Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Perceptual Control Theory
Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a systems model for the regulation of actions based on negative feedback loops as used in engineering control theory developed by William T. Powers. The PCT model of behavior is a radical departure from previous theories about why the observed behavior of an individual occurs. The process of perception plays a central role in this theory. Perceptual processes in PCT can be thought of, in some respects, as being the process that monitors the signals being generated about controlled variables. Most controlled variables reside in the environment, that is, events in the environment that are important to an individual, but some reside within the organism, that is, biological variables such as hunger and cognitive variables such as self-image. One is not aware of all perceptual processes as they take place, nor even most of them. Awareness is usually present only when control of a variable ...