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New Book Featuring Perpetual Control Theory Explains How People Behave the Way They Do.

Theory sheds new light on management, conflict, psychotherapy, law, evolution, and more

HAYWARD, Calif., Dec. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the publisher of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Approaches to a Science of Life: Word Pictures versus Working Models, while psychology is thought of as a "soft" science, now it has as solid a basis as physics and chemistry. The ramifications of the new theory are profound and far-reaching, similar to the revolution in astronomy when the technically correct explanation of the solar system was understood and accepted in the 1600s, or the way the discovery of oxygen eliminated the notion of phlogiston in chemistry. Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) transforms our understanding, turning much of what we think we know on its head, but turns out to make sense and be eminently practical when put to use.

The new book introduces PCT, the first-ever comprehensive, technically sound, demonstrable and testable explanation for behavior: what it is, how it works, what it accomplishes. Simply put: All living organisms -- people included -- are control systems, and we act to experience what we want to experience because that is what control systems do. In 500 pages of tightly focused, original correspondence, you travel with Phil Runkel, a wise and witty psychologist, through a process of learning, discovery, and metanoia ("change of mind"), and share in his mentoring by Bill Powers, the originator of this new science. A selection of papers provides additional context.

PCT explains how living things work. On this solid foundation, psychology can be based on clear principles no less reliable than those employed in the physical and engineering sciences. Once you understand PCT, you interpret your experiences in light of the new explanation and your outlook changes.

The editor's preface explains, "Once you have studied this volume and the tutorial programs, it will be clear to you that psychologists have not provided an understanding of individuals. You realize that other disciplines which deal with the makeup of individuals and their interactions, such as management, sociology, education, economics, and neurology, suffer due to this lack of understanding ... Anyone who chooses to study PCT will understand psychology as well as, or better than, existing experts do, because as Will Rogers said: It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, its what we know that ain't so."

Frans X. Plooij, Director, International Research-institute on Infant Studies, The Netherlands, comments, "Bill Powers' work in the 20th Century will prove to be as important for the life sciences as Charles Darwin's work in the 19th Century. By the time this notion has become common knowledge, historians of science will be very happy with this correspondence between two giants."

Available worldwide February 1, 2011. Information and excerpts posted at include a letter detailing use in management, psychotherapy, law, higher education and more. Bill Powers is available for interviews. Review copies available upon request.

Contact: Dag Forssell, +1 510 727-0377,

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SOURCE Living Control Systems Publishing
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 30, 2010
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