Research Topic

The frontiers between psychological and physical measurement

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About this Research Topic

The state of measurement in psychology and the tenuous links to measurement practices in the physical sciences remain fundamental concerns for the discipline. This research topic aims to bridge the measurement gap between psychological and physical sciences in a manner that is accessible to experts and ...

The state of measurement in psychology and the tenuous links to measurement practices in the physical sciences remain fundamental concerns for the discipline. This research topic aims to bridge the measurement gap between psychological and physical sciences in a manner that is accessible to experts and novices alike.

Bridging this gap requires clarifying the understanding of fundamental measurement concepts. For example: the definition of measurement itself, quantity, magnitude, number, order, ratio, the differing views on the epistemological and ontological bases of measurement, to name but a few.

In addition, the link between these concepts and psychological attributes and phenomena must be made explicit. For example: How and why are the definitions of measurement in psychological and physical sciences different? Are there psychological quantities? How can we scientifically investigate psychological quantities? How do we measure psychological quantities? Are there fundamental differences between psychology and physics that may preclude measurement? If all we have is order in psychology, what does this mean?

The topic will showcase empirical research that is explicitly concerned with bridging this measurement gap, particularly in a way that is accessible to applied researchers. This should not be seen as a discouragement of formal rigour, but such rigour should be grounded in actual psychological theory.

Overall, this research topic will be an outlet for research that you rarely see in mainstream psychometric journals. Its raison d'être is to fundamentally question current theory and practices in psychometrics, to expose and examine alternative views and methods, and to further promote the exploration of the frontiers between psychological and physical measurement.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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