Why Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores?

In summary, the conversation discusses the book "Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores" published in 1968 by Lord and Novick. The use of the adjective "statistical" in the title is questioned, as it suggests that the theories mentioned are not psychological but purely mathematical. The conversation also draws a comparison to Newton's "Principia Mathematica" and the importance of his research despite not fully understanding the underlying concepts. The importance of the research presented in "Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores" is also debated.
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In 1968, Lord and Novick published a book called Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores. I wonder why they used the adjective 'statistical'. Does this suggest that the theories mentioned are not psychological theories and, if so, what could be the meaning of such theories?
In 1968, Lord and Novick published a book called Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores. I wonder why they used the adjective 'statistical'. Does this suggest that the theories mentioned are not psychological theories and, if so, what could be the meaning of such theories? Should these theories be regarded as a stepping stone to psychological theories? It almost resembles Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Loosely translated, his book could also have been called A Mathematical Theory of Physical Measurements, which would suggest that the theory proposed is not physical, but purely mathematical. Which would also be somewhat true, because Newton had no idea what gravity actually was. He also didn't know why his so-called three laws of nature worked. Yet no one doubts the importance of his research. In the case of the book Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores, the importance of that research seems less clear.

Literature

Lord, F. M., and Novick, M. R. (1968). Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores. Addison Wesley.
 
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  • #2
Have you read the book? Did the authors discuss their choice of title in the book? If not, then it will be next to impossible for anyone else to divine what they intended by their word choice.
 
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  • #3
Yes, I've read most of the book and have since developed my own statistical theory for response times to simple mental tasks. I didn't think Lord and Novick mentioned anywhere in the book why they used the adjective 'statistical'.
 
  • #4
If the authors didn't say, then anyone would just be guessing, and I think you probably have a better basis on which to guess than anyone else here would. You should just go with your impression.
 
  • #5
I took a quick look. It's filled with statistcs and statistical techniques.
 

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