chapter  1
26 Pages

Measurement across physical and behavioral sciences

ByBirgitta Berglund, Giovanni Battista Rossi, Andrew Wallard

Although measurement has been a key factor in the development of modern science, studies on its foundations appeared relatively late, in the second half of the nineteenth century. They concerned, at the same time, both physical and behavioral sciences and they paralleled the constitution of the international system of metrology, with the signing of the Metre Convention. It is important to be aware of such common roots for understanding and putting in the right perspective what happened later, up to the present day. So, a historical overview of these crucial nineteenth century developments is presented in the •rst part of this chapter, up to the division that arose among the two communities-physicists and engineers on the one side, psychological and behavioral scientists on the other-in the •rst part of the twentieth century. With lack of communication such division led to an essentially parallel development on the two sides. Nevertheless, noteworthy developments in measurement science and technology, as well as recent measurement needs emerging in science and society, call for a common effort toward reaching a common view, enabling interdisciplinary collaboration and ensuring a common development. This is the subject of the second part of the chapter. Lastly, in the third and •nal part, new trends are presented and discussed and research needs addressed.