September, 1935: Society Founded

The six founders of the society were (in the order shown from left to right in the picture) 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.

March, 1936: First Issue of Psychometrika

In March 1936, the first Issue of  Psychometrika was published.  The first editors were Paul Horst (shown in picture) and Albert K. Kurtz.  The printer was Dentan Printing Company, in Colorado Springs.  The Editorial Council consisted of L. L. Thurstone (Chair), Paul Horst and Albert K. Kurtz (editors) and Marion W. Richardon (managing editor).

“Paul Horst offered to underwrite the losses of the journal for the first year for up to one-fourth its cost. The example was followed to a lesser extent by Albert K. Kurtz, L. L. Thurstone, Marion W. Richardson and Jack Dunlap. Further pledges of support were received from J. P. Guilford, Harold Gulliksen, G. F. Kuder, Irving Lorge, John Stalnaker and Edward L. Thorndike.” (Horst & Stalnaker, 1986).

September, 1937: Student Membership Introduced

During the September 1937 meeting of the Psychometric Society, student membership was introduced ($3/year versus “regular rate for full membership” of $5/year).

November, 1944: APA Division 4

The Secretary of the American Psychological Association (APA) sent an invitation to the Psychometric Society to become a charter division of the APA. The Psychometric Society decided not to accept the invitation at this time.

August, 1949: First Female President

From 1949 to 1950, Dorothy C. Adkins was the first female President of the Psychometric Society.

December, 1958: First Publication of Business Meeting

In December 1958, the minutes of the Business Meeting of the Psychometric Society were published for the first time.

March, 1962: Incorporation Under the Laws of New Jersey

On March 8 1962, the Psychometric Society became a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey.

June, 1978: First European Meeting

From June 15 until June 17, 1978, the first European Meeting of the Psychometric Society was held at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. At this time, Karl G. Jöreskog was the President (1977-78) and Bengt Muthén and Ami Nicholls were the local organizers. The program was published in Psychometrika (1978, 43(4), 589-597).

July, 1992: First Dissertation Prize

The Psychometric Society Dissertation Prize was introduced. This was done upon a proposal from the Dissertation Award Committee submitted by Howard Wainer at the Business Meeting. The first recipients, in 1993, were Carolyn Anderson, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign (advisor Stanley Wasserman) and Eric Maris, KU Leuven (Advisor Paul De Boeck).

June, 2001: Website Established

“The forming of a central office at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro was announced and Wanda Baker, the central office manager, was thanked for the organization of this year’s annual meeting. He also introduced a new website (http://www.psychometricsociety.org) where members can get updated information such as the minutes from the annual meeting.” (McLeod, L. D. (2001). Minutes of the Psychometric Society Business Meeting, June 23, 2001. Psychometrika, 66(4), 609-610.)

July, 2001: IMPS 2001

IMPS 2001 was the first annual meeting of the Psychometric Society that took place outside North America or Europe and the first meeting to be called “International Meeting of the Psychometric Society”. The 11 previous meetings in Europe had been called “European Meeting of the Psychometric Society,” and they were implicitly relabled by calling IMPS 2001 the 12th “International Meeting of the Psychometric Society.”  See here for a list of all past meetings.

IMPS 2001 was the first Asian meeting and took place at Osaka University, Japan. David Thissen was president, Haruo Yanai and Akinori Okada were chair and vice chair of the organizing committee, Kazuo Shigemasu was chair of the international program committee, and Yutaka Kano was chair of the local arrangements committee.

The picture with the IMPS 2001 sign on the left and Yutaka Kano on the right was taken by David Thissen.

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