Gottfredson wins award for journal article
Linda Gottfredson
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7:59 a.m., Jan. 22, 2009----Linda Gottfredson, professor of education and affiliated faculty in UD's undergraduate honors program, has received the 2008 George A. Miller Award for outstanding journal article in general psychology across specialty areas from the Society for General Psychology, a divison of the American Psychological Association.

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Gottfredson's article, “Intelligence: Is it the epidemiologists' elusive 'fundamental cause' of social class inequities in health?” was published in 2004 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (v. 86, pp. 174-199).

The article seeks to identify the root cause of a phenomenon observed in all modern societies: the generally poorer health of citizens of lower socioeconomic status regardless of time, place, disease or type of health system.

The article was the unanimous choice of the awards committee, chaired by Thomas Bouchard of the University of Minnesota. The committee cited Gottfredson's successful integration of three major subdisciplines-individual differences in mental ability, health psychology, and epidemiology-as exemplifying the award criteria.

“It puts forward a strongly supported causal model designed to explain, in part, a puzzling feature of modern societies, even those with near universal health care,” the award announcement stated. “The model makes numerous predictions and is thus empirically refutable. The paper is one facet of a highly productive, comprehensive, integrative, long-term research program that crosses numerous research boundaries.”

“My concern,” said Gottfredson, “is that as treatment regimens become ever more complex, fewer patients are able to understand and follow them. Patients make more life-threatening errors, and the waste in scarce health dollars is truly enormous. That's why my project is now analyzing daily self-management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes-much the way job analysts would deconstruct any other job-to identify where and why people are most likely to make critical errors. The aim is to use this information to reconfigure their 'jobs,' improve training or provide them better supervision and support.”

Gottfredson is co-director of the Delaware-Johns Hopkins Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, she has also won two Mensa awards for excellence in research.

Gottfredson will be recognized along with other award recipients at the 2009 APA convention in Boston in August, where she has been invited to give a lecture.

Article by Beth Chajes