A theoretical parallel between cognitive and biological development with potential implications for measurement in psychology

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Abstract

This article identifies a formal parallel between quantitative analysis of cognitive and biological development based on work by Georg Rasch in psychometrics and Julian Huxley in biology. The analysis and synthesis results in an interpretation of the parameters of Rasch's item response model whereby increases in latent cognitive development manifest as exponential increases in performance odds. This relationship directly parallels a relationship between biological development and its manifestation in weight, termed simple allometry. Attainment data analysed by Rasch were shown to exhibit a simple allometry. It is shown that the formal theoretical parallel may have applications for formulating and testing theory regarding cognitive development. Such tests may have implications for establishing a substantive basis for the measurement of cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-438
Number of pages22
JournalTHEORY & PSYCHOLOGY
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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