Rob’s Measurement Book Goes International

By: Niki Fritz

Back in 2011, when Rob Potter was on sabbatical in Australia, he decided to finally get serious about writing a book about psychophysiological measures. He and Paul Bolls had been under contract to write such a book for a while but the muse just hadn’t visited the authors yet.

“It took a lot longer than I thought it would. It’s hard to write a book,” Rob explains. “Eventually you just don’t want to fail, so you say ‘Let’s just get it done!’ You don’t want to say you started and never finished.”

The timing was right as well. The price of equipment used to gather physio data was dropping and more scholars were starting to use these quantitative measures; and some of them were using them incorrectly. In effect, the academic world was becoming more and more open to physio data and it needed a best practices book.

Even though Rob had been wanting to write such a book for a while, sitting down in Australia to finish it was particularly difficult.

“Part of the reason it took so long is because, for me, there was a real psychological hurdle to feel like I had the expertise to write [this book]. There is some arrogance in saying, ‘Hi. This is how you do this correctly.’ That was a struggle for me,” Rob explains.

He went on to explain there were definitely some areas he was well versed in, and was comfortable saying he was an expert. But other measures he was less comfortable with. “There were areas I knew less about. I couldn’t fudge the answers,” Rob says. “And I couldn’t just delete that topic because I didn’t get it. So I had to learn.”

translation

Rob’s book in three languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese

Eventually, after overcoming his mental hurdle and leaning a bit more about some new measures, Rob and Paul published the book Psychophysiological Measurement and Meaning.

Soon after that, Rob started getting requests to translate it, especially into Chinese. Since the publisher owns the rights to the book, it was up to Routledge to get the book translated.

“I just trust Routledge that it was translated correctly,” Rob laughs. “I’m assuming they are correct. I have no idea what they actually say … When I’ve handed the book to JingJing or Ya and asked them to read a page, it sounded right to me.”

This year the book was translated into yet another language – Japanese. Rob’s physio measures best practices are becoming global best practices; something that – although Rob isn’t the type to brag about it – is pretty cool.

“When it took so long to get it done, what was really pushing me was that someone was going to scoop me. To be the one who did it first and the only one to do it so far, that is pretty cool,” Rob says. “Now to see [the book] has international appeal is gratifying. And it makes for cool Instagram pictures.”

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