David J. Hand

A key idea that drives practically every element of modern life is measurement. It is crucial to the social sciences, economics, medicine, and sciences, but it also has an impact on daily life. We measure everything from a distance between distant galaxies to the air’s temperature, risk factors, political majorities, taxation, blood pressure, IQ, and weight. Measurement has a long history that dates back to antiquity and has been one of incremental standardization. Many measurement techniques, degrees of accuracy, and unit systems are used in various contexts today. Measurement concepts like variability, precision, dependability, and error are present, along with difficulties like measuring extreme numbers.

David Hand describes the fundamental mathematical structure that underpins all measurements, the primary measurement techniques, and the associated difficulties. The use of measurement in the physical sciences, engineering, the life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, economics, business, and public policy are all covered after a brief historical overview of measurement.