Causal complexity and psychological measurement

Philosophical Psychology (forthcoming)
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Psychological measurement has received strong criticism throughout the history of psychological science. Nevertheless, measurements of attributes such as emotions or intelligence continue to be widely used in research and society. I address this puzzle by presenting a new causal perspective to psychological measurement. I start with assumptions that both critics and proponents of psychological measurement are likely to accept: a minimal causal condition and the observation that most psychological concepts are ill-defined or ambiguous. Based on this, I argue that psychological measurement is fundamentally different from measurement in the physical sciences but can nevertheless be useful.



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