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Linda Susanne Gottfredson (née Howarth; born June 24, 1947) is an American psychologist and writer. She is professor emeritus 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.[1]

Linda Gottfredson
Linda Gottfredson ISIR Distinguished Contributor Interview.jpg
Linda Gottfredson interviewed in 2016
Linda Susanne Howarth

(1947-06-24) June 24, 1947 (age 71)
Alma materUC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University
Known forMainstream Science on Intelligence
Scientific career
FieldsEducational psychology
InstitutionsUniversity of Delaware, editorial boards of Intelligence, Learning and Individual Differences, and Society
ThesisThe relation of situs of work to occupational achievement (1977)

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, an organization which has been described as "racist" and "white supremacist".[2][3][4]


Life and workEdit

Gottfredson was born in San Francisco on June 24th, 1947. She is a third generation university faculty member. Her father, Jack A. Howarth (died 2006), was a faculty at U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as was his father.[5][6] Gottfredson initially majored in biology, but later transferred to psychology with her first husband, Gary Don Gottfredson. They 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.

In 1989, The Washington Post reported that one of Gottfredson's presentations was cited favorably by an article in the National Association for the Advancement of White People's magazine.[9]

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.[10]

She was promoted to full professor at the University of Delaware in 1990.

In 1992, after two and a half years of debate and protest, the University of Delaware's administration reached a settlement that once again allowed Gottfredson and Jan Blits to continue receiving research funding from the Pioneer Fund.[11]

Gottfredson's research and views have stirred considerable controversy, especially her testimony on public affirmative action policy and her defense of The Bell Curve, in particular a statement she wrote, Mainstream Science on Intelligence, which was signed by 51 colleagues and published in The Wall Street Journal.[12] Since then, she has written a number of articles on race and intelligence, especially as it applies to occupational qualification.

Gottfredson has been very critical of psychologist Robert Sternberg, arguing against his position that there is a "practical intelligence" that is separate from the "analytical intelligence" measured by IQ tests.[13]


  • George A Miller Award (for outstanding journal article across specialty areas), Society for General Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2008[14]
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science, elected 1998[15]
  • Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, elected 1995[16]
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, elected 1994
  • Fellow, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, elected 1994
  • Mensa Press Award, 2005.[17]
  • Mensa Award for Excellence in Research, 2005.
  • Faculty Senate Commendation for Extraordinary Leadership and Service, University of Delaware, awarded May 2, 2005.[18]
  • Mensa Education and Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Research, 1999–2000.

Selected articles and papersEdit

  • Gottfredson, Linda S. (March–April 1994). "Egalitarian Fiction and Collective Fraud" (PDF). Society. 31 (3): 53–59. doi:10.1007/bf02693231. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  • Gottfredson, Linda S. (2009). "Chapter 1: Logical Fallacies Used to Dismiss the Evidence on Intelligence Testing". In Phelps, Richard P. Correcting Fallacies about Educational and Psychological Testing. Washington (DC): American Psychological Association. ISBN 978-1-4338-0392-5. Lay summary (9 July 2013).


  1. ^ Kilborn, Peter T. (19 May 1991). "The Nation; 'Race Norming' Tests Becomes a Fiery Issue". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Avner Falk. Anti-semitism: a history and psychoanalysis of contemporary hatred. Abc-Clio, 2008, pg. 18
  3. ^ Kaufman, Ron (July 6, 1992). "U. Delaware Reaches Accord On Race Studies". The Scientist. 6 (14): 1.
  4. ^ Miller, Adam (1994). "The Pioneer Fund: Bankrolling the Professors of Hate". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (6): 58–61. doi:10.2307/2962466. JSTOR 2962466.
  5. ^ "Jack Howrath". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  6. ^ Wainer, Howard; Robinson, Daniel H. (September 2009). "Linda S. Gottfredson". Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. 34 (3): 395–427. doi:10.3102/1076998609339366. ISSN 1076-9986.
  7. ^ [1][full citation needed]
  8. ^ [2][full citation needed]
  9. ^ ANDERSON, JACK; ATTA, DALE VAN (1989-11-16). "PIONEER FUND'S CONTROVERSIAL PROJECTS". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  10. ^ "Race, IQ, Success and Charles Murray"
  11. ^ Kaufman, Ron (6 July 1992). "U. Delaware Reaches Accord On Race Studies". The Scientist.
  12. ^ Gottfredson, Linda (December 13, 1994). Mainstream Science on Intelligence. The Wall Street Journal, p. A18.
  13. ^ Goode, Erica (3 April 2001). "His Goal: Making Intelligence Tests Smarter". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "University Press Release on Award"
  15. ^ "List of Fellows from APS-website"
  16. ^ "List of scholars"
  17. ^ "Mensa Press Release on the Reward"
  18. ^ "UDEL-website"
  19. ^ Gottfredson, L. S. (1981). "Circumscription and Compromise: A Developmental Theory of Occupational Aspirations" (PDF). Journal of Counseling Psychology (Monograph). 28 (6): 545–579.

External linksEdit