In People as Living Things, Runkel writes
extensively on management issues in the first several chapters
of PART VII, The Social Order.
Personnel Management, Jim Soldani reports on results
from applying PCT.
See also Management
and Leadership: Insight for Effective Practice by
Discussing my first draft of this web page, Phil Runkel
wrote me: "PCT asserts principles about living creatures
and about the process of life. It applies not only to psychology,
but to any ology dealing with life: physiology,
neurology, medicine, etc. And it also applies to any endeavor
to profit from knowledge about how living things function: sociology,
anthropology, politics, counseling and psychiatry, education,
etc. (Part of the etc is my own field of social
psychology.) And it applies to any field that mimics living
things, such as robotics. We could call MOL an application to
counseling, psychiatry, psychology, schooling, etc.
In The Myth of the Madding Crowd, Clark McPhail debunks old ideas about crowd mentality and introduces PCT to explain how action by individuals add up to group behavior.
17 sociologists have collaborated on a volume entitled Purpose,
Meaning and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology
Edited by Kent McClelland and Thomas J. Fararo. New York: Palgrave
Macmillan. Here is an excerpt from the
In The Death of Jeffrey Stapleton, Hugh Gibbons introduces PCT and uses it to explain a case. At his website, biologyoflaw.org, Gibbons explores the universal underpinnigs of law, explaining the underpinnings of will, intent, in terms of PCT.
Control theory has been discussed among psychologists ever
since Norbert Wiener introduced cybernetics in the 1940s. Unfortunately
some representations have been so unworkable that it has gotten
a bad reputation among many psychologists, while some have become
enthusiastic advocates of the one version that works: PCT. Here
is one carefully reasoned account of the place of control-theoretic
thinking in psychology by Jeffrey B. Vancouver (2005). The
Depth of History and Explanation as Benefit and Bane for Psychological
Control Theories. Journal of Applied Psychology,
A recent application of PCT to psychiatric
problems is spelled out in this work by Warren Mansell (2005):
Theory and psychopathology: An integrative approach.
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice,
Volume 78, Number 2, June 2005, pp. 141-178(38)
Resolving psychological distress
Using the Method Of Levels, MOL, a helper does not act as an expert and offers
no advice, but merely encourages the helpee to think about his or her topic from
above, a higher level, which often leads to insight and the resolution of inner
conflicts. See The Method of Levels
and Chapter 30 in People as Living
Control in the Classroom, by Timothy A. Carey introduces PCT in an easy to read style and provides teachers insight into the hows and whys of their students motivation.
Runkel writes extensively about schooling and education in chapters 37
and 38 of People as Living Things.
Chapter 39 deals with the school "discipline"
program Responsible Thinking,
RTP, created by Ed Ford.
Recent papers that apply to education, parenting,
interpersonal relations, and clinical diagnosis and intervention
by Timothy A. Carey and W. Thomas Bourbon are (2004): Countercontrol:
A new look at some old problems."
Intervention in School and Clinic, Volume 40, Number 1, September
2004, pp. 3-9., (2005): Countercontrol:
What do the children say? School Psychology International,
26(5), 595-615. and (In press, 2006): Is countercontrol
the key to understanding chronic behavior problems?
Countercontrol, first mentioned by B. F. Skinner, is a significant
problem in schools and life. It is readily understood from a
In The Dilemma of Enquiry and Learning, Hugh G. Petrie resolves Plato’s dilemma by reasoning based on PCT.
In the anthology Ways of Learning and Knowing, you can benefit from Hugh G. Petrie's life-long contributions to education in a series of papers and chapters, all based on PCT.
Yong Zhao and Gary Cziko discuss teachers as purposeful individuals and explain how their personal hierarchy of goals and references affect their adoption of technology in the classroom in Teacher adoption of technology: A perceptual control theory perspective. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 5-30 (2001).
In chapter 28, The social environment,
Runkel writes about how oral communication works, interpersonal conflict, cooperation
and competition, resolving conflict, trust and cooperation, and love. Freedom
From Stress by Ed Ford is an early work introducing and using PCT
Frans Plooij has reported on the mental growth and development
of infants from birth through the first 18 months of life using
the framework of PCT. See The
Wonder Weeks at this site and for much more detail comprehensive presentation at www.thewonderweeks.com.
Since PCT reverse engineers people, it follows that it provides insight into
how to design robots. See the BYTE articles
listed here and Richard Kennaway's
website, where he reports on robot designs. The Little Man, Arm with 14 degrees of freedom and
Inverse Pendulum, listed among PCT Tutorials and Simulations are also relevant
PCT is what Cybernetics would have been if people involved in Cybernetics
had understood how control works. See Comment
by Mary and papers on The Wiener Feedback ModelA Strategic Error,
The Cybernetic Revolution in Psychology, A Cybernetic Model for Research
in Human Development, and Control Theory and Cybernetics, all reproduced
in Living Control Systems and Living Control Systems II. See also Underpinnings of PCT; Systems Theory and PCT.
Artificial Intelligence & Philosophy: The Frame Problem
A PCT Approach
to the Frame Problem by Erling Jorgensen. The perspective
and result compared to the definition below is dramatically
different. The Frame Problem simply vanishes.
Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides a definition of
the Frame Problem:
To most AI researchers, the frame problem is the challenge of
representing the effects of action in logic without having to
represent expicitly a large number of intuitively obvious non-effects.
To many philosophers, the AI researchers' frame problem is suggestive
of a wider epistemological issue, namely whether it is possible,
in principle, to limit the scope of the reasoning required to
derive the consequences of an action.
Gary Cziko has written two works on evolution where he argues that in order to understand the evolution of adaptive behavior, one must understand that perceptual control systems and reference levels evolve, not specific behaviors as generally believed in ethology and evolutionary psychology. See: Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution and The Things We Do: Using the Insights of Bernard and Darwin to Understand the What, How and Why of Behavior.