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Historiometry (or historiometrics) is a specialized but broadly applicable technique for the scientific study of highly eminent achievers. Unlike psychobiography and psychohistory, with which it is sometimes confused, historiometry applies quantitative techniques (measurement and statistical analyses) to large samples of famous persons to test nomothetic hypotheses about the causal factors behind exceptional achievement. For example, many historiometric studies have addressed the question of the association between general intelligence and achieved eminence. In contrast, psychobiography and psychohistory tend to scrutinize single cases using qualitative (narrative and interpretive) methods with the aim of explaining highly idiosyncratic events. For instance, psychobiographers have often tried to understand why Vincent Van Gogh cut off part of his ear. This question, though fascinating, sheds little light on the general nature of ...

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