Linda Gottfredson

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Linda Gottfredson
Born Linda Susanne Howarth
(1947-06-24) June 24, 1947 (age 67)
San Francisco
Citizenship American
Fields Educational psychology

University of Delaware, editorial boards of Intelligence,

Learning and Individual Differences, and Society
Alma mater UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University
Known for Mainstream Science on Intelligence

Linda Susanne Gottfredson (née Howarth; born June 24, 1947) is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Delaware and co-director of the Delaware-Johns Hopkins Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society. Gottfredson's work has been influential in shaping U.S. public and private policies regarding affirmative action, hiring quotas, and "race-norming" on aptitude tests.

She is on the boards of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), the International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR), and the editorial boards of the scientific journals Intelligence, Learning and Individual Differences, and Society. Gottfredson has received research grants worth $267,000 from the Pioneer Fund.[1][2]

Life and work[edit]

Born in San Francisco, she and her first husband Gary Don Gottfredson received bachelor’s degrees in psychology in 1969 from University of California, Berkeley, then worked in the Peace Corps in Malaysia until 1972. She also taught in schools for the disadvantaged for a time when she was young.[3] They both went to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where she received a Ph.D. in sociology in 1977.

Gottfredson took a position at Hopkins’ Center for Social Organization of Schools and investigated issues of occupational segregation and typology based on skill sets and intellectual capacity. She married Robert A. Gordon, who worked in a related area at Hopkins, and they divorced by the mid-90s.[4]

In 1985, Gottfredson participated in a conference called "The g Factor in Employment Testing." The papers presented were published in the December 1986 issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, which she edited. In 1986, Gottfredson was appointed Associate Professor of Educational Studies at the University of Delaware, Newark.

That year, she presented a series of papers on general intelligence factor and employment. Gottfredson has said "We now have out there what I call the egalitarian fiction that all groups are equal in intelligence. We have social policy based on that fiction. For example, the 1991 Civil Rights Act codified Griggs vs. Duke Power, which said that if you have disproportionate hiring by race, you are prima facie -- that's prima facie evidence of racial discrimination. ...Differences in intelligence have real world effects, whether we think they're there or not, whether we want to wish them away or not. And we don't do anybody any good, certainly not the low-IQ people, by denying that those problems exist..."[5]

Keith Booker, president of the Wilmington, Delaware, chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that Gottfredson's research "... is being done in the name of white supremacy... the Pioneer Fund supports only research that tends to come out with results that further the division between justifying the superiority of one race and the inferiority of another."[1]

In 1988 Gottfredson received the first of many grants from the Pioneer Fund for work on educational differences and occupational policy. She was promoted to full professor at the University of Delaware in 1990.

Gottfredson's research and views have stirred considerable controversy, especially her testimony on public affirmative action policy and her defense of The Bell Curve, especially Mainstream Science on Intelligence, a statement she wrote, which was signed by 51 colleagues and published in the Wall Street Journal.[6] Since then she has written a number of articles on race and intelligence, especially as it applies to occupational qualification.

Professional service[edit]

  • Editorial board, Intelligence, 2004–present.
  • Board of editorial advisors, Society, 1997–present.
  • Editorial board, Learning and Individual Differences, 2004–2008.
  • Advisory board, International Society for Intelligence Research, 2000–2010 (Founding Member).
  • Board of directors, International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, 2005–2001.[7]
  • Editorial board, The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 1997-2000.
  • National Council, Federation of American Scientists, 1995-1999.
  • Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Oversight hearing on the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1997.
  • Board of directors, Society of Psychologists in Management, 1994-1997.
  • Board of directors, Society for the Study of Social Biology, 1990-1994.
  • Editorial board, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1983-1990.
  • Consultant, Department of Labor (DOT revision [APDOT, contract to American Psychological Association], implementation of "Goals 2000" [contract to Institute for Educational Leadership]), 1992-1995.
  • Consultant, Department of Defense Student Testing Program contract awarded to Booz-Allen, Inc. 1989-1991.
  • Panel member, Advisory Panel on the Identification of Alternative Approaches for reporting Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores. U.S. Manpower Entrance Processing Command, San Antonio, TX, November 1987.
  • Consultant, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1987-1989.


Selected articles and papers[edit]


  1. ^ a b U. Delaware Reaches Accord On Race Studies By Ron Kaufman The Scientist 6[14]:1, Jul. 06, 1992
  2. ^ The Pioneer Fund: Bankrolling the Professors of Hate Adam Miller The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 6 (Winter, 1994-1995), pp. 58-61
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "Race, IQ, Success and Charles Murray"
  6. ^ Gottfredson, Linda (December 13, 1994). Mainstream Science on Intelligence. Wall Street Journal, p A18.
  7. ^ "List of previous officers"
  8. ^ "University Press Release on Award"
  9. ^ "Mensa Press Release on the Reward"
  10. ^ "UDEL-website"
  11. ^ "List of Fellows from APS-website"
  12. ^ "List of scholars"
  13. ^ J. H. Greenhaus (Ed.), Sage Publications. Gottfredson's first publication on the subject shows high citation in the ISI citation index: Circumscription and Compromise: A Developmental Theory of Occupational Aspirations (1981) Journal of Counseling Psychology (Monograph), 28 (6), 545-579.

External links[edit]