Psychotherapist Jacob Moreno is credited with the development of sociometrics. Sociometrics is described as a science that involves the study and measurement of relationships, social structures, and mental health. It involves the measurement of groups and the behavior and status of individuals within such groups.
Sociometrics involves taking a different approach to understanding group alliances. Unlike other sciences, it requires the exploration of social groups and organizations from the core of the structures. Sociometrics deals with revealing and analyzing the hidden beliefs, alliances, and hidden agendas of group structures. It also involves the analysis of group substructure. Sociometrics works under the premise that each of these elements, from alliances to subgroups, combine to give form to groups and organizations.
Among Moreno’s primary contributions to sociometrics was the sociogram. The sociogram is a method of representing individuals as points on graphs and using lines and arcs to represent the relationships between the individuals. Additionally, Moreno created a journal entitled Sociometry.
Sociometrics is often divided into two categories, applied sociometrics and research sociometrics. The research category, often called network explorations, is involved with researching relationship patterns in both small and large groups. Relational patterns may be researched using individuals and small groups, as well as groups as large as entire neighborhoods. A research sociometrist might deal with discovering such things as whom an individual sees as desirable to sit with in a group, who is approachable for advice, and who is perceived as a good leader. However, such things are just the tip of the iceberg, as research sociometrists delve into numerous aspects of relational patterns.
Applied sociometrics deals with the use of various methods to help both individuals and groups. Applied sociometrists seek to help their subjects expand and develop their social networks. Both the research and the applied sociometrics fields work to encourage and inspire groups and individuals to more spontaneous, energetic, and creative patterns.
Sociometrists practice in a range of fields. They are present in occupations pertaining to psychology and counseling, as well as those involving executive leadership. Sociometrists also work in fields dealing with the development of communities and organizations.