Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.

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Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.
Born (1937-10-03) October 3, 1937 (age 79)
Manchester, New Hampshire
Nationality American
Fields Psychology
Institutions University of Minnesota
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Donald MacKinnon, Harrison G. Gough
Doctoral students Wendy Johnson
Matt McGue
Known for Intelligence, Behavior genetics, Personality

Thomas J. Bouchard Jr. (born October 3, 1937) is a professor emeritus of psychology and director of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research at the University of Minnesota. Bouchard received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966.[1]


Bouchard's longitudinal studies of twins reared apart are world-renowned. His research topics have been diverse - ranging from sociology to human resources, as have the methods he has used: from large scale quantitative analyses and meta-analyses establishing the increase in heritability of intelligence with time, to case-studies of twins reared apart. This latter work demonstrated numerous similarities in identical twins separated at birth and living without knowledge of the other twin for many decades. The detailed reports of similarity went a long way to answer critics of twin studies.

In 1979, Bouchard came across an account of twins (Jim Springer and Jim Lewis) who had been separated from birth and were reunited at age 39. "The twins," Bouchard later wrote, "were found to have married women named Linda, divorced, and married the second time to women named Betty. One named his son James Allan, the other named his son James Alan, and both named their pet dogs Toy." [2] Bouchard arranged to study the pair, assembling a team and applying for a grant to the Pioneer Fund in 1981, stating, "Our findings continue to suggest a very strong genetic influence on almost all medical and psychological traits." [2]

This work became the Minnesota Study of Identical Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA), better known as the Minnesota Twins Project. Time, U.S. News and World Report, the New York Times, and various TV programs have reported Bouchard’s conclusions that shyness, political conservatism, dedication to hard work, orderliness, intimacy, extroversion, conformity, and a host of other social traits are largely heritable. Bouchard is the author of more than 170 publications.[3] According to the Web of Science, Bouchard's works have been cited over 5500 times and he has an h-index of 33.[4]

In 1994, he was one of 52 signatories of Mainstream Science on Intelligence, a public statement written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal as a response to what the authors viewed as the inaccurate and misleading reports made by the media regarding academic consensus on the results of intelligence research in the wake of the appearance of The Bell Curve earlier the same year.[5] The following year, he was part of task force commissioned by the American Psychological Association which released a consensus statement on the state of intelligence research titled Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns.[6]

Bouchard served as Associate Editor for the journals Behavior Genetics and Journal of Applied Psychology.[3]


Bouchard has received many honors:

At the occasion of his retirement, a Festschrift was organized in his honor.[11]

Selected papers[edit]

According to the Web of Science, Bouchard's five most cited papers are:[4]

  1. Neisser U, Boodoo G, Bouchard TJ, Boykin AW, Brody N, Ceci SJ, Halpern DF, Loehlin JC, Perloff R, Sternberg RJ, Urbina S (February 1996). "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" (PDF). The American Psychologist. 51 (2): 77–101. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.51.2.77.  (Cited >590 times)
  2. Tellegen A, Lykken DT, Bouchard TJ, Wilcox KJ, Segal NL, Rich S (June 1988). "Personality similarity in twins reared apart and together". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 54 (6): 1031–1039. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1031. PMID 3397862.  (Cited >550 times)
  3. Bouchard TJ, Lykken DT, McGue M, Segal NL, Tellegen A (October 1990). "Sources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart". Science. 250 (4978): 223–8. doi:10.1126/science.2218526. PMID 2218526.  (cited >500 times)
  4. Bouchard TJ, McGue M (May 1981). "Familial studies of intelligence: a review". Science. 212 (4498): 1055–9. doi:10.1126/science.7195071. PMID 7195071.  (Cited >350 times)
  5. McGue M, Bouchard TJ (July 1984). "Adjustment of twin data for the effects of age and sex". Behavior Genetics. 14 (4): 325–343. doi:10.1007/BF01080045. PMID 6542356.  (Cited >250 times)


  1. ^ "Thomas J Bouchard Jr.: Psychology : University of Minnesota". Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Allen, Arthur (1998-01-15). "Nature & Nurture When It Comes to Twins, Sometimes It's Hard To Tell the Two Apart". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Foundation For the Future | Kistler Prize Recipient 2005: Thomas J. Bouchard Jr". Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  4. ^ a b Web of Science, accessed July 27, 2009
  5. ^ Gottfredson, Linda (December 13, 1994). Mainstream Science on Intelligence. Wall Street Journal, p A18.
  6. ^ "Human Intelligence: The APA 1996 Intelligence Task Force Report". Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ a b "BGA - Historical table of BGA Meetings". Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  8. ^ "2010 Lifetime Achievement Award". December 12, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology.". American Psychologist. 69 (5): 477–479. 2014. doi:10.1037/a0036917. ISSN 1935-990X. 
  10. ^ "Honoring lifetime accomplishments". September 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2015.