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Vic Strecher on measuring the unmeasurable

Dr. Vic Strecher studies stress and purpose in life.Dr. Vic Strecher studies stress and purpose in life.

Vic Strecher is behavioral scientist and professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He is founder and CEO of Kumanu, an app fusing AI and machine learning, the latest behavior change and habit-forming models, and real-time predictive decision support to help people and organizations find meaning in work and purpose in life. His book "Life on Purpose" examines the science and philosophy of purpose in life and ways to develop and align with one’s purpose.

In his JMP Foreword column, Strecher reminds us that scientists and engineers used to face a huge challenge back in the '80s, about the time he began to research occupational stress. There was a tremendous cost associated with computationally exploring the nuances of what he calls “unmeasurables,” concepts like stress, for instance.

Strecher was an early adopter of JMP after seeing its chief architect John Sall demonstrate a beta version. He shares that, over the last 30 years, his ability to study concepts like stress and purpose in life has been “enhanced by the set of powerful, elegant data analysis and exploration tools offered in JMP.”

He admits that as an undergraduate student in the hard sciences, he had his doubts about studying and measuring psychological constructs. But he explains, “I now believe that the wispy dark energy of our lives – stress, depression, resilience, optimism, confidence, motivation, vitality, connectedness – may be among the most substantial and important to study and require the most modern scientific tools.”


Read the full column in the latest issue of JMP Foreword magazine.

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