Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to sociometry: Sociogram


a widely used method of ‘measurement’ of social attractiveness within groups, invented by the Austrian-born US psychologist and psychiatrist Jacob MORENO. The technique involves the administration of a questionnaire in which respondents rank order the ‘attractiveness’ and ‘unattractiveness’ of fellow group members as coparticipants or colleagues, either generally or in particular activities. The results of these interpersonal choices are then plotted on a diagram, termed a sociogram, the configuration revealing sociometric 'stars’ and ‘rejectees’. and cliques of mutual positive appraisal and social ‘isolates’.



the branch of social psychology that studies interpersonal relationships, devoting primary attention to their quantitative measurement.

The term “sociometry” was first used in the 19th century in connection with attempts to apply mathematical methods to the study of social facts. In the 20th century microsociologists, including G. Gurvitch, attempted to explain social phenomena by investigating the personal relationships between individuals. J. Moreno redefined the term “sociometry,” narrowing its meaning to the study of the relationships between individuals. He included reactionary Utopian arguments as well as experimental methods in sociometry.

With the development of social psychology the term “sociometry” has acquired a more specific meaning, denoting a group of methods used to investigate interpersonal relationships. A so-ciometric test establishes the preference, or attitude, expressed by an individual concerning interaction with other individuals in a given situation. Such a test makes it possible to describe an individual’s position within a group in terms of the individual’s own perception of it, to compare this with the reactions of other group members, and to express the interrelationships within comparable groups by formal methods, including mathematical and graphic methods.

Psychodrama and sociodrama reproduce the personal relationships that exist between individuals under study in a dramatized situation. They are used both diagnostically and therapeutically. Sociometric methods are used extensively for therapeutic purposes and in studying small groups with the aim of improving management.


Moreno, J. L. Sotsiomelriia. Moscow, 1958. (Translated from German.)
Kolominskii, la. L. Psikhologiia lichnykh vzaimootnoshenii v dets-kom kollektive. Minsk, 1969.
Kuz’min, E. S. Osnovy sotsial’noipsikhologii. Leningrad, 1967.
Lektsii po metodike konkretnykh sotsial’nykh issledovanii. Moscow, 1972.
Volkov, I. P. Sotsiometricheskie metody v sotsial’no-psikhologiches-kikh issledovaniiakh. Leningrad, 1970.
Lindzey, G., and D. Byrne. “Measurement of Social Choice and Interpersonal Attractiveness.” In The Handbook of Social Psychology, vol. 2. Reading, Mass., 1968.
Northway, M. L. A Primer of Sociometry. Toronto, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
The purpose of this exploratory study was to test the utility of sociometry and systematic observation in the study of peer relations in a sample of adolescent female volleyball players.
American Board of Examiners in Psychodranra, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy.
La hot sociometry es la que se aplica in situ y en actum (6), es decir en la situacion, accion y momento en que se encuentra el grupo, ya sea en una sesion de psicoterapia psicodramatica o en un taller.
Changes in social perception as a function of the personal relevance of behavior, Sociometry, 20: 75-85.
1994), "First among Equals: Leaders, Peers, and Choice", Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry, 47(2): 59-76
For example, sociometry (Kerlinger & Lee, 2000), which involves direct observation of groups, could be used to help researchers examine interaction patterns and dynamics among members and between members and leaders.
When the Majority is the Psychological Minority," Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, and Sociometry 33: 179-84.
Dunphy D, The social structure of urban adolescent peer groups, Sociometry, 1963, 26(2):230-246.
Scheff, Cultural Stereotypes and Mental Illness, 26 SOCIOMETRY 438 (1963).
Network images were initiated in sociology through the pivotal studies in sociometry of the Austrian psychoanalyst Jacob L.