In psychology history (psychology is, of course, the study of the human mind) there hasn’t always been an emphasis on rigorous assessment and evaluation. Psychometrics is a popular psychology specialty, and has become a popular focus for psychology students at the graduate level. In 1879, Sir Francis Galton published an article in which he described an experiment in “mental operations.” The experiment he conducted would later be called “free association,” where he assessed reaction to a list of 75 words. The work of all of these men contributed to the emerging field of psychometrics and planted the seeds that would eventually grow into more specific intelligence testing, personality testing, and vocational testing as well as many other areas of psychological measurement. In recent years, psychometricians are in such high demand they can be found working in industrial and organizational settings performing job analyses and consumer surveys, making hiring determinations, and conducting market research.
According to a recent article in Washington Monthly Magazine, psychometricians (often called “test makers”) are in even higher demand of late, thanks to legislative changes such as the No Child Left Behind Act, which has had a huge impact on education in the United States. Psychometrics is a fast-developing and in-demand field of psychology; if you are interested in learning more about the study of the human mind, perhaps this field is the right one for you. Psychology Careers: Hot Jobs in Psychology It’s an age-old question—why do people do what they do? The key to unraveling the mysteries of the brain may lie in getting better real time data from that cluster of neurons. The smart particles would all contain a standard (but very small) CMOS sensor capable of measuring electrical activity in nearby neurons. This isn’t a technology you’re going to encounter in a year to two, but maybe this kind of implantable data collection will exist by the time you really need it. I hope this doesn’t mean they could start creating technology that allows people to steal information inside my brain. After all, psychology is, typically, about the inner workings of the mind of the individual and how it impacts life and behavior. He developed the idea of measuring human intelligence while studying with Wilhelm Wundt, the founding father of a different branch of psychology known as psychophysics. Career psychologists, these scientists design tests that make an attempt to measure human characteristics.


Psychometricians are highly valued and found in every sector from business to health care to education. Because psychometrics is considered a branch of psychology, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is not an uncommon first step. More testing is required, and there are not enough career psychometricians to fulfill demand. Because of the substantial educational investment, many psychometricians prefer to work in the commercial world where pay is much higher than in government or education. I’m always watching PBS specials on neuro-plasticity, reading books on how the mind works, and following bloggers who test this stuff.
We have effective imaging technologies like functional MRI and positron emission tomography (PET), which can even be used to interact with machines. Rather than design a microscopic battery that would only die after a short time, the researchers envision a piezoelectric material backing the CMOS capable of generating electrical signals from ultrasound waves.
The desire to not just study the inner working of the mind, but to actually measure things like function and intelligence gave rise to the branch of psychology known as psychometrics. Graduate work is in the psychology department, although you will find that many psychometricians also study statistics.
Any psychologist specializing in psychometrics should have no difficulty finding employment.
Psychometricians working in market research, for instance, can earn upwards of $200,000 a year, while those in education may make half that. The process would also work in reverse, allowing the dust to beam data back out via high-frequency sound waves. Psychometric testing is employed now in schools, organizations, businesses, government, the military, and of course in many clinical settings and hospitals.
The entire package would be coated in a polymer, thus making it bio-neutral.Ultrasound would likely be considerably safer than beaming electromagnetic waves back and forth. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis, LLC.


Thurstone, a contemporary of Charles Spearman, developed the idea of comparative judgment (a theoretical approach to measurement). Alfred Binet of France became the first psychologist to apply psychometrics when he was asked to create an intelligence test that would evaluate children. Each package would be little more than a speck 100 micrometers (one-tenth of a millimeter) across, which is why the team decided to call it neural dust. A larger subdural transceiver would send the ultrasound waves to the dust and pick up the return signal. The internal transceiver would be wirelessly connected to an external device on the scalp (again, via ultrasound) that contains data processing hardware, a long range transmitter, storage, and a battery. It would be considerably easier to replace this external transmitter than a thousand microscopic sensors in the brain.Intelligent dust could basically act like an MRI running in your brain all the time. It would enable easy monitoring of neurological activity for the purposes of research and medical monitoring. Maybe we’ll even work out a form of science-fictional telepathy or mind reading with embedded intelligent dust. The scale of interaction could be much greater than current rudimentary methods with the increased resolution provided by thousands of tiny smart particles beaming your brain waves back.If this sounds a little bit like something from the a post-singularity world, you might be right. There are still some problems to be worked out before this technology could become a reality. More powerful antennae would need to be designed on the microscopic scale for the smart dust particles to send and receive ultrasound waves. Increasing the efficiency of transceivers and piezoelectric materials will also be a necessity to avoid the aforementioned brain warming effects. Perhaps most importantly, researchers need to find a safe and effective way to deliver the tiny sensors to the brain.



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