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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Understanding the Gifted Adult and College Student



Turning young gifted people into adult producers is part of a range of factors based within both their environment and personality traits. The author Paula Olszewski-Kubilius presents a model that explains key traits that make this population unique. Helping college students understand giftedness and manifest their abilities promotes a more creative adult that can foster industry, and at times, national growth. 

"The unifying similarity among geniuses and innovators is not cognitive or affective but motivational. What is common among them is the unwillingness or inability to strive for goals everyone else accepts--their refusal to live by a presented life theme (Csikszentmihalyi ,1985, p. 114). Gifted individuals create their own paths in life and are not willing to accept the paths others believe they should have. 

Two types of gifted adults often emerge. Those who come from intact families are scholastically advanced while those who do not become more creative. Scholastic adults are great at earning higher grades while creative adults find new ways of doing things. Each has a positive benefit on society. Their abilities are manifested based upon their motivations. It is this motivation that makes all the differences between over achievement and underachievement. 

Gifted adults have some traits based in their biological, psychological and social development. Each seeks to create something within their lives in a long developing destiny. It is an internal feeling that pushes them to continue to create, develop and master. To understand those traits that are common to gifted children and adults it can help administrators understand how to fully bloom this group for the advancement of society. 

Time Alone:  Gifted adults often seek out time alone based upon both their psychological processes as well as their childhood environments. They use this time to solve complex problems, gain skills, read, learn and experiment. 

Thriving off Stress: Geniuses do not develop well when things are boring and conventional. They seek out stress and have developed advanced methods of dealing with that stress. They keep seeking improvement where others have long accepted the “status qua”.  

Rejection of Conventionality: Conventionality requires people to follow societal rules and these rules based more in tradition than in practicality. Those who reject conventionality have different points of view that make them more creative and unique. 

Intellectual Stimulation as Emotional Expression: Highly gifted adults use past experiences to create higher levels of intellectual stimulation.  These activities are expressions of who they are and the problems they have faced in their lives. 

Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2000). The transition from childhood giftedness to adult creative productiveness: psychological characteristics and social supports. Roeper Review, 23 (2).

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