What are we talking about when we talk about intellectual giftedness? To summarize, a gifted person is a person who obtains a score higher than 130 points on an intelligence test, and you should know that this superior intelligence is not acquired, but that it is “given to us automatically”, so to speak. Perhaps this is why it is so sought after in our society.
But all that glitters is not gold. Gifted people sometimes face a lot of misunderstanding, especially children educated in traditional schools, who can be labeled as outsiders. Because giftedness remains poorly understood, we sometimes fail to create challenges for these brilliant talents.
Are the personalities of gifted people different from those of “non-gifted” people?
Of course, everyone is different, but the Davidson Institute notes that gifted people exhibit a number of common tendencies: quick comprehension, intuitive grasp of fundamentals, tendency toward complexity, need for precision, expectations high, divergent interests and an eccentric sense of humor. In general, according to Psychology Today, they exhibit asynchronous development, being clearly advanced in some areas and average, or even behind, in others. It’s difficult to know where they fit in, and educational environments are generally not designed to accommodate their differences.
While many factors contribute to giftedness, such as the fact that it has long been considered that we do not have just one type of intelligence, but several, genetic factors or even upbringing and instruction, personality is also a key element. Do gifted people have a different personality than “non-gifted” people?
Openness to experience is a key component of intelligence because it contributes to creativity and the ability to consider multiple options.
In the study “High Ability Studies,” researchers Ogurlo and Özbey analyzed the place of gifted people in the five major personality traits (extraversion, professional conscientiousness, openness to experience, neuroticism and agreeableness). Using a sample of 8,000 people and using sophisticated statistical methods, they compared personality measures between gifted and non-gifted groups to determine which personality traits had a significant correlation with talent. No major differences were found between the two groups, but openness to experience had a stronger correlation with giftedness.
It therefore appears that openness to experience is a key component of intelligence, as it contributes to creativity and the ability to consider multiple options and perspectives to approach life, solve problems and understand situations complex. This fits with gifted people’s observed propensity for complexity and divergent thinking, as well as their remarkable and sometimes uncanny ability to observe things that others would never notice or even imagine. . Not to mention a particular sense of humor, which can be a double-edged sword.
Gifted people sometimes have the stereotype of being more clumsy or maladjusted, but related traits such as neuroticism have not been correlated with talent.
Interestingly, while gifted people sometimes carry the stereotype of being more clumsy or maladjusted, the traits related to this (neuroticism, less extroversion or agreeableness) do not correlate with talent. The study could be useful for the future of gifted children: many recent educational approaches include pedagogy aimed at cultivating imagination, creativity or lateral thinking. Future research could seek to understand whether open-mindedness can be learned, and should seek to dispel myths and stigma that may be barriers to giftedness, as well as help develop the resources needed for society can better benefit from the brilliant minds of gifted people.
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