L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Stephen Gottfredson

Stephen Gottfredson

Provost emeritus and university professor

Valentine House, First Floor Phone: (804) 828-0105 Email: sdgottfr@vcu.edu


  • Behavioral prediction
  • Criminal justice decision-making
  • Higher education policy and practice


B.A., Psychology, University of Oregon
M.A., Psychology, The Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D., Psychology, The Johns Hopkins University


Focused Inquiry (freshman sequence), research methods, statistics for the social sciences, behavioral prediction and decision making, selected topics in criminal justice and criminology, history and sociology of science, higher education leadership and policy

Research interests

Behavioral prediction, criminal justice decision making, program evaluation, environmental criminology, comparative research methods, higher education policy and practice


Gottfredson is a psychologist with a strong interest in social and community problems. He has published extensively in five general areas: the sociology of science, behavioral prediction, environmental criminology, the measurement and scaling of criminal offenses and correctional policy. He has received about $3 million in competitively awarded research grants from a wide variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Corrections, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Department of the Treasury. He has served on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals and has prepared papers or served as reviewer for three separate panels of the National Academy of Sciences. As an administrator, Gottfredson has served The Johns Hopkins University, Temple University, Indiana University and, most recently, Virginia Commonwealth University, where until recently he was provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Selected publications

Behavioral prediction and the problem of incapacitation. Criminology, 1994, 32(3), 441-474 (with D.M. Gottfredson).

Race, gender, and guidelines-based decisionmaking. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 1996, 33(1), 49-69 (with G.R. Jarjoura).

Statistical risk assessment: old problems and new applications. Crime and Delinquency, 2006, 52(1), 1-24 (with L.J. Moriarty).

Clinical versus actuarial judgments in criminal justice decisions: should one replace the other? Federal Probation, September, 2006, 15-18 (with L.J. Moriarty).