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Louis (Eliyahu) Guttman (Hebrew: לואיס (אליהו) גוטמן
- 1916 – 1987) was founder and Scientific Director of the Israel Institute of Applied Social Research, later renamed the Guttman Institute, and Professor of Social and Psychological Assessment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in the United States, Guttman later emigrated to Palestine with his wife Ruth in 1947.
Guttman was described as a brilliant innovator who "saw theory in method and method in theory", was "informed by high sophistication in mathematics, statistics, sociology and psychology", and one who "made a major contribution to democratic policy-making in the new state" and “was concerned with the 'well-being' of individuals, groups and society" (from a posthumous award ceremony by the World Association of Public Opinion Research, 1988). His work left a legacy of major developments in the theory and practice of scale and factor analysis, multidimensional scaling analysis and Facet Theory. His earlier work in scaling analysis produced what has been called the Guttman scale.
Early Life and Education
Guttman received both his undergraduate (BA, 1936) and graduate training (MA, 1939) at the University of Minnesota, earning his doctorate in social and psychological measurement in 1942. From 1941 to 1947 Guttman was professor of sociology at Cornell University, while as part of the World War II effort, he also served as an Expert Consultant to the US Army’s Research Branch. His innovative methodological work on attitudes was published in the 4th volume of The American Soldier.
Guttman published in numerous journals and books, including over 300 pages in Psychometrika. Many of his papers are still quoted in the scientific literature as being relevant and important to current statistical and mathematical advances. Scale analysis, Facet theory and his mathematical and philosophical treatments of Factor analysis are among the important parts of his scientific legacy. Notably, Guttman first proved several fundamental theorems in matrix algebra, as discussed in papers by Hubert, Meulman and Heiser (2000) and Takane and Yanai (2005). Several of Guttman’s contributions have been incorporated into computer packages, among them Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) and Partial Order Scalogram Analysis (POSAC).
Honors and Awards
- Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
- Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- President, Psychometric Society
- 1955-1956 Stanford University: Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
- 1962 Rothschild Prize
- 1971 Science: included Guttman in a list of the 62 most important contributors to scientific research in the social sciences since the beginning of the 20th century. * 1974 Regents of the University of Minnesota - Outstanding Achievement Award
- 1978 Israel Prize in the Social Sciences
- 1984 Educational Testing Service Measurement Award from Princeton University.
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