What Has Psychometry To Do With Standardized Learning Measurements

The first entry of, “A Nation STILL At Risk,” series by Bruce Kendall, Founder of The Afterclap

I believe that to understand a subject; its history is as important and sometimes more important than its immediate description. And the origin of the word Psychometry and its use in published literature tells part of its history.

Psychometryis pronounced as [ sahy-kom-i-tree ] and defined as; “the alleged art or faculty of divining facts concerning an object or a person associated with it, by contact with or proximity to the object.” [1]

And first recorded 1850-55 by combining the words psycho- + -metry, from the Greek meaning (breath, spirit, soul, mind) plus (action or process of measuring).

The earliest use listed was by the author, Swami Panchadasi in the book, Clairvoyance and Occult Powers Circa 1916, and included the five following quotes:

1. “In Psychometry some object is used in order to bring the occulist “en rapport” with the person or thing associated with it.”

2. “In this phase of psychometry, all that is needed is a piece of the coal, mineral or metal which has come from the mine.”

3. “Psychometry develops the occultist for still higher clairvoyant powers.”

4. “The above incident is typical of this class of psychometry, and many persons have had at least flashes of this phase of the power.”

5. “The following examples will give a good idea of the Denton experiments, which are typical of this class of psychometry.”

The other definition was “Psychology. psychometrics[2]

Psychometrics, pronounced [ sahy-kuh-me-triks ], is defined as “the measurement of mental traits, abilities, and processes.” [2]

Also first recorded circa 1850–55; by combining psycho- and -metrics “the science of measuring” [3]

It is also defined as psychometry.

Which circles back to where we started. The word psychometrician is tied into education learning assessments, pronounced [sahy-kom-i-trish-uhn], derived from psychometry. [1]

Psychometricians use “Psychometrics…a field of study within psychology concerned with the theory and technique of measurement…concerned with the objective measurement of latent constructs that cannot be directly observed. Examples of latent constructs include intelligence, introversion, mental disorders, and educational achievement.” [4]

According to Wikipedia [4], The Historical foundation for Psychological testing comes from two streams of thought: Victorian and German. Standardized testing comes from the German stream of thought.

And how did early literature use the word psychometric:

1. “Then there is the psychometric doctor, who cures by spirits.” From As A Chinaman Saw Us: Passages from his Letters to a Friend at Home by Anonymous circa 1916 Copyright, 1904, by D. Appleton and Company

2. “I make use of a material which, at first glance, may be confused with psychometric material.” From The Montessori Method Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in ‘The Children’s Houses’ with Additions and Revisions by the Author by Maria Montessori, Translated from The Italian by Anne E. George, With An Introduction by Professor Henry W. Holmes of Harvard University.  Copyright, 1912, by Frederick A. Stokes Company Page 168.

3. “These are not psychometric forecasts, but rational inferences, from our increasing rate of progress.” Buchanan’s Journal of Man, January 1888 Volume 1, Number 12 Various in “Twentieth Century Science, Dawning at the end of the Nineteenth.”

4. “The letter is a very good connecting medium in psychometric experiments.” From Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by Swami Panchadasi circa 1916

5. “Nothing had occurred to her father, and the appearance may be adequately accounted for on psychometric grounds.” From Studies in the Out-Lying Fields of Psychic Science by Hudson Tuttle, Copyright by Hudson Tuttle, 1889.

Until and just past the turn of the 19th century, the science that developed into standardized learning measurements at least partially focused on Psychic Science, Clairvoyance, and Occult powers, when I return to this again in the early 20th century, we will discover the changes in science leading into the 21st century.

Dear reader, I hope you will consider making positive suggestions to help. The Afterclap’s goal for 2022 is to flesh out, A Nation “STILL” At Risk. And the work we do is not about me. It is about all of us. 


Bruce Kendall


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Email: theafterclap@bkendall527


[1] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/psychometry

[2] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/psychometrics

[3] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/metrics

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychometrics 2022 0214

[5] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/psychometric


// Youtube What is Psychometrician? || PSYCHOMETRICIAN REVIEWER by Racy Rosyn

//  https://proftesting.com/test_topics/pdfs/psychometrician.pdf What is a Psychometrician?

//   https://bestaccreditedcolleges.org/articles/psychometrician-job-duties-and-requirements.html  Psychometrician: Job Duties and Requirements Oct 20, 2021

//  https://www.organizationalpsychologydegrees.com/faq/what-is-a-psychometrician/ What is a Psychometrician?

//  https://psychologydictionary.org/psychometrician/  PSYCHOMETRICIAN By N., Sam M.S. April 28, 2013, in PsychologyDictionary.org

// Home » Beyond Words » Psychometricians: What They Are and What They Do https://www.altalang.com/beyond-words/psychometricians-what-they-are-and-what-they-do/

// https://www.wordnik.com/words/psychometrician