The six founders of the society were (in the order shown from
left to right in the picture below) Albert K. Kurtz, Paul
Horst (see also here), L. L. Thurstone (see
also here), John Stalnaker, Marion W.
Richardson and Jack W. Dunlap. The first
organizational meeting of the Psychometric Society took place on
September 4, 1935, at Ann Arbor, Michigan, during the session of
the American Psychological Association.
According to Dunlap (1942), the founders of the society initially
came together, not to start a society but to start the
journal Psychometrika. Paul Horst’s failed attempt
to find a journal devoted to quantitative methods as applied to
education and psychology led him to discuss the matter at length
with Kurtz and to carefully examine the possibility of such a
journal with Thurstone and Richardson in 1933. Dunlap was brought
on board because of his connection with the Journal of
Educational Psychology. In the spring and summer of
1934, Horst, Kurtz, Richardson and Stalnaker worked on details of
the journal such as costs and publishers. Plans by these six men
to start the journal crystallized during the 1934 fall meeting of
the American Psychological Association at Columbia University. At
this meeting, Kurtz began to emphasize that readers of the
journal would be likely to be interested in forming a society.
The next problem was to determine whether other
biometricians, educators, psychologists, and statisticians were
interested in forming such a Society. Thurstone made this
possible by the liberal contribution of not only his own time
and effort but also that of his staff. Through the facilities
at his command, letters of inquiry were sent to a large number
of individuals who, it was thought, might be interested. As a
result of this canvass, invitations were extended to all who
replied to attend the formation of the Society on September 4,
1935, at Ann Arbor, Michigan, during the session of the
American Psychological Association. Temporary officers were
appointed for the Society, and later in the fall a mail ballot
for election of officers was held. Dr. L. L. Thurstone was the
first president, Dr. Paul Horst, the secretary, and the
speaker, the treasurer. (Dunlap 1942)
See the Timeline for events in
the history of the society and 80th Anniversary
Posters about past meetings, past presidents, and notable
papers in Psychometrika.
In 2016, Psychometrika, the flagship journal of the Psychometric
Society, turns 80. Springer, the publisher of Psychometrika,
celebrates this anniversary with this website.
Willem Heiser and Lawrence Hubert chaired Psychometrika
Anniversary Sessions at IMPS 2016 and the papers and slides
prepared by the presenters in these sessions about ten
Psychometrika citation classics are available here (scroll to the “Downloads for
IMPS 2016″ section).
Psychometricians and Past Psychometric Society Officers
- Dunlap, J. W. (1942). The Psychometric Society –
roots and powers. Psychometrika,7(1), 1-8.
- Dunlap, J. W. (1961). Psychometrics – A special
case of the brahman theory. Psychometrika,
- Green, B. F. (1986) (Ed.). 50th Anniversary
Section. Psychometrika, 51(1) 1-68.
- Green, B. F. (1986). Editorial
remarks. Psychometrika, 51(1) 1-2.
- Horst, P., & Stalnaker, J. (1986). Present at the
birth. Psychometrika, 51(1), 3-6.
- Heiser, W. J. & Hubert, L. J. (2016). A Creation Narrative for the Psychometric Society and Psychometrika: In the Beginning There Was Paul Horst
Video lectures on the evolution and
philosophy of psychometrics, presented by Professors Willem
Heiser and Denny Borsboom.
This page is under development. We welcome corrections,
suggestions, and contributions, which can be submitted