Psychometry (a new formation, from ψυχή, soul, and μέτρον, measure) is the art of measuring souls. It cannot give an account with mathematical exactitude of the powers of the soul and their effects; it must content itself with an approximative valuation, the soul being a quantity inapproachable to the senses, which cannot be measured like bodies. Ch. Jul. Sim. Portius, a teacher in Leipsic, invented an instrument of psychometry, which he thus describes: "The psychometer is an instrument which shows what a man is in respect to his temperament, mind, and heart. One hundred and ten different impressions can be made on the instrument. The impression made by the person whose soul is measured shows by which of the one hundred and tell qualities enumerated on a board" — and most arbitrarily and illogically, as to that — "this person is distinguished from others." We may ask, Only those by which he or she is distinguished from, not also those which he has in common with, other people? But, the instrument could not indicate any of those one hundred and ten qualities, as each of them must be held in common by several persons. See the description of this psychometer by its author (Leipsic, 1833, 8vo).

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