Stephen J. Ceci

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Stephen J. Ceci is an American psychologist at Cornell University. He studies the accuracy of children's courtroom testimony (as it applies to allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect), and he is an expert in the development of intelligence and memory. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Awards from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS) as well as many divisional and smaller society awards.

He received the E. L. Thorndike Award in 2014.[1]


Ceci received his B.A. in 1973 from the University of Delaware, his M.A. in 1975 from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Exeter, England, where he studied with Michael Howe. He holds a lifetime endowed chair in developmental psychology at Cornell.

National Advisory Boards[edit]

Ceci is a member of five national advisory boards:

  • The White House Task Force on Federal Funding Priorities for Research on Children and Adolescents
  • National Science Foundation Advisory Board on Social, Economic and Behavioral Sciences
  • The Canadian Institute of Advanced Research
  • The National Academy of Sciences' Board on Cognitive, Behavioral and Sensory Sciences
  • The National Research Council's SERP (Strategic Educational Research and Planning Committee).

He is the founding co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, published by APS.


In 1995, Ceci was part of an 11-member American Psychological Association task force led by Ulric Neisser which published "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns," a report written in response to The Bell Curve. This is a link to the full text of the APA Task Force examination of the Knowns and Unknowns of Intelligence.

Ceci introduced in 1990 his "Bio-Ecological Theory of Intelligence", which holds that the level of mental activities or IQ are dependent on context. For example, he says traditional conceptions of intelligence ignore the role of society in shaping intelligence and underestimate the intelligence of non-Western societies.[1]

Ceci is listed in various publications as one of the most cited living developmental psychologists. As of September 2013, Google Scholar lists 19,250 citations to Ceci's work; he is credited with an h-index of 59, including four articles cited over 1,000 each and 25 articles and books cited over 100 times each.

Recently, he has been conducting research on women's underrepresentation in science. This research and analysis has been praised by many commentaries, and his book "The Mathematics of Sex" has received endorsements from Diane Halpern, David Lubinski, Christina Hoff Sommers, Frank Farley, and Marcia Linn.

Unsurprisingly in view of his high-impact research, Ceci has been the recipient of major lifetime achievement awards in psychological science, including lifetime awards from the American Psychological Association (2003), the Association for Psychological Science (2005), the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (2001), and the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) (2013). In addition to these major awards, he has been the recipient of numerous regional, society, and divisional awards.


  • Ceci, S. J. (1990). On Intelligence ... more or less: A bio-ecological treatise on intellectual development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Century Psychology Series.
  • Ceci, S. J. (1996). On Intelligence: A bio-ecological treatise on intellectual development 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Ceci, S. J. & Bruck, M. [1995]. Jeopardy in the courtroom: The scientific analysis of children's testimony. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. (Winner of the 2000 William James Book Award by APA)
  • Ceci, S. J. and Liker, J. (1986). A day at the races: IQ, expertise, and cognitive complexity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 115, 255-266.
  • Ceci, S.J., and Liker, J. (1986). Academic versus non-academic intelligence: An experimental separation. In R. J. Sternberg & R. K. Wagner (Eds), Everyday intelligence: Origins of competence. NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W. M. (2010). The mathematics of sex: How biology and society conspire to limit talented women and girls. NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Ceci, S. J. (1991). How much does schooling influence general intelligence and its cognitive components?: A reassessment of the evidence. Developmental Psychology, 27, 703-722.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. & Ceci, S. J. (1994). Nature-nurture in developmental perspective: A bioecological theory. Psychological Review, 101, 568-586.
  • Neisser, U., U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T., Brody, N., Ceci, S. J., Halpern, D., Loehlin, J., Perloff, R., Sternberg, R. J., & Urbina, S. (1996). Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns. American Psychologist, 51, 1-25.
  • Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (1997). Schooling, Intelligence, and Income. American Psychologist, 52(10), 1051-1058.
  • Ceci, S.J. & Papierno, P.B. (2005). The rhetoric and reality of gap-closing: When the “have-nots” gain, but the “haves” gain even more. American Psychologist, 60, 149-160.
  • Ceci, S. J., Williams, W.M., & Barnett, S.M. (2009). Women’s underrepresentation in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 218-261.
  • Ceci, S.J., Fitneva, S. A., & Williams, W. M. (2010). Representational Constraints on the Development of Memory and Metamemory: A Developmental-Representational-Theory. Psychological Review, 117, 464-495.
  • Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (2010). Sex Differences in Math-Intensive Fields. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(5), 275-279.
  • Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (2011). Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 3157-3162. (TWIP: This Week in PNAS; cover story article; 2nd most downloaded article in Feb., 9th most downloaded in March, 31st most downloaded in April)


  1. ^ Susan S. Lang. "Steve Ceci wins Thorndike award for lifetime research". Cornell Chronicle, 28 August 2014.

External links[edit]