Psychometrics is the science of measuring mental capacities and processes. While it is within the domain of psychology, it is interesting to note that economists and lawmakers publish a great deal of novel research in this area. Every single day, in courts all over the world, lawyers, judges, and juries not only decide who is right and who is wrong but must also decide how much mental anguish and suffering was caused by whom and to whom. Most importantly they have to decide what that anguish is worth in economic terms. Currently, this is all done subjectively. It is possible to imagine one day developing a standard psychometric scale to measure emotional anguish. We have a suggestion for that.
Psychological measurement is not easy because unlike the outer, physical world, the inner world is not so easy to measure objectively. For example, a piece of art can elicit as many responses as there are viewers of the art. Psychometrics is the scientific field concerned with the measurement of psychological variables such as happiness, intelligence, perceived emotional pain, etc. Psychometrics find application in areas such as hiring in the business world, student assessment in education, personality profiling and determination of mental health in psychiatry & psychological assessment, and sanity in criminal cases in law.
To turn art into a science, imagine taking the entire spectrum of human emotion and defining a new psychometric to it to produce a mapping that could unambiguously measure the degree of an emotion. What if we could all agree that X was worth 5 units of happiness while Y was worth 7.5 units of happiness? With our new systems of math, we can make that happen.
The math that can provide a way to convert intangibles to tangibles in many areas, including psychometric measurements is novel application of 6D derived power laws. By developing a way to improve the objectivity of psychometric measurements, we can effectively transform what was once vague intuition to a measurable and standardized variable which rational decisions can be based upon. Using the 6D spacetime mathematics, Teeple & Himann have identified new application areas where an objective scale of emotional pain and suffering can have important impacts. Such a scale can be used to implement a more objective financial compensation methodology in court cases and insurance claims. It can also be used to determine if goods or services reach minimum customer satisfaction levels, or the effectiveness of advertising in the feelings it evokes in its audience. Our objective in developing such laws is, of course, to convert the intangible qualities of intuition into tangible ones and develop a psychometric tool that can improve the function of democracy.
Financial Compensation for Court Cases
In courts around the globe, countless judgments are made each day, with subsequent socio-economic ramifications. Lawyers, judges and juries not only decide who is right and wrong, but also how much to compensate for mental and emotional anguish caused by another party. Currently, this is all done subjectively, on a case-by-case basis. Certainly, legal precedent comes into play as well, but none of the precedents have ever been subjected to standardization on an objective psychometric scale of compensation. Because these damages are impossible to quantify by any conventional measurement, it is an area where the jury has substantial discretion that is not consistent with an otherwise highly structured and systematic legal system. Subsequently, compensation is a currently still a very subjective process.
This subjectivity brings about large inefficiency in the judicial system. Even when litigants and defendants agree to settle a case, they may still be embroiled in years of litigation afterwards in order to put a final agreed price on the anguish caused. Many of these legal challenges arise from the subjectivity of human emotions and experiences, and our inability to establish independent and objective metrics to measure exactly how we feel, combined with the enormous variety of individual experiences and subjective realities.
Consider a common class of such court cases, divorce. For couples who ultimately file for divorce, emotional turmoil often takes years to build up before they reach a crisis level that requires a legal intervention. Conflicts arise when partners no longer hear each other, that is, they are not sensitive to each other’s emotional suffering. A conflict can only occur when each partner feels their own emotional pain is more valuable than their partners. Which party’s subjective reality is more valid? Is there such a thing as an objective reality that can nullify any individual claim of subjective priority? Noneconomic damages (which includes pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, reputational damage, loss of enjoyment of activities, and worsening of prior injuries) caused by emotional pain remain a form of relief that is woven into the fabric of law.
Despite the intangible quality of mental anguish and psychometrics, people going through a bitter separation consider them very real and concrete. Perhaps a new and dependable system could save them the pain and suffering of a long court battle? Today’s lawyers play “the game” by the understanding that qualitative losses of value cannot be enforced in the court room easily, or at all. Some of these lawyers will leverage the defendants’ personal qualitative value to advance this position and enhance their ability to unfairly advance to a personal financial gain. Some of these items can be the value of time embroiled in a lengthy court battle, emotional damages to the people in their social circle, negative stress that affects health and well-being and many others. It is even more unfortunate that the Law Society and Ministry of Justice allows this unethical behavior and destruction of value because of the massive effect it has on the social capital of the country. These “trusted” officers of the court are there to provide lubrication to expedite efficiency and advocate for fairness, despite the inability to measure value accurately.
This unequal balance has led to multiple controversial outcomes. Thus, the subject of damages for noneconomic injuries has a lengthy and controversial history (O’Connell & Bailey, 1972). Although there is some debate about whether to stop the guessing and remove plaintiffs’ ability to recover noneconomic damages (Calfee & Rubin, 1992; Geistfeld, 1995; Jaffe, 1953; Morris, 1959; Plant, 1958), an agreement that psychological injury is real, and measurable, is now almost universal. But, because these damages are not easily quantifiable, it is an area where the jury has substantial discretion. Subsequently, compensation is a very subjective process within the objective framework, leading to unpredictable outcomes. Many of these legal challenges are derived from our inability to objectively measure feelings, combined with the enormous variety of individual experiences and subjective realities. Emotions are centered in subjective experiences that people represent, in part, with hundreds, if not thousands, of semantic terms. We aim to clarify this area with clear, evidence supported, equations.
Claims about the distribution of reported emotional states and the boundaries between affective categories – that is, the geometric organization of the semantic space of emotion – have sparked intense debate.
We argue that the best way to quantify feelings lies in a health utility measurement, an approach developed in health economics for valuing health outcomes in public health and medicine. It holds considerable promise for bringing greater rationality and consistency to assessments of injury-related noneconomic loss. The health utility is a comprehensive empirical investigation on a significant scale that gathers consensus on the subjective value of an injury. The implementation of our 6D mathematics in this area is modelled on this already successful implementation. These proven metrics could then be used to assign a benchmark for awarding the value of damages.
In essence we plan to change the perceived value emotional pain has. One of the ways we plan to do that is by showing a comparison using the graph below. The authors of the paper “Feasibility of a Health-Utility Approach to Quantifying Noneconomic Losses from Personal Injury” have empirically mapped the perceived intensity of many types of personal injury by polling over 4000 participants and averaging their opinions. The graph below summarizes their research.
This information can be used to develop a severity weight vs financial compensation power law that can be derived via 6D mathematics. Power laws are so common in biology that we hypothesize this law takes the form of a power law similar to Kleiber’s Law as discussed in a previous chapter. Psychology is a biological function after all. Generally speaking, the two extra dimensions (6D projecting to 4D) will enable tracking “memory” discounting or “emotional” discounting. That means more information can be tracked more accurately using 6D mathematics. The vector quantity employed would include and track a severity weight, or scalar relative to the specific subjective emotion. The “momentum” of the emotion can then be forecast using 6D predictions as they travel forward in time. It should also theoretically be possible to predict how an emotion affects an adjacent observer. For example, if a case involves a murdered child, the 6D mathematics could predict the associated level of trauma experienced by various family members and provide an objective measure for jurors to use in making a final decision.
The power law can be tested against a diverse dataset of actual court awarded financial compensations spanning a spectrum of health conditions, and the curve can be optimized for a best fit of the dataset. Then the relationship can be tested in new court cases. After successful testing, this metric could serve as a high accuracy legal tool to help judges, jurors, and lawyers reach an optimal court settlement for injury. As it is a flexible tool, the power law can be tweaked for cases involving a multiplicity of injuries. If successful, it can begin to establish a science of financial legal compensation, replacing the subjective court compensation with an objective methodology.
The Health Utility Graph (Fig. 19) shows how the health utility map might look if 6D mathematics is applied to derive a hyperbolic or exponential psychometric law for human perception that includes delayed discounting.