A statement from Michell (Michell, J., “Normal science, pathological science, and psychometrics”, Theory and Psychology, Vol. 10 No. 5, 2000, pp. 639‐67), “psychometrics is a pathology of science”, is contrasted with conventional definitions provided by leading texts. The key to understanding why Michell has made such a statement is bound up in the definition of measurement that characterises quantification of variables within the natural sciences. By describing the key features of quantitative measurement, and contrasting these with current psychometric practice, it is argued that Michell is correct in his assertion. Three avenues of investigation would seem to follow from this position, each of which, it is suggested, will gradually replace current psychometric test theory, principles, and properties. The first attempts to construct variables that can be demonstrated empirically to possess a quantitative structure. The second proceeds on the basis of using qualitative (non‐quantitatively structured) variable structures and procedures. The third, applied numerics, is an applied methodology whose sole aim is pragmatic utility; it is similar in some respects to current psychometric procedures except that “test theory” can be discarded in favour of simpler tests of observational reliability and validity. Examples are presented of what future practice may look like in each of these areas. It is to be hoped that psychometrics begins to concern itself more with the logic of its measurement, rather than the ever‐increasing complexity of its numerical and statistical operations.
Barrett, P. (2003), "Beyond psychometrics: Measurement, non‐quantitative structure, and applied numerics", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 421-439. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940310484026Download as .RIS
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