Compson, Betty2


This site is primarily concerned with the quantitative analysis of archaeological data, and with cinemetrics, interpreted here as the statistical analysis of quantifiable data descriptive of the structure of film.

My dictionary defines metric as 'quantitative'. When quantitative methods began to be applied in disciplines where they don't always seem naturally at home they can spawn sub-disciplines often titled according to the formula

  Subject abbreviation + metrics

Thus, biometrics embraces the use of statistical methods in biology, econometrics the use of such methods in economics; to these we can add - with varying degrees of obviousness - psychometrics, sociometrics, environmetrics, technometrics, chemometrics, stylometrics, cinemetrics etc.The words can take on a life of their own; on these pages the use of statistical methods in the discipline of interest is what is intended.

The formula above doesn't always work. Quantitative geography is called just that, possibly because 'geometrics' is spoken for. I've seen 'archaeometrics' used to cover statistical applications in archaeology in general, but more usually it's reserved for applications of the physical sciences in archaeology, so quantitative archaeology it is. Medical statistics is an even simpler formulation, hallowed by tradition - medicometrics possibly doesn't do it.

It often useful, though, to avoid a (Subject identifier + Statistics) formulation since this can be conflated with the mere compilation of data, important though this is. The metrics/quantitative formulation usually implies that you are doing something useful with the data. Ideally this involves analysing it with a view to answering some question, or just to see if it has anything useful to tell you. This involves, as far as this site is concerned, statistical analysis - both simple and less so. The more serious bits are concerned with quantitative archaeology and cinemetrics (the justification for this being that they interest me). The less serious bits are obvious.


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