Showing posts with label giftedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giftedness. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Intuition and Scientific Advancement Among the Gifted Population

Giftedness is a trait that comes with high intensity, motivation, love of learning and emotional sensitivities that make a person highly functional in the environment. Many countries have gifted enrichment programs to ensure that such individuals can fully contribute to the development of society. The U.S. has not fully developed their programs. Understanding the power of giftedness and their intuition that leads to career success is important in fostering their abilities for the benefit of everyone. 

Science has moved beyond the definition of giftedness and is working on better ways to select and categories giftedness for better development (Porath, 2013). Intuition is one of those gifted traits that lead to higher mastery of the environment and scientific innovation through perceiving differences within the environment. That perception matched with the rigor of scientific logic encourages new discoveries.

Intuition can be extremely powerful and can culminate in all types of useful conclusions that would have taken years with the normal investigative process.  Intuition is seen as a cognitive style that has been described as the “sixth sense” where the unconscious recognizes patterns and solutions to those patterns before the conscious mind is aware (Pearson, 2013). Such processes can be used to make accurate decisions and investigated for clarity afterwards. 

Intuition is so powerful it can do things science cannot yet explain fully. For example, intuition can lead to health choices that put cancer in remission, picking a better deck of cards for better results, and selecting items behind screens without seeing anything that would tip a person off. According to Dr. Turner book Radical Remission the body picks up on environmental cues unconsciously and makes conclusions that manifest themselves in physiological responses (Turner, 2014). 

Gifted individuals have powerful senses of intuition and logic that can lead them to unique AND innovative methods of solving problems.  According to studies on highly intelligent and creative people, gifted individuals often display a preference for either rationality or intuition (Karwowski, 2008). The style they rely on will impact how they understand and approach their world. 

Intuition among the gifted is an interesting and often unexplored trait where their biological and psychological preference matches to create unique powers of understanding and reasoning. The same skill that allows them to find new discoveries in their respective fields also leaves many unable to follow their train of thought. Gifted individuals are considered relatively rare among the population and ensuring they have the social, legal, and intellectual support/protection is important for advancing society. 

Karwowski, M. (2008). Giftedness and Intuition. Gifted and Talented International, 23 (1).
Pearson, H. (2013). Science and intuition: do both have a place in clinical decision making? British Journal of Nursing, 22 (4). 

Porath, M. (2013). The gifted personality: what are we searching for and why? Talent Development & Excellence, 5 (2). 

Turner, K. (2014). The science behind intuition. Psychology Today. Retrieved

Friday, February 21, 2014

Research has yet to define the Spark of Life in the Gifted

Gifted students may have the intelligence but they also need the spark of life to make them genius masters. Joan Freeman discusses her experiences and research on the subject in her publication A Quality of Giftedness. She delves into the hard science but also discusses that science misses something very important because each gifted person finds their own path to make waves in the world; this is not easily calculated. That quality does not change as people get older even if they must focus on making money and supporting families. 

Her recognition of gifted youth is often based on their novelty to answering questions and problems. Teachers are annoyed and attempt to cram these children into a pre-defined rule set that is often more beneficial for the teacher than the student. Sit down, be quiet, do this work, read this, don’t ask annoying questions may be some of the feedback they receive throughout their educational careers. It is one of the reasons why such gifted students often drop out of school despite their abilities. 

The trait that seems to have the most universality is their novelty in solving problems that show a creativity and ability to “think outside the box” on issues. While most students are giving the standard simple answers the gifted child says the most ludicrous statements. Most of the time, these answers are simply given an odd look and discounted as bazaar. Few may look deeper to ask the question, “What do you mean?”

That is where ability comes into play. Some will begin to talk in painstaking detail connecting tid bit of information to tid bit of information to create long strings of logic, others will discuss the context of the information, while others will show you what they mean. Advanced intelligence is based in their ability to explain and find ways of coming to new conclusions that when given a chance to discuss end up being more in depth and logical than the standard answer.  The bazaar is then practical.

Despite this intelligence there is something different between the ones who make it and the ones who don’t. That is the Spark of Life! The ones who have it continually engage in a process of self-development day in and day out. They practice over and over because the action is worth more than the outcome. They have an insatiable urge to simply be, overcome, and master. Their inner power is like a nuclear reactor that continues to smash atoms until they reach their destination. 

For many this doesn’t change when they become adults. Until their last breath they will continue to seek information, create something new, and engage in their pursuits. It is a powerhouse of desire. The type of giftedness will determine the abilities they show such as empathy, arts, science, etc. The author contends a few of the children grow up to be system busters that can be identified through their old souls and abilities that seem to align with the angels. Research has yet to master their unique paths and how the rules change for each gifted individual.

Freeman, J. (2012). A quality of giftedness. Gifted & Talented International, 27 (2)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Self-Perceptions of Gifted Students

Academic potential, creativity and specific areas of strength generally characterize gifted abilities. However, those areas of excelling outside of the academic arena are also part of gifted traits. A paper by Lister and Roberts (2011), discusses the self-concept of giftedness and how this often lacks a proper perspective of physical abilities and attractiveness. Their meta-analysis includes 40 studies  conducted between 1978 and 2004 to come to their conclusions on how gifted individuals view themselves.

Self-concepts are an important aspect of performance. Self-conception can be defined as “the image we hold of ourselves (Hoge and Renzulli, 1993) while self-conception refers to, “our attitudes, feelings and knowledge about our abilities, skills, appearance, and social acceptability” (Byrne, 1984, p. 429). Self-concept and self-conception develop over a person’s lifetime based upon the cues from the environment, others, and themselves.  It is a process of comparing oneself to others and coming to conclusions.

Most research on giftedness has focused exclusively on intelligence. One of the reasons is that having giftedness if often defined as the top 1% of intellectual ability measured on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Terman, 1926).  Despite this narrow definition, the general definition that has gained popularity which includes IQ, artistic abilities, athletic skill, or leadership. Defining it as intellectual ability, creativity and task commitment incorporates more traits than intelligence alone (Renzulli, 1978).

Having high ability changes one’s perception of self. Being more intelligent or having skill in certain areas does not always bring benefits. At times, it can bring difficulties dealing with others who lack the same level of understanding or those who desire to show their own worth at the expense of others. As comparison is a natural occurrence, the gifted often get the bulk of the comparison comments or actions.

The researchers found that gifted students perceive their abilities as higher than non-gifted peers do. This growth in perception rises throughout one’s life as they learn about themselves and others. They also rated higher in intelligence, behavioral, and global perceptions. They ranked themselves lower on physical appearance and athletic abilities. The authors contend that the ratings are based within those activities the gifted student engages and how they compared their abilities to others. As they master certain fields, their rating and self-concept go up but believe they suffer in physical prowess even though this is also a gifted trait not often recognized by others.

Byrne, B. M. (1984) ‘The general/academic self-concept nomological network: a review of construct validation research.’ Review of Educational Research, 54, pp. 427–56.

Hoge, R. D. & Renzulli, J. S. (1993) ‘Exploring the link between giftedness and self-concept.’ Review of Educational Research, 63, pp. 449–65.

Lister, K. & Roberts. J. (2011) The self-concepts and perceived competencies of gifted and non-gifted students: a meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs , 11 (2).  

Renzulli, J. S. (1978) ‘What makes giftedness? Reexamining a definition.’  Phi Delta Kappan, 60, pp. 180–4.

Terman, L. (1926) Genius Studies of Genius: Mental and Physical Traits of a Thousand Gifted Children. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Giftedness Across a Lifespan

Gifted individuals go through the stages of life in many of the same ways as others. Their development has parallels with those in the bell curve but there is some uniqueness in terms of the level of development in each stage. Their expectations and capacities are higher which leads them to unique perspectives. A fundamental component of this is whether they have spent their lives in acceptance of giftedness or in denial of their special talents. A paper in the journal Advanced Development by Ellen Fiedler describes this groups life’s transitions. 

 It is first beneficial to define giftedness.  The Columbus Group defines it as, “Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advance cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.”  Because they see the world different they have spent time criticized for their mannerisms and perspectives and may have buried their talents. 

As an example, a gifted person by the name of Karolyn Kottmeyer (2007) describes her life experience as, “I know too much. I remember too much. I learn too quickly. I make people uncomfortable. And it is hard to hide these things. I try. But it is also hard to spend your life hiding…”.  It is seen as a prison and a mask whereby one’s true feelings, true identity, and true abilities are buried under everyone else’s needs.

For those who accept their traits the path is one of greater awareness and understanding of why they are different. They move through stages much like a seeker, explorer, navigator, actualizer and cruiser. This represents their ability to understand themselves and the world. 

Young Adulthood (18-35): The search for people like them who can provide companionship and friendship. They try and find a career that matches their abilities. It is difficult because their speed of thought and complexity of understand create difficulties with others. 

Middle Adult (35-65):  Generative personalities that seek to connect the big picture on what things will make the biggest difference. 

            35-50: Authenticity, do more, concern with the nature of the world, and blending of the past with the present.  Moving onto the road of self-actualization. 

            50-65: Introspective and taking care of themselves without all the previous obligations. 

Late Adult (65-Death): Advanced multi-level development whereby the individual matches their ideas with their lives. They are fully capable, creative, and fully utilized in skill. They make things happen and have little concern for other’s criticisms. 

The primary difference is their level of development that reaches beyond most others. Throughout their lives, they will maintain their curiosity, need for constant stimulation, and drive to do things. However, each stage offers greater insight into themselves. At this advanced age, some get involved in politics while others may find ways of influencing the environment. With acceptance and perseverance, this group can accomplish and contribute to the world in ways others cannot realize. 

Fiedler, E. (2012). You don’t outgrow it! Giftedness across the lifespan. Advanced Development, 13

Kottmeyer, C. (2007). Optimum intelligence: My experience as a too-gifted adult. Advanced Development, 11, 125-129.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Measuring Personality and Intelligence in Gifted College Students

The identification of gifted individuals is important in order to maximize their contributions to society and create a healthy understanding of others. The current identification methods may be inadequate as the far majority of gifted members are undiscovered and their talents unrealized for the greater good.  A paper by Carol Carman (2011) discusses the academic evaluation methods and the need to include behavioral aspects in the overall evaluation process. 

The far majority of gifted individuals have not been identified. This problem becomes more acute in minority populations and those who live in poverty who do not have access to elite education. When their special talents are not enhanced it can lead to intellectual loss for a nation. Furthermore, such individuals are left to suffer the consequences of greater awareness in a population focused on the here and now.  

Myers-Briggs evaluates giftedness as heightened intuition, introversion, thinking and perceiving dimensions when compared to the general population.  Their feelings, perceptions, and insights lead to greater understanding that are put to better use in science, arts, and other areas. Some of the world’s greatest scientific breakthroughs have come from gifted individuals and their constant search for truth. 

Gifted adults have greater responsiveness and intensified sensitivities to sensory stimuli. The greater and wider the intensities to stimuli the higher the potential for development. These sensitivities push the organism to overcome challenges, develop greater awareness, and adapt to challenges. Psychomotor, intellectual and emotional over excitabilities in combination clearly differentiated between gifted and non-gifted individuals. 

The authors used 249 students in undergraduate and graduate students to determine potential measurements of gifted students. The far majority of students have not been previously identified with these abilities.  Measurements include intelligence-based evaluations such as SILS and achievement latent variable but also personality-based evaluations such as OEQII latent variable and Sensory Profile latent variable. 

The study helps highlight that even college students are often regularly evaluated and identified for high potential. This is even more of an acute problem among minority populations. Current tests focus on standard intelligence tests but these may not always be accurate as they are culturally dependent, based on standard learning, and are dependent on motivation. Personality based evaluations help round out the differences and provide an additional criteria for accurate assessment. 

Carman, C. (2011). Adding personality to gifted identification: relationships among traditional and personality-based constructs. Journal of Advanced Academics, 22 (3).