Historiometrics of creativity: A philosophical critique
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation
EDRS No. ED451235. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (79th, Irvine, CA, April 29-May 2, 1999).
Takes as its data the assumptions, processes of deduction, and data types used in leading publications of historiometric studies of creativity and questions the philosophical assumptions of the historiometrics of creativity from within its own positivist paradigm. Also argues that its conclusions are substantially affirmations of knowledge from other sources. Historiometrics takes the occurrences of eminence as its data and looks at what else was happening at that time and place to explain these occurrences. In practice, historiometricians assess eminence by the amount of space allotted to a person in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and 'Who's Whos.' The differences between the historiometrics and sociometrics of creativity are noted. Asserts that historiometrics is a dubious branch of psychology in that its conclusions are mainly derived from nonhistoriometric psychological findings. Evidence is cited to argue that the statistical results of historiometricians and their processes of interpretation are questionable because of extensive philosophical and methodological weaknesses, some of which are outlined.....