chapter  7
32 Pages

The prospects for measurement in inŒnite-dimensional psychological spaces: Modern notions for geometric person measurements in Œnite and inŒnite dimensional spaces

ByJames T. Townsend, Devin Burns, Lei Pei

This chapter is about certain spatial types of measurement of people, as carried out in the social and biological sciences. The global issue for us is perceptual classi•cation and we specialize on spatial, for instance, geometric or topological, aspects. We offer more detail below, but for now, we simply note that classi•cation is the assignment of an object, typically presented to one or more of our sensory modalities, to one of some number (perhaps in•nite!) of classes or designated sets, often names. Because in general terms, this is neither more nor less than a function or mapping of a set of things (stimuli, memories, etc.) into another (the names or classi•cations), this makes this concept extremely broad. Thus, classi•cation covers many speci•c activities of psychological interest. Some important ones are the following:

1. A famous form of classi•cation is that of categorization, where a bunch of objects is partitioned so that each object is separately assigned to a single (typically) unique category. There are many kinds of categorization but one of special importance is usually given its own title.