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Linda Gottfredson

Linda Gottfredson

American psychologist
Linda Gottfredson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American psychologist
Is Psychologist Sociologist Educator
From United States of America
Type Academia Healthcare Social science
Gender female
Birth 24 June 1947, San Francisco
Age 73 years
Peoplepill ID linda-gottfredson
The details


Linda Susanne Gottfredson (née Howarth; born June 24, 1947) is a 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.
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.

Life and work

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. 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.

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..."

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 The Wall Street Journal. Since then she has written a number of articles on race and intelligence, especially as it applies to occupational qualification.


According to sociocultural anthropologist Francisco Gil-White, in publishing studies financed by the Pioneer Fund, Linda Gottfredson is part of a concerted effort to legitimize racist ideology through pseudo-science, together with an assortment of other people with inadequate or completely missing scientific qualifications for studying human intelligence:

suspicion naturally grows when one finds that Pioneer Fund recipients have only one thing in common: they attack blacks
The outspoken Linda Gottfredson once again is neither a psychologist nor a biologist, but a sociologist who teaches in the Department of Education at the University of Delaware. So we have a physicist, a philosopher, and a sociologist. What do they have in common with the IQ-testers? Other than that they attack blacks from their academic perches and collect their rewards from the Pioneer Fund, nothing.

Barry Mehler writes in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education that Gottfredson is attempting to promote racial theories used by the Nazis:

Thus we see that Gottfredson's opposition to affirmative action is based not in any such claimed "objectivity", but in a sanitized resurrection of ideas put forward by Nazi racial theorists. Under the false pretense of intellectual honesty, she has endorsed the same poisonous ideology that half a century ago led to the Holocaust.

According to the website Tracking the Alternative Right:

Linda Gottfredson joined Stefan Molyneux for the December 29 broadcast of Freedomain Radio, entitled "Race, Evolution and Intelligence." Using recycled claims from The Bell Curve — a notorious book by Richard Herrnstein (1930–1994) and Charles Murray — Molyneux asserted that there is a racial hierarchy as far as IQ distribution is concerned.
Gottfredson, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Delaware, agreed, noting that Molyneux neglected to mention one final racial category. "I would just add one more group, um, and that's African blacks. Um, the IQs of different, uh, groups of African blacks, you know, range more around 70." Gottfredson, of course, has accepted $267,000 in research grants by the racist Pioneer Fund since 1988, and was a staunch opponent of the 1991 Civil Rights Act.

Professional service

  • 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.
  • 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.


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

Selected articles and papers

  • 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). 

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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