Which Science

[From Rick Marken (951205.1000)]

CHUCK TUCKER (951205) --

It [Chuck's favorite method] relieves one of the responsibility of
pretending that anyone can PROVE anything.

I don't think ANY scientific method requires that one pretend that "anyone
can prove anything". Proof is deductive; scientific methods are used to
_test_ inferences. In PCT, scientific methods are use to _test_ inferences
(guesses) about the variables an organism is controlling.

I would also like to point out what I believe to be the most valuable lesson
of Runkel's book which as he states: "Use a method to do what it can do. Do
not try to make it do what it cannot. No one method is good for
everything. But every method is good for doing something worth doing."(186)

Yes. It's a very good point. You understand, of course, that Phil was
referring to the fact that conventinoal behavioral research methods, while
good for something (estimation of population characteristics, for example),
are not good for studying control (purposeful behavior).

BTW, for the first time I had three students this semester who did DEMO1
apparently reading the instructions written by Powers who turned in their
answer sheet with all .0000 correlations. Questions: Are these human beings
behaving as "Living Control Systems" or not?

I assume that the correlation is between handle and disturbance which, if
0.0, implies that the variable influenced by both handle and disturbance is
not under control. So the answer to the question is easy: no, they are
clearly not behaving as living control systems -- at least, not with respect
to that one variable.

Do these results "test" PCT?

Since there is no control going on, the answer is, again, no. PCT is a
model of control (how many times do I have to repeat this? Perhaps if I
could say it in Hebrew -- God's native tongue :wink: --but, unfortunately I
don't speak Hebrew because my parents failed in my religious education) so
it is not really "tested" when there is no control. If the students who got
the 0.0 correlations were found to control _nothing at all_, then I suppose
it would show that PCT does not apply to some people. But I bet you could
find SOME things these students are controlling; they were apparently able to
walk up to the computer and move the handle; sounds like there might be some
controlling going on there. Or you might have a couple of ghouls on your
hands. You get those down there in NC, don't you (Jesse Helms comes to mind)?