Intellectual giftedness

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Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. It is a characteristic of children, variously defined, that motivates differences in school programming. It is thought to persist as a trait into adult life, with various consequences studied in longitudinal studies of giftedness over the last century. These consequences sometimes includes stigmatizing and social exclusion.[1][2][3][4] There is no generally agreed definition of giftedness for either children or adults, but most school placement decisions and most longitudinal studies over the course of individual lives have followed people with IQs in the top 2.5 percent of the population—that is, IQs above 130. Definitions of giftedness also vary across cultures.

The various definitions of intellectual giftedness include either general high ability or specific abilities. For example, by some definitions, an intellectually gifted person may have a striking talent for mathematics without equally strong language skills. In particular, the relationship between artistic ability or musical ability and the high academic ability usually associated with high IQ scores is still being explored, with some authors referring to all of those forms of high ability as "giftedness", while other authors distinguish "giftedness" from "talent". There is still much controversy and much research on the topic of how adult performance unfolds from trait differences in childhood, and what educational and other supports best help the development of adult giftedness.



The identification of giftedness first emerged after the development of IQ tests for school placement.[5][6][7] It has since become an important issue for schools, as the instruction of gifted students often presents special challenges. During the twentieth century, gifted children were often classified via IQ tests; other identification procedures have been proposed but are only used in a minority of cases in most public schools in the English-speaking world.[8][9][10] Developing useful identification procedures for students who could benefit from a more challenging school curriculum is an ongoing problem in school administration.[11][12]

Because of the key role that gifted education programs in schools play in the identification of gifted individuals, both children and adults, it is worthwhile to examine how schools define the term "gifted".


Since Lewis Terman in 1916, psychometricians and psychologists have sometimes equated giftedness with high IQ. Later researchers (e.g., Raymond Cattell, J. P. Guilford, and Louis Leon Thurstone) have argued that intellect cannot be expressed in such a unitary manner, and have suggested more multifaceted approaches to intelligence.

Research conducted in the 1980s and 1990s has provided data that supports notions of multiple components to intelligence. This is particularly evident in the reexamination of "giftedness" by Sternberg and Davidson in their collection of articles Conceptions of Giftedness (1986; second edition 2005). The many different conceptions of giftedness presented, although distinct, are interrelated in several ways. Most of the investigators define giftedness in terms of multiple qualities, not all of which are intellectual. IQ scores are often viewed as inadequate measures of giftedness.[13] Motivation, high self-concept, and creativity are key qualities in many of these broadened conceptions of giftedness.

Joseph Renzulli's (1978) "three ring" definition of giftedness is one frequently mentioned conceptualization of giftedness. Renzulli's definition, which defines gifted behaviors rather than gifted individuals, is composed of three components as follows: Gifted behavior consists of behaviors that reflect an interaction among three basic clusters of human traits—above average ability, high levels of task commitment, and high levels of creativity.[14] Individuals capable of developing gifted behavior are those possessing or capable of developing this composite set of traits and applying them to any potentially valuable area of human performance. Persons who manifest or are capable of developing an interaction among the three clusters require a wide variety of educational opportunities and services that are not ordinarily provided through regular instructional programs.

In Identifying Gifted Children: A Practical Guide, Susan K. Johnsen explains that gifted children all exhibit the potential for high performance in the areas included in the United States' federal definition of gifted and talented students:[15]

There is a federal government statutory definition of gifted and talented students in the United States.

The term "gifted and talented" when used in respect to students, children, or youth means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high-performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities." (The Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, P.L. 103–382, Title XIV, p. 388)

This definition has been adopted partially or completely by the majority of the individual states in the United States (which have the main responsibility for education policy as compared to the federal government). Most states have a definition similar to that used in the State of Texas:

"gifted and talented student" means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment, and who

  • exhibits high-performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  • possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
  • excels in a specific academic field." (74th legislature of the State of Texas, Chapter 29, Subchapter D, Section 29.121)

The major characteristics of these definitions are (a) the diversity of areas in which performance may be exhibited (e.g., intellectual, creativity, artistic, leadership, academically), (b) the comparison with other groups (e.g., those in general education classrooms or of the same age, experience, or environment), and (c) the use of terms that imply a need for development of the gift (e.g., capability and potential).

Since the late 90s, the development of the brain of people with high IQ scores has been shown to be different to that of people with average IQ scores. A longitudinal study over 6 years has shown that high-IQ children have a thinner cerebral cortex when young, which then grows quickly and becomes significantly thicker than the other children's by the time they became teenagers.[16]

Identification methods[edit]

IQ scores can vary for the same person, so a person does not always belong to the same IQ score range each time the person is tested. (IQ score table data and pupil pseudonyms adapted from description of KABC-II norming study cited in Kaufman 2009.[17])
Asher 90 95 111
Brianna 125 110 105
Colin 100 93 101
Danica 116 127 118
Elpha 93 105 93
Fritz 106 105 105
Georgi 95 100 90
Hector 112 113 103
Imelda 104 96 97
Jose 101 99 86
Keoku 81 78 75
Leo 116 124 102

In psychology, identification of giftedness is usually based on IQ scores. The threshold of IQ = 130 is defined by statistical rarity. By convention, the 5% of scores who fall more than two standard deviations from the mean (or more accurately 1.96) are considered atypical.[18] In the case of intelligence, these 5% are partitioned to both sides of the range of scores, and include the 2.5% who score more than two standard deviations below the mean and the 2.5% who score more than two standard deviations above the mean.[19][20] Because the average of IQ is 100 and its standard deviation is 15, this rule places the threshold for intellectual disability at IQ = 70, and the symmetrical threshold for giftedness at IQ = 130 (rounded).[21][22][23] This arbitrary threshold is used by most psychologists[24] in most countries.[25]

While IQ testing has the advantage of providing a standardised basis for the diagnosis of giftedness, psychologists are expected to interpret IQ scores in the context of all available information: standardized intelligence tests ignore actual achievement and can fail to detect giftedness. For example, a specific learning disorder such as dyslexia or dyspraxia can easily decrease scores on intelligence tests and hide true intellectual ability.

In educational settings, many schools in the US use a variety of assessments of students' capability and potential when identifying gifted children.[15] These may include portfolios of student work, classroom observations, achievement tests, and IQ test scores. Most educational professionals accept that no single criterion can be used in isolation to accurately identify a gifted child.

One of the criteria used in identification may be an IQ test score. Until the late 1960s, when "giftedness" was defined solely based on an IQ score, a school district simply set an arbitrary score (usually in the 130 range) and a student either did or did not "make the cut". This method is still used by many school districts because it is simple and objective. Although a high IQ score is not the sole indicator of giftedness, usually if a student has a very high IQ, that is a significant indicator of high academic potential.[26] Because of this consideration, if a student scores highly on an IQ test, but performs at an average or below-average level academically, school officials may think that this issue warrants further investigation as an example of underachievement.[27] However, scholars of educational testing point out that a test-taker's scores on any two tests may vary, so a lower score on an achievement test than on an IQ test neither necessarily indicates that the test-taker is underachieving nor necessarily that the school curriculum is under-challenging.[28]

IQ classification varies from one publisher to another. IQ tests have poor reliability for determining test-takers' rank order at higher IQ levels,[29] and are perhaps only effective at determining whether a student is gifted rather than distinguishing among levels of giftedness. The Wechsler test manuals have standard score ceilings of 160. However, higher ceilings, including scores into the exceptionally and profoundly gifted range, exist for the WISC-IV [30] and WISC-V,[31] which were specifically normed on large samples of gifted children. Today, the Wechsler child and adult IQ tests are by far the most commonly used IQ tests in hospitals, schools, and private psychological practice.[32][33] Older versions of the Stanford-Binet test, now obsolete, and the Cattell IQ test purport to yield IQ scores of 180 or higher, but those scores are not comparable to scores on currently normed tests. The Stanford-Binet Third Revision (Form L-M) yields consistently higher numerical scores for the same test-taker than scores obtained on current tests. This has prompted some authors on identification of gifted children to promote the Stanford-Binet form L-M, which has long been obsolete,[34] as the only test with a sufficient ceiling to identify the exceptionally and profoundly gifted, despite the Stanford-Binet L-M never having been normed on a representative national sample.[35] Because the instrument is outdated, current results derived from the Stanford-Binet L-M generate inflated and inaccurate scores.[36] The IQ assessment of younger children remains debated.

While many people believe giftedness is a strictly quantitative difference, measurable by IQ tests, some authors on the "experience of being" have described giftedness as a fundamentally different way of perceiving the world, which in turn affects every experience had by the gifted individual. This view is doubted by some scholars who have closely studied gifted children longitudinally.[37]

Across cultures[edit]

Characteristics and attributes associated with giftedness varies across cultures. While intelligence is extremely important in Western and some other cultures, such an emphasis is not consistent throughout the world. For example, in Japan, there is more of a value placed on an individual's motivation and diligence. When Japanese students are given a task, they attribute success to factors like effort, whereas American students tend to attribute success to ability. Similarly, when Japanese students fail, they refer the failure to lack of effort. On the other hand, American students believe failure is due to a lack of ability.[38] There are conceptions in rural Kenya that identify four types of intelligence: initiative (paro), knowledge and skills (rieko), respect (luoro), and comprehension of how to handle real-life problems (winjo).[39] Chan cites the Chinese belief that aspects of giftedness are innate, but that people can become gifted through industriousness, perseverance, and learning.[38] Not all who are intellectually gifted display every noticeable characteristic.

There are many reasons gifted students who have various backgrounds are not as successful at Western intelligence/achievement tests:[39]

  • Not used to answering questions just for the purpose of showing knowledge – they must use their knowledge to respond to authentic problems.
  • May perform poorly on paper-and-pencil tasks in an artificial lab setting.
  • May perform poorly on a culturally biased test, especially if not their own.
  • Have test anxiety or suffer from stereotype threat.

Many traits that demonstrate intellectual giftedness are identified across a multitude of cultures, such as:[39]

  • Displaying advanced reasoning and creative thinking, generating ideas beyond the norm
  • Resourceful and adaptable
  • Strongly motivated to understand the world
  • Well developed vocabulary in native language
  • Learns concepts quickly, and builds/develops these concepts
  • Strong sense of justice and morality
  • Displays leadership skills in various ways, such as persuasion, taking initiative, and leading by example
  • Comprehending and using humor beyond their age

Developmental theory[edit]

Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and emotional functions are often developed differently (or to differing extents) at different stages of development. One frequently cited example of asynchronicity in early cognitive development is Albert Einstein, who was delayed in speech, but whose later fluency and accomplishments belied this initial delay. Psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker theorized that, rather than viewing Einstein's (and other famously gifted late-talking individuals) adult accomplishments as existing distinct from, or in spite of, his early language deficits, and rather than viewing Einstein's lingual delay itself as a "disorder", it may be that Einstein's genius and his delay in speaking were developmentally intrinsic to one another.[40]

It has been said that gifted children may advance more quickly through stages established by post-Freudian developmentalists such as Jean Piaget.[41] Gifted individuals also experience the world differently, resulting in certain social and emotional issues.

Francoy Gagne's (2000) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) is a developmental theory that distinguishes giftedness from talent, offering explanation on how outstanding natural abilities (gifts) develop into specific expert skills (talents).[42] According to DMGT theory, "one cannot become talented without first being gifted, or almost so".[43] There are six components that can interact in countless and unique ways that foster the process of moving from having natural abilities (giftedness) to systematically developed skills.

These components consist of the gift (G) itself, chance (C), environmental catalyst (EC), intrapersonal catalyst (IC), learning/practice (LP) and the outcome of talent (T).[43][citation needed] It is important to know that (C), (IC), and (EC) can facilitate but can also hinder the learning and training of becoming talented. The learning/practice is the moderator. It is through the interactions, both environmental and intrapersonal that influence the process of learning and practice along with/without chance that natural abilities are transformed into talents.

Multiple intelligences theory[edit]

Multiple intelligences has been associated with giftedness or overachievement of some developmental areas (Colangelo, 2003).[44] Multiple intelligences has been described as an attitude towards learning, instead of techniques or strategies (Cason, 2001).[45]

Howard Gardner proposed in Frames of Mind (Gardner 1983/1994) that intellectual giftedness may be present in areas other than the typical intellectual realm. The concept of Multiple Intelligences (MI) makes the field aware of additional potential strengths and proposes a variety of curricular methods. Gardner argued that there are eight intelligences, or different areas in which people assimilate or learn about the world around them: interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, naturalistic, and spatial-visual.[46]

The most common criticism of Gardner's MI theory is "the belief by scholars that each of the seven multiple intelligences is a cognitive style rather than a stand-alone construct". Others consider the theory not to be sufficiently empirical.[46] This perspective has also been criticized on the grounds that it is ad hoc: that Gardner is not expanding the definition of the word "intelligence", but rather denies the existence of intelligence as traditionally understood, and instead uses the word "intelligence" where other people have traditionally used words like "ability" and "aptitude".

Identification of gifted students with MI is a challenge since there is no simple test to determine the giftedness of MI. Assessing by observation is potentially most accurate, but potentially highly subjective. MI theory can be applied to not only gifted students, but it can be a lens through which all students can be assessed. This more global perspective may lead to more child-centered instruction and meet the needs of a greater number of children (Colangelo, 2003).[44]


Savants are individuals who perform exceptionally in a single field of learning. More often, the terms savant and savantism describe people with a competence level in a single field of learning well beyond what is considered normal, even among the gifted community. Such individuals are alternatively termed idiot savants ─ a term that has been mentioned as early as the eighteenth century.[47] Autistic savantism refers to the exceptional abilities occasionally exhibited by people with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. These abilities often come with below-age-level functioning in most, if not all areas of skilled performance.[48] The term was introduced in a 1978 article in Psychology Today describing this condition. It is also proposed that there are savants with normal or superior IQ such as those with Asperger syndrome, who demonstrate special abilities involving numbers, mathematics, mechanical, and spatial skills.[49]

Gifted minority students in the United States[edit]

The majority of students enrolled in gifted programs are White; Black and Hispanic students constitute a smaller proportion than their enrollment in school.[50] For example, statistics from 1993 indicate that in the U.S., Black students represented 16.2% of public school students, but only constituted 8.4% of students enrolled in gifted education programs. Similarly, while Hispanic students represented 9% of public school students, these students only represented 4.7% of those identified as gifted.[51] However, Asian students make up only 3.6% of the student body, yet constitute 14% in the gifted programs. Poor students are also underrepresented in gifted programs, even more than Black and Hispanic students are.[52]

Lack of equity and access in programs for the gifted has been acknowledged since the early twentieth century. In the 1920s, research by Lillian Steele Proctor pointed to systemic racism as a contributor to the relative invisibility of gifted African American youth.[53] In their 2004 study, "Addressing the Achievement Gap Between Minority and Nonminority Children by Increasing Access to Gifted Programs" Olszewski-Kubilius et al. write that minority students are "less likely to be nominated by teachers as potential candidates for gifted programs and, if nominated, are less likely to be selected for the program, particularly when such traditional measures as I.Q. and achievement tests are used for identification."[54]

This underrepresentation of such students in gifted programs is attributed to a multiplicity of factors including cultural bias of testing procedures, selective referrals and educator bias, and reliance on deficit-based paradigms.[55] To address the inequities in assessment procedures, researchers suggest the use of multiple tests and alternative methods of testing, such as performance-based assessment measures, oral-expressiveness measures as well as non-verbal ability assessments (such as Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Tests (NNAT) or Raven's Matrix Analogies Tests).[56]

According to 2013-2014 data collected by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education, White students have more opportunities and exposure to attending schools that offer gifted and talented education programs (GATE) than racial and ethnic minority students, specifically Black and Latino students. Data collected by the Office of Civil Rights department of the Department of Education also reveal that racial/ethnic minority students are underrepresented in gifted and talented education programs. Forty-nine percent of all students enrolled in schools that offer GATE programs are White. Whereas 42% of all students enrolled in schools that offer GATE programs are Latino and Black. Thus revealing that white people have more opportunities to be a part of a school that offers GATE programs. The issue is within these GATE programs 29% of the students are Latino and Black and 57% are White (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).[57][58]

Weinstein's (2002) suggests that some teachers recommend racial minority students – with the exception of Asian students – to special education and remedial classes more often than gifted and talented classes due to teacher expectancy biases placed on racial minority students. Teachers' expectations of their students' academic performance influence how students perceive themselves. If a teacher expects more success academically from specific students, those students are prone to displaying behavior and work ethic that will set them apart from others in a positive light. Whereas if a teacher only expects the bare minimum from his or her students, those students will merely do what is expected of them (Weinstein, 2002).[59]

Racial minority students who are perceived as being disadvantaged from their peers in regards to socioeconomic status tend to have less supportive relations with their teachers (Fitzpatrick, 2015).[60] Due to this lack of support, teachers do not expect these disadvantaged students to go above and beyond, therefore they are often overlooked when it is time for gifted and talented education program nominations. Research suggests that teacher expectancy bias can also be diminish by matching the racial demographics of students to that of teachers. Gershenson and colleagues (2016) found that non-Black teachers held low expectations of their black students specifically in relation to black male students and math. Whereas, Black teachers held high expectations to black male students in regards to math. This finding suggests that racial diversity in our educators is a positive step toward diminishing teacher expectancy bias.[61]

Weinstein and colleagues (1991)[62] aimed to change the low expectations attached to racial minority students of an urban high school that placed many Black and Latino students in remedial programs rather than college preparatory or honor classes. The study aimed to prepare these racial minority students for college-level academic work while attending high school. With positive teacher attitudes toward students and greater teacher self-efficacy, the students who were once on track to being recommended for remedial classes were performing at advanced academic levels after 2 years of intervention. They were also more heavily involved in leadership roles at their high school. This study supports the claim that teacher expectancy contributes to how a student sees him or herself in regards to achievements (Weinstein et al., 1991).[62]

Gifted students of color experience success when multicultural content is incorporated in the curriculum and furthermore when the curriculum itself is designed to be culturally and linguistically compatible.[50] A culturally diverse curriculum and instruction encourages gifted minority students to experience a sense of belonging and validation as scholars.[63] Furthermore, the educator's role in this process is significant as Lee et al. argue that "[t]eacher awareness and understanding of students' racial and cultural differences and their ability to incorporate multicultural perspectives into curricular content and instructional techniques may counter gifted minority students' discomfort in being one of the few minority students in gifted programs."[63]


The term twice-exceptional was coined by James J. Gallagher to denote students who are both gifted and have disabilities.[64][65] In other words, twice-exceptional students are those who have two special needs. For instance, they might have gifted learning needs and a learning disability. Or, they may be a gifted learner and have a developmental disability, such as autism spectrum disorder.

People have known about twice-exceptional students for thirty years; however, identification and program strategies remain ambiguous.[66] These students represent a unique challenge for the educational system. Teachers and educators will need to make special accommodations for their learning deficits (such as remediation), yet adapt the curriculum to meet their advanced learning needs (for instance, through acceleration or enrichment).[66] Twice-exceptional students are considered to be at risk because they are hidden within the general population of their educational environment, and often viewed as either underachievers or average learners.[66][67]

Early identification and intervention is critical; however, giftedness in the twice-exceptional population is often identified later than in the average population as it is masked by the disability. The disabilities may include auditory processing weaknesses, sensory-motor integration issues, visual perceptual difficulties, spatial disorientation, dyslexia, and attention deficits. Recognition of learning difficulties among the gifted is made extremely difficult by virtue of their ability to compensate. Among the signs that the student may be twice-exceptional are apparent inconsistencies between abilities and results, deficits in short-term memory and attention, and negative behaviors such as being sarcastic, negative, or aggressive.[68]

A child prodigy who demonstrates qualities to be twice-exceptional may encounter additional difficulties. With insight at a young age, it is possible for them to be constantly aware of the risk of failure. This can be detrimental to their emotional state and academic achievement. If a child comprehends a subject well, but due to a developmental disorder receives poor grades in a subject, the child may have difficulty understanding why there is little success in that subject.[69]

Social and emotional issues[edit]


Social isolation is a common trait in gifted individuals,[70] especially those with no social network of gifted peers. In order to gain popularity, gifted children will often try to hide their abilities to win social approval. Strategies include underachievement (discussed below) and the use of less sophisticated vocabulary when among same-age peers than when among family members or other trusted individuals.[71]

Some believe that the isolation experienced by gifted individuals is not caused by giftedness itself, but by society's response to giftedness and to the rarity of peers. Plucker and Levy have noted that, "in this culture, there appears to be a great pressure for people to be 'normal' with a considerable stigma associated with giftedness or talent."[72] To counteract this problem, gifted education professionals recommend creating a peer group based on common interests and abilities. The earlier this occurs, the more effective it is likely to be in preventing isolation.[73][74] Since the mid-1940s, several high-IQ societies of varying levels of selectivity have been established to help gifted individuals find intellectual peers, the oldest ones being Mensa and Intertel, established in 1946 and 1966 respectively.[75][76]

Some research suggests that mathematically gifted adolescents might have deficiencies in social valuation and mentalization,[77] while gifted adolescents in general may struggle with social adaptive learning,[78] but these conclusions are not supported by a large literature.


Perfectionism, while considered to have many positive aspects, can be another issue for gifted individuals. It is encouraged by the fact that gifted individuals tend to be easily successful in much of what they do.

Healthy perfectionism refers to having high standards, a desire to achieve, conscientiousness, or high levels of responsibility. It is likely to be a virtue rather than a problem, even if gifted children may have difficulty with healthy perfectionism because they set standards that would be appropriate to their mental age (the level at which they think), but they cannot always meet them because they are bound to a younger body, or the social environment is restrictive. In such cases, outsiders may call some behavior perfectionism, while for the gifted this may simply be their standard. It has been said that perfectionism "becomes desirable when it stimulates the healthy pursuit of excellence."[79]

Some believe that perfectionism can be unhealthy. Unhealthy perfectionism stems from equating one's worth as a human being to one's achievements, and the simultaneous belief that any work less than perfect is unacceptable and will lead to criticism. Because perfection in the majority of human activities is neither desirable, nor possible, this cognitive distortion creates self-doubt, performance anxiety, and ultimately procrastination.

Unhealthy perfectionism can be triggered or further exacerbated by parents, siblings, or classmates with good or ill intentions. Parents are usually proud and will extensively praise the gifted child. On the other hand, siblings, peers, and school bullies may generally become jealous or envious of the intellectual ease of the gifted child and tease him or her about any minor imperfection in his or her work, strength, clothes, appearance, or behavior. Either approach—positive reinforcement from parents or negative reactions from siblings and peers for minor flaws—may push gifted children into equating their worth amongst their peers to their own abilities; thus, any imperfection could be viewed as a serious defect in themselves. This unhealthy perfectionism can be further exaggerated when the child counters bullying with the same tactics (i.e., insulting the less exceptional abilities of others), thus creating further disdain in himself for low or even average performance.

There are many theories that try to explain the correlation between perfectionism and giftedness. Perfectionism can become a problem as it frustrates and inhibits achievements.

D. E. Hamachek identified six specific, overlapping types of behavior associated with perfectionism. They are:[80]


Underachievement is a significant issue for gifted learners. There is often a stark gap between the abilities of the gifted individual and their actual accomplishments. Many gifted students will perform extremely well on standardized or reasoning tests, only to fail a class exam. It is estimated that half of gifted children do not perform in school at a level that is up to their abilities. Studies of high school dropouts in the United States estimate that between 18% and 25% of gifted students fail to graduate.[81] This disparity can result from various factors, such as loss of interest in classes that are too easy or negative social consequences of being perceived as smart.[82] Underachievement can also result from emotional or psychological factors, including depression, anxiety, perfectionism, low self esteem, or self-sabotage.[83][84]

An often-overlooked contributor to underachievement is undiagnosed learning differences. A gifted individual is less likely to be diagnosed with a learning disorder than a non-gifted classmate, as the gifted child can more readily compensate for their paucities. This masking effect is dealt with by understanding that a difference of one standard deviation between scores constitutes a learning disability even if all of the scores are above average. Assessments may also fail to identify some gifted students entirely because their underachieving behaviours keep them from being recognized as exceptional.[85]

Some gifted children may not be aware that they are gifted. One apparently effective way to attempt to reverse underachievement in gifted children includes educating teachers to provide enrichment projects based on students' strengths and interests without attracting negative attention from peers. Other methods include matching the underachiever with an achieving role model, correcting skill deficiencies and ensuring that proper assessments are in place to identify all learning issues with underachieving students.[86]


It has been thought in the past that there is a correlation between giftedness and depression.[citation needed] This is not an established research finding. As Reis and Renzulli mention,

With the exception of creatively gifted adolescents who are talented in writing or the visual arts, studies do not confirm that gifted individuals manifest significantly higher or lower rates or severity of depression than those for the general population. Gifted children's advanced cognitive abilities, social isolation, sensitivity, and uneven development may cause them to face some challenging social and emotional issues, but their problem-solving abilities, advanced social skills, moral reasoning, out-of-school interests, and satisfaction in achievement may help them to be more resilient.[82]

There is also no research that points to suicide attempt rates being higher in gifted adolescents than other adolescents.[87]

See also[edit]


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  5. ^ Mackintosh, N. J. (2011). IQ and Human Intelligence (second ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-19-958559-5. Retrieved 15 June 2014. The Binet scales, as they were known, formed the basis of modern IQ tests, just as mental age formed the basis for IQ scores. ... Although Galton was the first to try to measure individual differences in intelligence, it was Binet who appeared to have succeeded.
  6. ^ Urbina, Susana (2011). "Chapter 2: Tests of Intelligence". In Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry (eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–38, 24–25. ISBN 9780521739115. The closest Binet came to defining intelligence was in an article he co-authored with Simon (1904) in which they equate intelligence with judgment or common sense, adding that 'to judge well, to comprehend well, to reason well' (p. 197) are the essential activities' of intelligence. Unlike Galton, Binet believed that intelligence consists of a complex set of abilities—such as attention, memory, and reasoning—that are fluid and shaped by environmental and cultural influences.
  7. ^ Pintner, Rudolph (1923). Intelligence Testing: Methods and Results. New York: Henry Holt. p. 196. Retrieved 14 July 2013. We do not mean to leave the impression that before the general use of mental tests no attention had ever been paid to children of remarkable ability. We find many references in literature to especially bright children, and the biographies of many great men bear record of their superior performances in childhood. Nevertheless, such references are scattered and leave the impression of something peculiar and very uncommon. Superior intelligence has certainly not been recognized as a vital educational problem. It is becoming to be so regarded today, because of the scientific study of such children by means of intelligence tests.
  8. ^ Davis, Gary A.; Rimm, Sylvia B.; Siegle, Del (April 2010). Education of the Gifted and Talented. Pearson Education, Limited. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-13-505607-3. In her article "The Case Against Formal Identification," Davidson (1986) expressed strong frustration with formal testing, rating, and nomination procedures, including the use of point systems and cutoffs. Davidson noted that a student with a tested IQ of 110 may show greater giftedness in the sense of originality and thought-provoking ideas and answers than a student with a tested IQ of 140—who will be selected for the program. Even creativity tests do not measure every aspect of a child's creativeness, noted Davidson; and peer, parent, and teacher nominations can be biased in favor of popular, English-speaking, middle-class students.
  9. ^ Callahan, Carolyn M.; Hertberg-Davis, Holly L. (21 August 2012). "Chapter 32: Heterogeneity among the Gifted". In Callahan, Carolyn M.; Hertberg-Davis, Holly L. (eds.). Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives. Routledge. p. 330. ISBN 978-1-136-94643-1. While there are differences among subgroups of students identified as gifted, there are also differences among students in the general population whose talents are never addressed because we fail even to recognize that talent. Considerable attention has been directed at the under-representation of these students in programs for the gifted. Among the groups most often recognized as deserving of special attention for identification, talent development, and subsequent adjustments in curriculum are African American, Latino/Latina, and twice-exceptional learners.
  10. ^ McIntosh, David E.; Dixon, Felicia A.; Pierson, Eric E. (2012). "Chapter 25: Use of Intelligence Tests in the Identification of Giftedness". In Flanagan, Dawn P.; Harrison, Patti L. (eds.). Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (Third ed.). New York: Guilford Press. pp. 623–42, 636. ISBN 978-1-60918-995-2. ERIC ED530599. The use of a single cognitive test composite score as the primary criterion for determining giftedness is highly common within schools. In the past, the WISC-R (Wechsler, 1974) and the fourth edition of the Stanford-Binet (SB-IV; Thorndike, Hagen, & Sattler, 1986) were the most commonly used cognitive measures in the schools (Coleman & Cross, 2005).
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External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of gifted at Wiktionary