Operationalism and realism in psychometrics

Philosophy Compass 14 (10):e12624 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Psychometrics is one of the main approaches to social scientific measurement. It is relied upon in drug testing, economic policymaking, recruitment, and other decision-making contexts. The first aim of this article is to introduce philosophers to key aspects of psychometrics, namely, classical test theory, item response theory, and construct validity. The second aim is to show how a debate on the nature of psychological attributes manifests in psychometrics. In this debate, realists claim that psychometric measures are indicators of independently existing qualities, while operationalists argue that a measure defines its target attribute. The third and final aim is to argue that despite its poor reputation among philosophers, operationalism is a viable approach to psychometrics.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-09-06

Downloads
94 (#181,377)

6 months
20 (#173,542)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Measurement in Science.Eran Tal - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Valid for What? On the Very Idea of Unconditional Validity.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):151–175.
How the case against empathy overreaches.Riana J. Betzler - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Philosophy of Natural Science.Carl G. Hempel - 1967 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):70-72.
Psychology as the behaviorist views it.John B. Watson - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (2):248-253.
The Mismeasure of Man.Stephen Jay Gould - 1984 - Journal of the History of Biology 17 (1):141-145.
The Mismeasure of Man.Stephen Jay Gould - 1983 - Ethics 94 (1):153-155.

View all 35 references / Add more references