From pseph- (“pebble”) + -o- + -logy (“study of”), drawing on the various definitions of Ancient Greek ψῆφος (psêphos, “pebble used for reckoning; pebble used for casting a vote”). The sense relating to elections was coined in 1948 by Frank Hardie.
- The predictive or statistical study of elections. [From 1952]
1952, D. E. Butler, The British general election of 1951:
- It therefore seems appropriate to preface this book with a discussion of why elections merit study and an examination of how much has been or can be learnt from psephology.
- An ancient Greek method of numerology, similar to gematria.
1917, The Quest - Volume 8, Part 2, page 698:
- Let us first see how the matter of this letter-numbering or psephology stands generally. The authors think that both the Greek and Hebrew method derive from a common source. But there is no proof of this; indeed the weak point in the whole of this exposition is that they entirely neglect the historical side of the matter and give no references.
1924, George Robert Stow Mead, Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandæan John-Book, Together with Studies on John and Christian Origins, the Slavonic Josephus' Account of John and Jesus and the Fourth Gospel Proem, ISBN 1465516433:
- The numbers 99, 88, and 22 seem to belong to some system of mystic psephology, Or gematria as the Kabbalists afterwards called it.
2013, Andrew Gregory, The Presocratics and the Supernatural, ISBN 147250416X:
- What I want to point out here is that there is a considerable breadth of numerological practices, ranging from psephology/gematria through to practices close to mathematical physics which are deemed to be too much driven by mathematical or aesthetic considerations.