Historiometry is the historical study of human progress or individual personal characteristics, using statistics to analyze references to geniuses, their statements, behavior and discoveries in relatively neutral texts. Historiometry combines techniques from cliometrics, which studies the history of economics and from psychometrics, the psychological study of an individual's personality and abilities.
Historiometry started in the early 19th century with studies on the relationship between age and achievement by Belgian mathematician Adolphe Quetelet in the careers of prominent French and English playwrights  but it was Sir Francis Galton, a pioneering English eugenist who popularized historiometry in his 1869 work, Hereditary Genius. It was further developed by Frederick Adams Woods (who coined the term historiometry) in the beginning of the 20th century. Also psychologist Paul E. Meehl published several papers on historiometry later in his career, mainly in the area of medical history, although it is usually referred to as cliometric metatheory by him.
Historiometry was the first field studying genius by using scientific methods.
Current research 
Historiometry is defined by Dean Keith Simonton as: a quantitative method of statistical analysis for retrospective data. In Simonton's work the raw data comes from psychometric assessment of famous personalities, often already deceased, in an attempt to assess creativity, genius and talent development.
Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment is one example of this approach to quantify the impact of individuals on technology, science and the arts. It tracks the most important achievements across time, and for the different peoples of the world, and provides a thorough discussion of the methodology used, together with an assessment of its reliability and accuracy.[original research?]
Examples of research 
Since historiometry deals with subjective personal traits as creativity, charisma or openness most studies deal with the comparison of scientists, artists or politicians. The study (Human Accomplishment) by Charles Murray classifies, for example, Einstein and Newton as the most important physicists and Michelangelo as the top ranking western artist. As another example, several studies have compared charisma and even the IQ of presidents and presidential candidates of the United States of America. The latter study classifies John Quincy Adams as the most clever US president, with an estimated IQ between 165 to 175.
Since historiometry is based on indirect information like historic documents and relies heavily on statistics, the results of these studies are questioned by some researchers, mainly because of concerns about over-interpretation of the estimated results.
The previously mentioned study of the intellectual capacity of US presidents, a study by Dean Keith Simonton, attracted a lot of media attention and critique mainly because it classified the former US president, George W. Bush, as second to last of all US presidents since 1900. The IQ of G.W. Bush was estimated as between 111.1 and 138.5, with an average of 125, exceeding only that of president Warren Harding, who is regarded as a failed president, with an average IQ of 124. Although controversial and imprecise (due to gaps in available data), the approach used by Simonton to generate his results was regarded "reasonable" by fellow researchers. In the media, the study was sometimes compared with the U.S. Presidents IQ hoax, a hoax that circulated via email in mid-2001, which suggested that G.W. Bush had the lowest IQ of all US presidents.
See also 
- A Reflective Conversation with Dean Keith Simonton, North American Journal of Psychology, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 3, 595-602.
- Eakin, Emily (2003-10-25). "A Cultural Scorecard Says West Is Ahead". New York Times. p. 9. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Neiwert, David (2003-10-26). "Evading reality" (blog). Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Galton, Francis (1869). Hereditary Genius. London: MacMillan & Co. ISBN 0-312-36989-1. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Simonton, Dean Keith (2003). "Qualitative and quantitative analyses of historical data". Annua. Rev. Psychol. 54: 617–640. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145034. PMID 12171999. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Woods, Frederick Adams (1909). "A new name for a new science". Science 30 (777): 697–736. doi:10.1126/science.30.777.703. PMID 17792096. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Woods, Frederick Adams (1911). "Historiometry as an exact science". Science 33 (850): 568–574. doi:10.1126/science.33.850.568. PMID 17790108. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Faust, D., & Meehl, P. E. (2002). "Using meta-scientific studies to clarify or resolve questions in the philosophy and history of science". Philosophy of Science 69: S185–S196. doi:10.1086/341845.[dead link]
- Meehl, P. E. (1992). "Cliometric metatheory: The actuarial approach to empirical, history-based philosophy of science". Psychological Reports 71: 339–467.
- Murray, Charles (2003) . Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences 800 B.C to 1950. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-019247-X.
- Simonton, Dean Keith (1999) . Genius Creativity and Leadership: Historiometric Inquiries. iUniverse.com. ISBN 1-58348-438-8.
- Deluga, R.J. (1997). "Relationship among American presidential charismatic leadership, narcissism, and rated performance". Leadership Quarterly 8: 49–65. doi:10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90030-8. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Dean Keith Simonton (August 2006). "Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership: Estimates and Correlations for 42 U.S. Chief Executives". Political Psychology 27 (4): 511–526. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00524.x. Retrieved 2006-09-11.
- Dobson, Roger (2006-09-10). "Bush IQ low on presidential league". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2006-09-10.
- Bastick, Tony (1999). "Historiometrics of Creativity: A Philosophical Critique.". Education Resources Information Center. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Mackenzie, B. (January 1, 1986). "Genius, creativity, and leadership. Historiometric inquiries". Med Hist. 30 (1): 109–110. PMC 1139602.
- "Rating American presidents' IQ's". History News Network. July 13, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Editorial (July 28, 2006). "Presidential Smarts". Science 313 (5786): 419. doi:10.1126/science.313.5786.419c. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- "President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years". snopes.com. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2006-09-11.