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Historiometry measures the number of references to great people and discoveries in relatively neutral texts in an attempt to quantify human progress.

Sir Francis Galton popularized Historiometry in his 1869 work, Hereditary Genius.

Historiometry is currently defined by Dean Keith Simonton as: a quantitative method of statistical analysis for retrospective data. In Simonton's work the raw data comes from psychometric assessment of world-famous personalities, most of whom are deceased, in an attempt to assess creativity, genius and talent development.

Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment is the most extensive compilation of this approach to quantify the impact of individuals on technology, science and the arts. It tracks the most important achievements across time, and for the different peoples of the world, and provides a thorough discussion of the methodology used, together with an assessment of its reliability and accuracy.

See also



  • Charles Murray Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences 800 B.C to 1950 HarperCollins (2003) ISBN 006019247X.