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Elina Vessonen

PhD student


2017. “Psychometrics versus Representational Theory of Measurement” Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 47(4-5).

Selected Talks:

“Carnap, Dewey and Languages of Valuation” at the British Society for History of Philosophy (BSHP) Annual Conference, April 2017, University of Sheffield

 “The role of IRT models in the validation on well-being measures” at the “A World to Win” Conference, March 2017, Erasmus University Rotterdam

RTM and psychometrics as partial approaches to measurement” at the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) Biennial Meeting, November 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA

“Conceptual Engineering and the Science of Well-Being”, at the Uses and Abuses of Quantification in Healthcare: Interdisciplinary Perspectives -Conference, July 2016, University of Cambridge

“The complementarity of RTM and psychometrics in evaluations of well-being concepts” at the International Network for Economic Method (INEM) Annual Conference, November 2015, University of Cape Town

Thesis Project:

In my PhD research I study how social scientific concepts (such as well-being) are formed, and what makes a social scientific concept appropriate for the purposes of measurement. To approach these questions, I explore how social scientists (in particular psychometricians) navigate the interplay between validation of a measurement procedure and formation of the target concept. I then analyse these practices in light of philosophical accounts of concept formation and measurement. My aim is to develop an evaluative approach that clarifies the philosophical literature on concept formation and contributes to the betterment of measurement practices in social sciences.


I have a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences from University of Helsinki (2010-2013) and a Research Master degree in Philosophy and Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam (2013-2015). During my undergraduate studies, I spent one semester at the University of Sydney studying logic and philosophy of mathematics.