Changing Choices: Psychological Relativity Theory

It is recommended that this psychology textbook would be useful for behavioral, economic and social science students wishing to study psychological relativity theory. Students should have a psychological or econometric or social science background. Some understanding of multidimensional scaling analysis (An Introduction to Psychometric Theory with Applications in R might help with that) and a limited knowledge of mathematics is also expected. However, the more in-depth mathematical sections can be skipped without a significant loss of understanding the material being presented.

The math utilized in the text includes hyperbolic expressions, trigonometric expressions and simple functional expressions and some matrix algebra – all at undergraduate levels. (Students may find review materials in our math section under Precalculus & Trigonometry and Linear Algebra sub-sections.)

The psychological relativity theory textbook is offered as a downloadable PDF file. It was written by Matthijs J. Koornstra and published by the Leiden University Press. It was released in 2007 and spans 515 pages. Koornstra was the senior researcher at the Department of Data Theory in the Faculty of Socail and Behavioural Sciences and was the crown-appointed vice-president of Leiden University. He has held several directoriships and has been working since 2002 as independent research advisor for international organizations including ED, ETSC, OEeD, ECMT, WB, WHO, and WBCSD). He has co-authored or co-edited several books on road safety and has authored or co-authored 120 (as of 2007) scientific articles or reports on data analysis methods, road safety and diverse domains in applied and theoretical psychology.

Rather than try, and perhaps fail, to properly explain the premise of this text; I thought I would include the first few sentences from the Preface.

The title “Changing Choices” of this monograph refers on the one hand to changed choices of geometries for the multidimensional analyses of judgmental and preferential choice data and on the other hand to dynamics of judgmental and preferential choice. This monograph contains a coherent theory of judgment, preference, risk decision, choice conflict and their dynamics.

Printed paperback versions, both new and used, of this textbook are available in the Amazon marketplace. (prices and shipping varied from around $40 to $160 plus shipping when I last checked in early September 2015)

Table of Contents

  1. The Foundation of Choice Theory
    1. Hedonistic roots of choice theory
    2. Expected utility theory and level of aspiration
    3. Foundations of Berlyne and Coombs revisited
    4. Adaptation-level theory and properties for choice theory
    5. Learning theory and properties for choice theory
    6. Hedonic properties and function types of sensation scales
  2. Psychophysical Response and Valence Theory
    1. Psychophysical scaling and response theory
    2. Metric response and monotone valence functions
    3. Metric single-peaked valence functions
    4. Dynamics of judgment and choice
  3. The Geometries of Stimulus and Sensation Spaces
    1. Metric psychological spaces and the stimulus geometry
    2. The relationship between sensation and stimulus geometries
    3. Stevens’ psychophysics and Bower’s stimulus coding theory
  4. The Geometries and Analysis of Response Spaces
    1. Geometric relationships between sensation and response spaces
    2. The involution geometries of open response spaces
    3. Common object and individual response spaces
  5. Valence Space Geometries and Preference Analysis
    1. Weighted involution geometries of monotone valence spaces
    2. Open-hyperbolic or -Finsler geometries of single-peaked valence spaces
    3. Open Finsler geometries of mixed valence spaces
    4. Appropriate multidimensional analyses of preferences
  6. Measurement-Theoretic Implications
    1. The significance of measurement theory
    2. Measurement by isomorphic stimulus space transformations
  7. Psychological Relativity and Choice Dynamics
    1. Dynamic relativity in perception, cognition, and preference
    2. Perception research and dynamic similarity relativity
    3. Cognition research and dynamic similarity relativity
    4. Preference research and dynamic preference relativity
  8. Choice Conflicts and Dynamics
    1. Individual ambivalence and choice conflict dynamics
    2. Time-dependent developments and collective adaptation
    3. General theory of technological evolution and adaptation

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