Quantitative psychology is a field of scientific study that focuses on the mathematical modeling, research design and methodology, statistical analysis of human or animal psychological processes. It includes other devices for measuring human abilities. Quantitative psychologists develop and analyze a wide variety of research methods, including those of psychometrics, a field concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Psychologists have long contributed to statistical and mathematical analysis, quantitative psychology is now a specialty recognized by the American Psychological Association. Doctoral degrees are awarded in this field in a number of universities in Europe and North America, quantitative psychologists have been in high demand in industry and academia, their training in both social science and quantitative methodology provides a unique skill set for solving both applied and theoretical problems in a variety of areas. Quantitative psychology has its roots in early experimental psychology when, in the nineteenth century, the scientific method was first systematically applied to psychological phenomena.
Notable contributions included E. H. Weber's studies of tactile sensitivity, Fechner's development and use of the psychophysical methods, Helmholtz's research on vision and audition beginning after 1850. Wilhelm Wundt is called the "founder of experimental psychology", because he called himself a psychologist and opened a psychological laboratory in 1879 where many researchers came to study; the work of these and many others helped put to rest the assertion, by theorists such as Immanuel Kant, that psychology could not become a science because precise experiments on the human mind were impossible. Intelligence testing has long been an important branch of quantitative psychology; the nineteenth-century English statistician Francis Galton, a pioneer in psychometrics, was the first to create a standardized test of intelligence, he was among the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and their inheritance. He came to believe that intelligence is determined by heredity, he hypothesized that other measures such as the speed of reflexes, muscle strength, head size are correlated with intelligence.
He established the world's first mental testing center in 1882 in the following year he published his observations and theories in "Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development". Statistical methods are the quantitative tools most used by psychologists. Pearson introduced the chi-squared test; the 1900–1920 period saw the t-test, the ANOVA and a non-parametric correlation coefficient. A large number of tests were developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Popular techniques are recent. In 1946, psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens organized levels of measurement into four scales: Nominal, Ordinal and Interval in a paper, still cited. Jacob Cohen, a New York University professor of psychology, analyzed quantitative methods involving statistical power and effect size, which helped to lay foundations for current statistical meta-analysis and the methods of estimation statistics, he gave his name to Cohen's kappa and Cohen's d. In 1990, an influential paper titled "Graduate Training in Statistics and Measurement in Psychology" was published in the American Psychologist journal.
This article discussed the need for increased and up-to-date training in quantitative methods for psychology graduate programs in the United States. Training for quantitative psychology can begin informally at the undergraduate level. Many graduate schools recommend that students have some coursework in psychology and complete the full college sequence of calculus and a course in linear algebra. Quantitative coursework in other fields such as economics and research methods and statistics courses for psychology majors are helpful. However, students without all these courses have been accepted if other aspects of their application show promise; some schools offer formal minors in areas related to quantitative psychology. For example, the University of Kansas offers a minor in "Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology" that provides advanced training in research methodology, applied data analysis, practical research experience relevant to quantitative psychology. Coursework in computer science is useful.
Mastery of an object-oriented programming language or learning to write code in SPSS or R is useful for the type of data analysis performed in graduate school. Quantitative psychologists may possess a master's degree. Due to its interdisciplinary nature and depending on the research focus of the university, these programs may be housed in a school's college of education or in their psychology department. Programs that focus in educational research and psychometrics are part of education or educational psychology departments; these programs may therefore have different names mentioning "research methods" or "quantitative methods", such as the "Research and Evaluation Methodology" Ph. D from the University of Florida or the "Quantitative Methods" degree at the University of Pennsylvania. However, some universities may have separate programs in their two colleges. For example, the University of Washington has a "Quantitative psychology" degree in their psychology department and a separate "Measurement & Statistics" Ph.
D in their college of education. Oth
Experimental psychology refers to work done by those who apply experimental methods to psychological study and the processes that underlie it. Experimental psychologists employ human participants and animal subjects to study a great many topics, including sensation & perception, cognition, motivation, emotion. Experimental psychology emerged as a modern academic discipline in the 19th century when Wilhelm Wundt introduced a mathematical and experimental approach to the field. Wundt founded the first psychology laboratory in Germany. Other experimental psychologists, including Hermann Ebbinghaus and Edward Titchener, included introspection among their experimental methods. Charles Bell was a British physiologist, whose main contribution was research involving the nervous system, he wrote a pamphlet summarizing his research on rabbits. His research concluded that sensory nerves enter at the posterior roots of the spinal cord and motor nerves emerge from the anterior roots of the spinal cord. Eleven years a French physiologist Francois Magendie published the same findings without being aware of Bell’s research.
Due to Bell not publishing his research, the discovery was called the Bell-Magendie law. Bell's discovery disproved the belief that nerves transmitted either spirits. Weber was a German physician, credited with being one of the founders of experimental psychology, his main interests were the sense of touch and kinesthesis. His most memorable contribution is the suggestion that judgments of sensory differences are relative and not absolute; this relativity is expressed in "Weber's Law," which suggests that the just-noticeable difference, or jnd is a constant proportion of the ongoing stimulus level. Weber's Law is stated as an equation: Δ I I = k, where I is the original intensity of stimulation, Δ I is the addition to it required for the difference to be perceived, k is a constant. Thus, for k to remain constant, Δ I must rise as I increases. Weber’s law is considered the first quantitative law in the history of psychology. Fechner published in 1860 what is considered to be the first work of experimental psychology, "Elemente der Psychophysik."
Some historians date the beginning of experimental psychology from the publication of "Elemente." Weber was not a psychologist, it was Fechner who realized the importance of Weber’s research to psychology. Fechner was profoundly interested in establishing a scientific study of the mind-body relationship, which became known as psychophysics. Much of Fechner's research focused on the measurement of psychophysical thresholds and just-noticeable differences, he invented the psychophysical method of limits, the method of constant stimuli, the method of adjustment, which are still in use. Oswald Külpe is the main founder of the Würzburg School in Germany, he was a pupil of Wilhelm Wundt for about twelve years. Unlike Wundt, Külpe believed. In 1883 he wrote Grundriss der Psychologie, which had scientific facts and no mention of thought; the lack of thought in his book is odd because the Würzburg School put a lot of emphasis on mental set and imageless thought. The work of the Würzburg School was a milestone in the development of experimental psychology.
The School was founded by a group of psychologists led by Oswald Külpe, it provided an alternative to the structuralism of Edward Titchener and Wilhelm Wundt. Those in the School focused on mental operations such as mental set and imageless thought. Mental set affects problem solving without the awareness of the individual. According to Külpe, imageless thought consists of pure mental acts that do not involve mental images. An example of mental set was provided by William Bryan, an American student working in Külpe’s laboratory. Bryan presented subjects with cards; the subjects were told to attend to the syllables, in consequence they did not remember the colors of the nonsense syllables. Such results made people question the validity of introspection as a research tool, led to a decline of voluntarism and structuralism; the work of the Würzburg School influenced many Gestalt psychologists, including Max Wertheimer. Experimental psychology was introduced into the United States by George Trumbull Ladd, who founded Yale University's psychological laboratory in 1879.
In 1887, Ladd published Elements of Physiological Psychology, the first American textbook that extensively discussed experimental psychology. Between Ladd's founding of the Yale Laboratory and his textbook, the center of experimental psychology in the US shifted to Johns Hopkins University, where George Hall and Charles Sanders Peirce were extending and qualifying Wundt's work. With his student Joseph Jastrow, Charles S. Peirce randomly assigned volunteers to a blinded, repeated-measures design to evaluate their ability to discriminate weights. Peirce's experiment inspired other researchers in psychology and education, which developed a research tradition of randomized experiments in laboratories and specialized textbooks in the 1800s; the Peirce–Jastrow experiments were conducted as part of Peirce's pragmatic program to understand human perception. While Peirce was making advance
Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought, it is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties; as a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors. Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, attention, intelligence, motivation, brain functioning, personality; this extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, other areas.
Psychologists of diverse orientations consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science" in that medicine tends to draw psychological research via neurology and psychiatry, whereas social sciences most draws directly from sub-disciplines within psychology. While psychological knowledge is applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts psychology aims to benefit society; the majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings.
Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas such as human development and aging, sports and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law. The word psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of soul; the Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century. The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats the Body, Psychology, which treats of the Soul."In 1890, William James defined psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions". This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.
Since James defined it, the term more connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. Folk psychology refers to the understanding of ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals; the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology. In Ancient Egypt the Ebers Papyrus mentioned thought disorders. Historians note that Greek philosophers, including Thales and Aristotle, addressed the workings of the mind; as early as the 4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders had physical rather than supernatural causes. In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of Laozi and Confucius, from the doctrines of Buddhism; this body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power.
An ancient text known as The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin–yang balance, analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi, Liu Zhi, Wang Qingren. Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomnia, advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function. Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by Hinduism. A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher
A test or examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics. A test may be administered verbally, on paper, on a computer, or in a predetermined area that requires a test taker to demonstrate or perform a set of skills. Tests vary in style and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding. A test may be administered informally. An example of an informal test would be a reading test administered by a parent to a child. A formal test might be a final examination administered by a teacher in a classroom or an I. Q. test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing results in a grade or a test score. A test score may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or both; the norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants.
An exam is meant to test a persons willingness to give time to manipulate that subject. A standardized test is any test, administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. Standardized tests are used in education, professional certification, the military, many other fields. A non-standardized test is flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance. Since these tests are developed by individual instructors, the format and difficulty of these tests may not be adopted or used by other instructors or institutions. A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, to provide feedback to students. In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test; the frequency and setting by which a non-standardized tests are administered are variable and are constrained by the duration of the class period.
A class instructor may for example, administer a test on a weekly basis or just twice a semester. Depending on the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period. In contrasts to non-standardized tests, standardized tests are used, fixed in terms of scope and format, are significant in consequences. Standardized tests are held on fixed dates as determined by the test developer, educational institution, or governing body, which may or may not be administered by the instructor, held within the classroom, or constrained by the classroom period. Although there is little variability between different copies of the same type of standardized test, there is variability between different types of standardized tests. Any test with important consequences for the individual test taker is referred to as a high-stakes test. A test may be developed and administered by an instructor, a clinician, a governing body, or a test provider.
In some instances, the developer of the test may not be directly responsible for its administration. For example, Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, develops standardized tests such as the SAT but may not directly be involved in the administration or proctoring of these tests; as with the development and administration of educational tests, the format and level of difficulty of the tests themselves are variable and there is no general consensus or invariable standard for test formats and difficulty. The format and difficulty of the test is dependent upon the educational philosophy of the instructor, subject matter, class size, policy of the educational institution, requirements of accreditation or governing bodies. In general, tests developed and administered by individual instructors are non-standardized whereas tests developed by testing organizations are standardized. Ancient China was the first country in the world that implemented a nationwide standardized test, called the imperial examination.
The main purpose of this examination was to select able candidates for specific governmental positions. The imperial examination was established by the Sui dynasty in 605 AD and was abolished by the Qing dynasty 1300 years in 1905. England had adopted this examination system in 1806 to select specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty's Civil Service, modeled on the Chinese imperial examination; this examination system was applied to education and it started to influence other parts of the world as it became a prominent standard, of delivering standardised tests. As the profession transitioned to the modern mass-education system, the style of examination became fixed, with the stress on standardized papers to be sat by large numbers of students. Leading the way in this regard was the burgeoning Civil Service that began to move toward a meritocratic basis for selection in the mid 19th century in England. British civil service was influenced by the imperial examinations system and meritocratic system of China.
Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, China argued in his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China, published in 1847, that "the long duration of the Chinese empire is and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and me
Mathematical psychology is an approach to psychological research, based on mathematical modeling of perceptual, thought and motor processes, on the establishment of law-like rules that relate quantifiable stimulus characteristics with quantifiable behavior. The mathematical approach is used with the goal of deriving hypotheses that are more exact and thus yield stricter empirical validations. Quantifiable behavior is in practice constituted by task performance; as quantification of behavior is fundamental in this endeavor, the theory of measurement is a central topic in mathematical psychology. Mathematical psychology is therefore related to psychometrics. However, where psychometrics is concerned with individual differences in static variables, mathematical psychology focuses on process models of perceptual and motor processes as inferred from the'average individual'. Furthermore, where psychometrics investigates the stochastic dependence structure between variables as observed in the population, mathematical psychology exclusively focuses on the modeling of data obtained from experimental paradigms and is therefore more related to experimental psychology/cognitive psychology/psychonomics.
Like computational neuroscience and econometrics, mathematical psychology theory uses statistical optimality as a guiding principle, assuming that the human brain has evolved to solve problems in an optimized way. Central themes from cognitive psychology. Mathematical psychologists are active in many fields of psychology in psychophysics and perception, problem solving, decision-making, learning and language, collectively known as cognitive psychology, the quantitative analysis of behavior but e.g. in clinical psychology, social psychology, psychology of music. Mathematical modeling has a long history in psychology starting in the 19th century with Ernst Weber and Gustav Fechner being among the first to apply successful mathematical technique of functional equations from physics to psychological processes, they thereby established the fields of experimental psychology in general, that of psychophysics in particular. Researchers in astronomy in the 19th century were mapping distances between stars by denoting the exact time of a star's passing of a cross-hair on a telescope.
For lack of the automatic registration instruments of the modern era, these time measurements relied on human response speed. It had been noted that there were small systematic differences in the times measured by different astronomers, these were first systematically studied by German astronomer Friedrich Bessel. Bessel constructed personal equations from measurements of basic response speed that would cancel out individual differences from the astronomical calculations. Independently, physicist Hermann von Helmholtz measured reaction times to determine nerve conduction speed; these two lines of work came together in the research of Dutch physiologist F. C. Donders and his student J. J. de Jaager, who recognized the potential of reaction times for more or less objectively quantifying the amount of time elementary mental operations required. Donders envisioned the employment of his mental chronometry to scientifically infer the elements of complex cognitive activity by measurement of simple reaction timeThe first psychological laboratory was established in Germany by Wilhelm Wundt, who amply used Donders' ideas.
However, findings that came from the laboratory were hard to replicate and this was soon attributed to the method of introspection that Wundt introduced. Some of the problems resulted from individual differences in response speed found by astronomers. Although Wundt did not seem to take interest in these individual variations and kept his focus on the study of the general human mind, Wundt's U. S. student James McKeen Cattell was fascinated by these differences and started to work on them during his stay in England. The failure of Wundt's method of introspection led to the rise of different schools of thought. Wundt's laboratory was directed towards conscious human experience, in line with the work of Fechner and Weber on the intensity of stimuli. In the United Kingdom, under the influence of the anthropometric developments led by Francis Galton, interest focussed on individual differences between humans on psychological variables, in line with the work of Bessel. Cattell soon helped laying the foundation of psychometrics.
In the United States, behaviorism arose in opposition to introspectionism and associated reaction-time research, turned the focus of psychological research to learning theory. In Europe introspection survived in Gestalt psychology. Behaviorism dominated American psychology until the end of the Second World War, refrained from inference on mental processes. Formal theories were absent. During the war, developments in engineering, mathematical logic and computability theory, computer science and mathematics, the military need to understand human performance and limitations, brought together experimental psychologists, engineers and economists. Out of this mix of different disciplines mathematical psychology arose; the developments in signal processing, information theory, linear systems and filter theory, game theory, stochastic processes and mathematical logic gained a large influence on psychological thinking. Two seminal papers on learning theory in Psychological Review helped to establish the field
Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. The study of learning processes, from both cognitive and behavioral perspectives, allows researchers to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, motivation, self-regulation, self-concept, as well as their role in learning; the field of educational psychology relies on quantitative methods, including testing and measurement, to enhance educational activities related to instructional design, classroom management, assessment, which serve to facilitate learning processes in various educational settings across the lifespan. Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other disciplines, it is informed by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. It is informed by neuroscience. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education, classroom management, student motivation.
Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational psychology are housed within faculties of education accounting for the lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks; the field of educational psychology involves the study of memory, conceptual processes, individual differences in conceptualizing new strategies for learning processes in humans. Educational psychology has been built upon theories of operant conditioning, structuralism, humanistic psychology, Gestalt psychology, information processing. Educational psychology has seen rapid growth and development as a profession in the last twenty years. School psychology began with the concept of intelligence testing leading to provisions for special education students, who could not follow the regular classroom curriculum in the early part of the 20th century. However, "school psychology" itself has built a new profession based upon the practices and theories of several psychologists among many different fields.
Educational psychologists are working side by side with psychiatrists, social workers, teachers and language therapists, counselors in attempt to understand the questions being raised when combining behavioral and social psychology in the classroom setting. Educational psychology is a new and growing field of study. Though it can date back as early as the days of Plato and Aristotle, it was not identified as a specific practice, it was unknown that everyday teaching and learning in which individuals had to think about individual differences, development, the nature of a subject being taught, problem solving, transfer of learning was the beginning to the field of educational psychology. These topics are important to education and as a result it is important to understanding human cognition and social perception. Educational psychology dates back to the time of Plato. Plato and Aristotle researched individual differences in the field of education, training of the body and the cultivation of psycho-motor skills, the formation of good character, the possibilities and limits of moral education.
Some other educational topics they spoke about were the effects of music and the other arts on the development of individual, role of teacher, the relations between teacher and student. Plato saw knowledge as an innate ability, which evolves through experience and understanding of the world; such a statement has evolved into a continuing argument of nature vs. nurture in understanding conditioning and learning today. Aristotle observed the phenomenon of "association." His four laws of association included succession, contiguity and contrast. His studies facilitated learning processes. John Locke was considered one of the most influential philosophers in post-renaissance Europe in about mid 1600s. Locke was called "Father of English Psychology". One of Locke's most important works was written in 1690, named An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In this essay, he introduced the term "tabula rasa" meaning "blank slate." Locke explained that learning was understood through experience only, we were all born without knowledge.
He followed by contrasting Plato's theory of innate learning processes. Locke believed. Locke introduced this idea as "empiricism," or the understanding that knowledge is only built on knowledge and experience. In the late 1600s, John Locke advanced the hypothesis that people learn from external forces, he believed that the mind was like a blank tablet, that successions of simple impressions give rise to complex ideas through association and reflection. Locke is credited with establishing "empiricism" as a criterion for testing the validity of knowledge, thus providing a conceptual framework for development of experimental methodology in the natural and social sciences. Philosophers of education such as Juan Vives, Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, Johann Herbart had examined and judged the methods of education centuries before the beginnings of psychology in the late 1800s. Juan Vives proposed induction as the method of study and believed in the direct observation and investigation of the study of nature.
His studies focus of humanistic learning, which opposed scholasticism and was influenced by a variety of sources including philosophy, psy