The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128189481

The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory

1st Edition

Living Control Systems IV

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Editors: Warren Mansell
Paperback ISBN: 9780128189481
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st June 2020
Page Count: 600
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The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory brings together the latest research, theory, and applications from W. T. Powers’ Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) that proposes that the behavior of a living organism lies in the control of perceived aspects of both itself and its environment. Sections cover theory, the application of PCT to a broad range of disciplines, why perceptual control is fundamental to understanding human nature, a new way to do research on brain processes and behavior, how the role of natural selection in behavior can be demystified, how engineers can emulate human purposeful behavior in robots, and much more.

Each chapter includes an author biography to set the context of their work within the development of PCT.

Key Features

  • Presents case studies that show how PCT can be applied in different disciplines
  • Illustrates the Test for the Controlled Variable (TCV) and the construction of functional models as fruitful alternatives to mainstream experimental design when studying behavior
  • Shows how theory illuminates structure and functions in brain anatomy
  • Compares and contrasts PCT with other contemporary, interdisciplinary theories


Researchers and students in psychology, neuroscience, engineering, sociology, ethology, computer science, evolutionary biology, linguistics, robotics, and artificial intelligence

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: World Class Perspectives on PCT
    2. Understanding Purposeful Systems: Engineering versus Psychological Approaches to Control
    3. The Crisis in Neuroscience
    4. The Phylogeny, Ontogeny, Causation and Function of Regression Periods Explained by Reorganizations of the Hierarchy of Perceptual Control Systems
    5. How the Brain Gets a Roaring Campfire: Structuring for Perceptual Results - Part 1
    6. How the Brain Gets a Roaring Campfire: Input and Output Functions - Part 2
    7. Perceptual Control Theory and the Equilibrium Point Model of Motor Control
    8. Unravelling the Dynamics of Dyadic Interactions: Perceptual Control in Animal Contests
    9. When Causation Does Not Imply Correlation: Robust Violations of the Faithfulness Axiom
    10. A PCT Perspective on Sociology
    11. Perceptual Control in Cooperative Interaction
    12. Language and Thought as the Control of Perception
    13. Perceptions of Control Theory in Organizational Psychology
    14. How and Why We Use Method of Levels Therapy
    15. Robots in the Real World
    16. PCT and Beyond: Toward a Computational Framework for ‘Intelligent’ Systems
    17. Ten Vital Elements of Perceptual Control Theory: Tracing the Pathway from Implicit Influence to Mainstream Science


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2020
1st June 2020
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Warren Mansell

Dr. Mansell has: written over sixty interdisciplinary publications on perceptual control theory, has convened two international conferences on PCT, and hosts a website that has received 32,000 views since its inception in 2009. His work on PCT has appeared on UK national television, in science museums, and online newspaper and magazine articles. He has authored and edited numerous books, including: Coping with Fears and Phobias (2007), A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy (2012), Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy (2015), Oxford Guide to Metaphors in CBT (2010), and The Bluffer’s Guide to Psychology (2006).

Affiliations and Expertise

Reader in Clinical Psychology, School of Health Sciences, Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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