

It is punishment because it results from your own actions (via another

person who decides that certain of your actions are to cause you pain or
other errors).

Interesting: This definition of punishment is similar to the EAB
definition, in that it refers to a contingency between behavior and
consequence rather than to the mere presentation of an input to which one is
averse. If differs in that in your definition punishment requires
arrangement by another person; in EAB, punishment can arise through natural
contingencies, as when a child sticks her finger into a live light socket
after an adult has removed a dead bulb and carelessly left the power on.

I was just thinking of the context -- we're talking about coercion at the
moment, so punishment would come via some human coercer. Actually I have
previously offered the definition of punishment as any consequence of
behavior that increases intrinsic error.

The "fear" is imagined error, together with the desire to escape from it.

I don't know about this: I can rather vividly imagine a bear attacking me
and having me for lunch (piece by piece: oh, my, there goes the left leg!),
but this image doesn't seem to arouse any fear. Also, if you can't
_perceive_ error in a control system (as you have claimed in the past), how
can you imagine such error? Isn't imagination just internally-generated
perceptions, in your view?

Sorry for the shorthand. Fear is the emotion entailing a desire to escape
from something -- to bring a perception to zero. It can also arise from
imagined perceptions at low levels, which result in the same desire to
escape from something.

I agree that not all imagined perceptions, however threatening they may be
according to stereotypes or conventions, result in any emotions. However,
some do, particularly those that have actually occurred in the past. If I
imagine standing on the edge of a very high cliff or building, I get the
same unpleasant feeling as I have when really doing it. If I burst into
your office and tell you your house is burning, this imaginary event can
scare you pretty badly, I should think. Of course you have to believe me
and imagine that it is actually burning.

I take it that you have never been attacked or chased by a bear. I think
that if you imagine some dangerous situation you have actually experienced,
you might well feel an emotion similar to the one you felt then.

So a child who learns to behave to please a teacher for fear of punishment
is controlling for avoiding pain or error, and not because of any
understanding of the desirability of the behavior.

At first, yes, probably so, at least for young clildren -- even if the adult
has already explained the desirability of the behavior to the child.

Explaining the reason for a punishment doesn't mean that the victim agrees
that it should have been administered or that the punished behavior was
wrong. If the explanation of why the behavior shouldn't be done is clear
and convincing, there is no need for punishment. If it's not, the
punishment doesn't make it any more so.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (980624.0830 EST)]

Bill Powers (980623.1708 MDT) --

Bruce Abbott (980623.1325)

Bill Powers (980620.0505 MST)

Bruce Abbott (980618.1655 EST)

Hmmm. How do you, Bill Powers, translate this verbal phrase, "fear of
punishment" into rigorous PCT?

I'll try.

Meaning that you are uncertain whether you can translate your verbal
description into a reasonable PCT model?

Meaning I'm offering a translation to see if it is acceptable to you.

This implies that there is more than one possible translation. What other
possibilities have you considered?

Punishment is something that creates intrinsic error, wuch as
pain.

Could punishment be something that does not create intrinsic error?

It could be anything you want to propose, if you're prepared to justify it.
I'm proposing that it's something that causes intrinsic error.

I thought that intrinsic variables resided at the top of the hierarchy. You
gave pain as an example of a punisher -- isn't that an intensity-level
perception?

It is punishment because it results from your own actions (via another
person who decides that certain of your actions are to cause you pain or
other errors).

Interesting: This definition of punishment is similar to the EAB
definition, in that it refers to a contingency between behavior and
consequence rather than to the mere presentation of an input to which one is
averse. If differs in that in your definition punishment requires
arrangement by another person; in EAB, punishment can arise through natural
contingencies, as when a child sticks her finger into a live light socket
after an adult has removed a dead bulb and carelessly left the power on.

I was just thinking of the context -- we're talking about coercion at the
moment, so punishment would come via some human coercer. Actually I have
previously offered the definition of punishment as any consequence of
behavior that increases intrinsic error.

O.K., then that hasn't changed. I would define it in the same way except
that I would delete the word "intrinsic."

The "fear" is imagined error, together with the desire to escape from it.

I don't know about this: I can rather vividly imagine a bear attacking me
and having me for lunch (piece by piece: oh, my, there goes the left leg!),
but this image doesn't seem to arouse any fear. Also, if you can't
_perceive_ error in a control system (as you have claimed in the past), how
can you imagine such error? Isn't imagination just internally-generated
perceptions, in your view?

Sorry for the shorthand. Fear is the emotion entailing a desire to escape
from something -- to bring a perception to zero. It can also arise from
imagined perceptions at low levels, which result in the same desire to
escape from something.

This still requires some explication. Saying that fear is an emotion leaves
unexplained what an emotion is, in PCT. Also, this word "entails" is vague.
What do you mean by it in this context? Is fear a reference signal? If so,
what is the controlled variable? How does memory of pain evoke fear?

I agree that not all imagined perceptions, however threatening they may be
according to stereotypes or conventions, result in any emotions. However,
some do, particularly those that have actually occurred in the past. If I
imagine standing on the edge of a very high cliff or building, I get the
same unpleasant feeling as I have when really doing it. If I burst into
your office and tell you your house is burning, this imaginary event can
scare you pretty badly, I should think. Of course you have to believe me
and imagine that it is actually burning.

I take it that you have never been attacked or chased by a bear. I think
that if you imagine some dangerous situation you have actually experienced,
you might well feel an emotion similar to the one you felt then.

So some imagined perceptions are capable of arousing emotions and others are
not. Whether they do or not depends in some unexplained way (within PCT) on
prior experience and belief.

Explaining the reason for a punishment doesn't mean that the victim agrees
that it should have been administered or that the punished behavior was
wrong. If the explanation of why the behavior shouldn't be done is clear
and convincing, there is no need for punishment. If it's not, the
punishment doesn't make it any more so.

That would be my view, too. But I don't see that it connects in any
particular way to PCT. How is a control system "convinced"?

Regards,

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (980524.0855 MDT)]

Bruce Abbott (980624.0830 EST)]

Meaning I'm offering a translation to see if it is acceptable to you.

This implies that there is more than one possible translation. What other
possibilities have you considered?

I really haven't kept track. When I was in my teens, I thought other people
caused my emotions. In a brief dalliance with behaviorism, I decided that
emotions were simply intervening variables with no causal significance.
After developing the control-theory model, I decided that emotions were
produced by the same hierarchy of control systems that produces behavior,
and that they represent sensory evidence of a shift in the state of the
physiological systems associated with higher-level error signals. That's
where I stand right now.

Punishment is something that creates intrinsic error, wuch as
pain.

Could punishment be something that does not create intrinsic error?

It could be anything you want to propose, if you're prepared to justify it.
I'm proposing that it's something that causes intrinsic error.

I thought that intrinsic variables resided at the top of the hierarchy.

Not in my understanding of the model. The intrinsic control systems as I
have defined them control variables associated with the life-support
systems, such as blood pH, body temperature, blood pressure, CO2 tension,
and so forth. These variables are not derived from perceptions of system
concepts, the highest level of perception in the model so far. In fact they
are being controlled before the hierarchy is formed.

Other people have persistently spoken of the intrinsic controlled variables
as if they were the highest level in the hierarchy. I objected to that at
first, but gave up when my objections were ignored. However, I have seen no
reason to change my mind.

You gave pain as an example of a punisher -- isn't that an intensity-level
perception?

Yes. It is probably related to some intrinsic quantity associated with
tissue damage or similar problems. Of course being a sensory perception, it
belongs in the learned hierarchy of control systems, not with the
reorganizing system. The intrinsic quantities controlled by the
reorganizing system are not sensory perceptions accessible to the learned
hierarchy or awareness. When I said "pain" in this context, I should have
made it plain that I meant the underlying tissue damage or other physical
condition that underlies conscious pain signals in the hierarchy.

I was just thinking of the context -- we're talking about coercion at the
moment, so punishment would come via some human coercer. Actually I have
previously offered the definition of punishment as any consequence of
behavior that increases intrinsic error.

O.K., then that hasn't changed. I would define it in the same way except
that I would delete the word "intrinsic."

Do you believe that intrinsic quantities as I define them are accessible to
the behavioral hierarchy? I don't. I use the term "intrinsic" to
distinguish innate, unlearned control systems from those that are acquired
through interaction with the world, and that are exclusively concerned with
controlling the state of the organism's physiological systems instead of
the state of the world outside.

This still requires some explication. Saying that fear is an emotion leaves
unexplained what an emotion is, in PCT.

I have published a long and detailed account of my theory of emotion and
how it fits in with the hierarchy of control. Look it up in LCS II.

Is fear a reference signal? If so,
what is the controlled variable? How does memory of pain evoke fear?

Fear is (proposed to be) a perception with two components: one concerning
the goal of behavior (known through imagination) and one representing the
physiological state of the organism. This is how I explain most negative
emotions. The specific goal involved with fear is the desire to escape or
avoid something (reference level of zero); the somatic component is the
same configuration of bodily signals that accompanies several other
emotions, such as anger.

I agree that not all imagined perceptions, however threatening they may be
according to stereotypes or conventions, result in any emotions. However,
some do, particularly those that have actually occurred in the past. If I
imagine standing on the edge of a very high cliff or building, I get the
same unpleasant feeling as I have when really doing it. If I burst into
your office and tell you your house is burning, this imaginary event can
scare you pretty badly, I should think. Of course you have to believe me
and imagine that it is actually burning.

I take it that you have never been attacked or chased by a bear. I think
that if you imagine some dangerous situation you have actually experienced,
you might well feel an emotion similar to the one you felt then.

So some imagined perceptions are capable of arousing emotions and others are
not. Whether they do or not depends in some unexplained way (within PCT) on
prior experience and belief.

No. Perceptions do not arouse emotions in my theory, just as they do not
cause actions in my theory. Emotions accompany all error signals of any
appreciable magnitude; their somatic component is how it feel to prepare
for the kind of action that goes with the kind of error that exists.
Emotions are primarily a product of reference signals and disturbances;
they are part of the output hierarchy. I can't explain all this in a
paragraph or two -- read LCS II.

Explaining the reason for a punishment doesn't mean that the victim agrees
that it should have been administered or that the punished behavior was
wrong. If the explanation of why the behavior shouldn't be done is clear
and convincing, there is no need for punishment. If it's not, the
punishment doesn't make it any more so.

That would be my view, too. But I don't see that it connects in any
particular way to PCT. How is a control system "convinced"?

Are you asking me for a model of what happens when a person becomes
convinced of something, or are you just expressing doubt of its connection
with PCT? While I haven't specifically tackled this question, I'm sure that
some hypothesis with its roots in PCT could be offered, and eventually be
tested experimentally. Contrary to your apparent expectations, PCT has not
yet been applied to every detail of human behavior and experience. I
haven't analyzed jealousy, or greed, or ignorance, or disloyalty, either.
Yet I don't doubt that a reasonable hypothesis about such things could be
formed and tested, allowing us to predict the behavior of people in these
informally-defined states.

I think _all_ aspects of human behavior relate to PCT and will ultimately
be explained in terms of this theory. What are the alternatives?

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (980624.1510 EST)]

Bill Powers (980524.0855 MDT) --

Bruce Abbott (980624.0830 EST)

I thought that intrinsic variables resided at the top of the hierarchy.

Not in my understanding of the model. The intrinsic control systems as I
have defined them control variables associated with the life-support
systems, such as blood pH, body temperature, blood pressure, CO2 tension,
and so forth. These variables are not derived from perceptions of system
concepts, the highest level of perception in the model so far. In fact they
are being controlled before the hierarchy is formed.

Other people have persistently spoken of the intrinsic controlled variables
as if they were the highest level in the hierarchy. I objected to that at
first, but gave up when my objections were ignored. However, I have seen no
reason to change my mind.

O.K., glad to have that misconception cleared up. Intrinsic variables
correspond to innate physiological variables that must remain within certain
bounds if the individual is to survive. At first the control systems that
control them are all that exist to oppose disturbances to the intrinsic
variables, but soon a learned hierarchy begins to develop which has the
effect of protecting these intrinsic variables from serious disturbance.
This is because any persistent error in the intrinsic systems brings about
reorganization of the learned hierarchy until persistent error is abolished.

You gave pain as an example of a punisher -- isn't that an intensity-level
perception?

Yes. It is probably related to some intrinsic quantity associated with
tissue damage or similar problems. Of course being a sensory perception, it
belongs in the learned hierarchy of control systems, not with the
reorganizing system. The intrinsic quantities controlled by the
reorganizing system are not sensory perceptions accessible to the learned
hierarchy or awareness. When I said "pain" in this context, I should have
made it plain that I meant the underlying tissue damage or other physical
condition that underlies conscious pain signals in the hierarchy.

The intrinsic systems, then, are separate from the perceptual hierarchy,
although changes in the values of intrinsic variables can give rise to
collateral changes in perceptions, as when tissue damage gives rise to pain.
However, the reorganizing system has access to the error signals (or to
variables representing a leaky time-integral of those signals), and somehow
brings about random changes in the learned hierarchy of control systems.
Because the rate of those changes is proportional to the magnitude of
persistent error, the system tends to stick with those alterations that best
minimize the level of persistent error in the intrinsics.

Actually I have
previously offered the definition of punishment as any consequence of
behavior that increases intrinsic error.

O.K., then that hasn't changed. I would define it in the same way except
that I would delete the word "intrinsic."

Do you believe that intrinsic quantities as I define them are accessible to
the behavioral hierarchy? I don't. I use the term "intrinsic" to
distinguish innate, unlearned control systems from those that are acquired
through interaction with the world, and that are exclusively concerned with
controlling the state of the organism's physiological systems instead of
the state of the world outside.

You've made that clear. So in your view, punishment (which appears to
provide an occasion for reorganization) must disturb an intrinsic variable
(else, no reorganization).

This still requires some explication. Saying that fear is an emotion leaves
unexplained what an emotion is, in PCT.

I have published a long and detailed account of my theory of emotion and
how it fits in with the hierarchy of control. Look it up in LCS II.

O.K., I'll look it up.

Is fear a reference signal? If so,
what is the controlled variable? How does memory of pain evoke fear?

Fear is (proposed to be) a perception with two components: one concerning
the goal of behavior (known through imagination) and one representing the
physiological state of the organism. This is how I explain most negative
emotions. The specific goal involved with fear is the desire to escape or
avoid something (reference level of zero); the somatic component is the
same configuration of bodily signals that accompanies several other
emotions, such as anger.

Guess I'm going to have to review B:CP again; I seem to have forgotten some
things (or misremembered them). I'm not sure how, in your view, reference
signals become perceptions through imagination . . .

So some imagined perceptions are capable of arousing emotions and others are
not. Whether they do or not depends in some unexplained way (within PCT) on
prior experience and belief.

No. Perceptions do not arouse emotions in my theory, just as they do not
cause actions in my theory. Emotions accompany all error signals of any
appreciable magnitude; their somatic component is how it feel to prepare
for the kind of action that goes with the kind of error that exists.
Emotions are primarily a product of reference signals and disturbances;
they are part of the output hierarchy. I can't explain all this in a
paragraph or two -- read LCS II.

So emotions are control-system outputs which appear when appreciable error
occurs in any control system within the behavioral hierarchy. I can see how
this might fit the negative emotions but I'm having a hard time seeing how
it would fit the positive ones. I've heard love described as a
many-splendored thing, but never as a product of appreciable error! I know,
read LCS II.

That would be my view, too. But I don't see that it connects in any
particular way to PCT. How is a control system "convinced"?

Are you asking me for a model of what happens when a person becomes
convinced of something, or are you just expressing doubt of its connection
with PCT?

The latter. Your explanation rings true with me because it is consistent
with my experience. It's O.K. if it was not derived from PCT, but if it
was, I'd like to know the reasoning. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether
you are reasoning from PCT principles or appealing to processes currently
outside the ken of the theory.

Regards,

Bruce