Friday, December 26, 2008

Runkel On Learning

I knew at least peripherally the late Philip J. Runkel, a great but not necessarily well-known social psychologist. Phil and I had corresponded because I was interested in Perceptual Control Theory (PCT)—he was one of the major figures in that 'school' of psychology—and Phil had also studied and respected Korzybski's work. I often dip into Phil's last book now, People As Living Things: The Psychology of Perceptual Control for a measure of both theoretical and practical wisdom. Here's a little quote on learning from that book:
You often hear people talking about learning as if it is something you do in school, or while reading a book, or while the drill sergeant is looking at you, but not otherwise. You hear utterances like, "She just won't learn!" or "He is a slow learner." Well, he may be slow about learning the things you want him to learn, but his neural pulses travel just as fast as anybody elses. (p. 241)

No comments: