They call me Dr. Marken

[From Rick Marken (930330.1300)]

Ken Hacker [930329] --

In reply to my statement that "Virtually all social and behavioral
science research is based on the assumption that stimulus inputs
cause behavioral outputs -- o = f(i)." Ken says:

How do you define "virtually all" of the
social and behavioral science research? 99%? 95%? 80%? Whatever
sounds good?

I define it as >99%. I was a conventional scientific psychologist for
many years. I even wrote a well - received textbook on research methods
and statistics in experimental psychology that might be in your library
(Methods in experimental psychology, Brooks/Cole, 1981). I think
I'm pretty familiar with the methods and assumptions of scientific
psychology and I've looked at a hell of a lot of the research articles
published in MANY fields -- including perception, physiological, cognitive,
social, developmental, operant behavior, clinical, etc, etc. I think
I have a pretty good idea of what's out there in my field (psychology).
I know that there are many "correlational" studies where the authors
celebrate their undergraduate awareness that "correlation does not
imply causality"; but all this means is that the researcher admits
that a causal relationship between input and output variables is not
established by the results; but the clear implication is that such a
relationship could have been found if the study were (or could be) done
properly -- ie. with the appropriate controls. The causal model is
still assumed to characterize behavior -- even when you methods don't
let you unambiguously determine the causal variable(s).

In my 12+ years as a conventional psychologist I ran across only two
or three experimental research articles that did not assume a lineal
causal model of behavior. These articles were published by W. T. Powers.
I would estimate that I've read well over 1000 social science research
articles. I can think of 3 articles by Powers that described non -
causal model based research. So that means 997/1000 causal based
articles. So my estimate of "virtually" is 99.7%. This is between
the years 1965 to 1979. Since then, Tom Bourbon and I have added
some research papers to the non-lineal causa-based research collection.
So now, out of 1000 research articles you might find only 996 that are
based on a cause effect model; so the "PCT revolution" has brought
"virtually" down to about 99.6%. Were movin' right along.

My point is that many of the paper, articles, and presentations done by
social and behavioral scientists reject the equation
o = f(i).

I'm sure they do; but they still do research as though that assumption
were true. The rejections of the o = f(i) mdel that I have read
are nothing more than verbal shenanigans. Just look at the Karolyans --
a group that ostensibly understands and accepts the basic principles
of the PCT model of behavior. Once they get into the lab it's IV-DV
all the way.

But I would love to have a reference to one or two experimental research
articles that do not assume an underlying lineal causal model -- other
than those done by PCT people, that is.

Why is a predilection for doing experimental research a problem?
Are you not doing experiments?

Experimental research is essential; the IV-DV approach to doing
experiments (which assumes an underlying causal model of behavior)
is NOT the only way to do experiments. Read about "The Test for
Controlled Variables" in BCP. But first read BCP and do some of the
"simple" demo experiments that illustrate what is going on. You
won't understand the Test unless you understand PCT.

I understand and appreciate the point about rejecting the IV-DV
view for all human behaviors, but are there not some questions about
human behavior where they are useful -- if we take causality out of
the assumptions? For example, if I test 2 groups (which I will be
doing in the fall) of students, one with one type of learning
program and one with another, and see what differences there are in
knowledge retention, recall, etc., what is wrong with what I am
doing? The answer is NOTHING is wrong with it if I am simply
comparing retention and recall differences by program differences.

There is certainly nothing morally wrong with it (until you start
applying these statistical results to individual human beings). I
just find studies of this sort (and there are thousands of them
being done all the time) a tragic waste of time, money and intellectual
talent.

I do not believe that I have to attack any perspective to prove my own.
Thus, I am willing to try understanding PCT while I stand neck-deep in
other views of human behavior. The reason is that I don't see the
contradictions that you posit, although I do see that PCT gets at control
where the others neglect it.

This is very humane and decent sounding of you. It's difficult, however,
to say things like "there is no information in controlled perceptions"
without at least implicitly stepping on some toes. But what's wrong
with showing that a perspective is wrong, anyway? Was it wrong for
Galileo to show that Ptolemy was wrong? Was it wrong for Darwin to
show that God was wrong? What's wrong with showing that an idea
is wrong if the idea IS wrong? If you think there is some value to
a "perspective" that we are "attacking" then just defend it; show
that we are wrong. This is not a religious war -- this is how science
works. In fact, PCT WELCOMES attacks -- ie. disciplined attempts to
show that PCT is WRONG. That is why I'm so thrilled that Allan Randall
is trying to show that PCT is wrong about the "no information in
controlled perception" claim.

I think it's a little over-sensitive to feel like someone is "attacking"
you or your ideas when they say that your ideas are wrong -- especially
when they try to provide evidence to back up what they say. I don't feel
attacked by Allan Randall. I feel (very pleasantly) challenged.

That's the nice thing about science. When you have a theory that
happens to be correct (or, at least, more correct than other theories
of the same phenomenon), then there is no threat when people say or
try to demonstrate that your theory (or some claim you make about it)
is wrong. The only people who feel threatened by "attacks" on their
theories are people who 1) MUST be right and/or 2) have nothing but words
to support their theories -- that is, religious people. The Catholic
church felt "attacked" when Galileo SAID that the world was stationary
because this contradicted a theory that HAD TO be right -- a theory that
was backed up only by a bunch of words in an old book. Well, who gives a
flying **** what the stupid book SAYS. The fact is that there is evidence
that the world turns; if the church were really confident about their
theory, they would have been happy to subject it to critical test. But
the only critical test was to see what the book had to say about
this. I'm more interested in what it says in the real book -- the book
of my own experience.

So don't fret about PCT "attacks" on what you hold dear. Just show
us how we're wrong. At the moment there is only one person who seems
to be willing to do this with real demonstrations -- good ol'
Allan Randall. I hope that he continues to attack with a frenzy those
aspects of PCT that he thinks are wrong; it's the only way we can get
things done here in the non-religious world.

Best

Rick

From Ken Hacker [930330]:

Dr. Miller --

Apologies for unwarranted arrogance are just as bad as the arrogance
originally identified. BTW, I was being exceptionally NICE by using
the word arrogance. Other terms were not used when they could have
been.

Rick Marken --

There you go again.

You apply what you know about psychology to all of social science. That
is inane. There are many points of view in social and behavioral sciences
and you continue the fallacy of monolithic sameness for them. It is
not a big lie; it is a HUGE lie!

If you were more secure in what you are doing with PCT, perhaps you would
not have to launch daily attacks on what other people with other
perspectives are doing. What is the strength of PCT -- the limitations of
non-PCT? Or the explanatory value of PCT within itself? I would hope
the latter because I am convinced that much, not all, of the former is
unmitigated bullshit.

Dare I also suggest that the megalomania about Galileo is a distraction
from what PCT is attempting?
Yes, I do dare. Rick, you are not Galileo, you are not Einstein.

99% of the world does not know who you are and probably never will.

(me too -- but I dont pretend).
So can we please get real and drop the delusions?

But I would love to have a reference to one or two experimental research
articles that do not assume an underlying lineal causal model -- other
than those done by PCT people, that is.

Do some literature searching yourself. Look at what social scientists
have done since 1950 and stop lumping them all in one bundle.

.Experimental research is essential; the IV-DV approach to doing
experiments (which assumes an underlying causal model of behavior)
is NOT the only way to do experiments. Read about "The Test for
Controlled Variables" in BCP. But first read BCP and do some of the
"simple" demo experiments that illustrate what is going on. You
won't understand the Test unless you understand PCT.

I fully agree.

There is certainly nothing morally wrong with it (until you start
applying these statistical results to individual human beings). I
just find studies of this sort (and there are thousands of them
being done all the time) a tragic waste of time, money and intellectual
talent.

Translation: Only Marken knows who to do research - c'mon!!
Can we please drop this pretentious bullshit?

This is very humane and decent sounding of you. It's difficult, however,
to say things like "there is no information in controlled perceptions"
without at least implicitly stepping on some toes. But what's wrong
with showing that a perspective is wrong, anyway? Was it wrong for
Galileo to show that Ptolemy was wrong? Was it wrong for Darwin to
show that God was wrong? What's wrong with showing that an idea
is wrong if the idea IS wrong? If you think there is some value to
a "perspective" that we are "attacking" then just defend it; show
that we are wrong. This is not a religious war -- this is how science
works. In fact, PCT WELCOMES attacks -- ie. disciplined attempts to
show that PCT is WRONG. That is why I'm so thrilled that Allan Randall
is trying to show that PCT is wrong about the "no information in
controlled perception" claim.

Henri Poincare (idiot non-PCTer) said, "Science is facts; just as houses
are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not
a house and a collection of facts in not necessarily science."

KEN HACKER