Back to the future of quantitative psychology and measurement: Psychometrics in the twenty-first century

Pietro Cipresso, Jason C. Immekus

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

7 Citazioni (Scopus)


Measurements in psychology always have been a significant challenge. Research in quantitative psychology has developed several methods and techniques to improve our understanding of humans. Over the last few decades, the rapid advancement of technology had led to more extensive study of human cognition, including both the emotional and behavioral aspects. Psychometric methods have integrated very advanced mathematical and statistical techniques into the analyses, and in our Frontiers Specialty (Quantitative Psychology and Measurement), we have stressed the methodological dimension of the best practice in psychology. The long tradition of using self-reported questionnaires is still of high interest, but it is not enough in the twenty-first century. We stress the use of innovative methods and technologies as psychometric tools. One of the most significant challenges in quantitative psychology and measurement concerns the integration of technologies and computational techniques into current standards. In the following, our aim is to show how data collection can involve human behavior, internal states and the manipulation of experimental settings. In particular, we define typical psychophysiological measures for a deeper understanding of internal states-analyzing the central and peripheral nervous system, hormonal factors in the endocrine system and the fascinating field of gene transcription in human neuroscience. These factors represent the measurement of the "internal" sphere that is becoming so interesting for measurement in all the field of psychology, including social and affective science, not only in the cognitive sciences. The idea to read internal states has always been very clear in clinical and experimental psychology, but now is becoming even more widespread. This is thanks to the improvements in technologies and lower costs. Next, we highlight the measurement of the exhibited behavior patterns representing the "external" sphere of human thinking through expressed behavior. Again, technology is a critical aspect shedding new light on the field. The use of low-cost and high-end technologies for understanding verbal and nonverbal patterns is helping to identify innovative ways to measure the psychological factors leading to a behavior. They can be considered a new challenge of behavioral science, e.g., the use of commercial devices (such as the Kinect) in motor and cognitive neurorehabilitation. Linked to psychophysiology and exhibited behavior patterns, virtual reality is becoming a cutting-edge tool for experimental manipulation, building personalized experimental settings, but found in a laboratory. We define and highlight the use of virtual reality in psychology as an incredible low-cost tool collecting data and creating realistic situations that can be used for clinical, experimental, social settings among others, and so of keen interest in several psychology fields. In conclusion, we present new methods and techniques already used in other fields, but incredibly expanding also in psychology and psychometrics. Computational science, complex networks, and simulations, are highlighted as the promising new methods for the best convergence of psychological science and technologies. These have ability to create innovative tools for better comprehension and a quantitative measurement in psychology.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2099-N/A
RivistaFrontiers in Psychology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Computational psychometrics
  • Mathematical psychology
  • Measurement
  • Psychology (all)
  • Psychometrics
  • Quantitative psychology

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