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  • Creativity and madness: High ability and mental health

    Creativity and madness: High ability and mental health

    Elyn Saks: defying the predictions Elyn Saks is a college valedictorian, Oxford scholar, Yale law student, USC legal professor – and a person with schizophrenia. The university press release “USC law professor battles schizophrenia” declares, “However ironic, the life of Saks’ mind has been her salvation. Even as her brain attacks her with fear and […]

  • Janitor or mathematician - adult achievement, or not

    Janitor or mathematician – adult achievement, or not

    Good Will Hunting The movie Good Will Hunting (1997), as summarized on Wikipedia, tells the story of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), “a troubled prodigy who works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, despite the fact that his knowledge of and facility with higher mathematics far outstrips that of anyone in the university. […]

  • Smart teens and sex

    Smart teens and sex

    Being highly intelligent can impact social and sexual relationships for many people, growing up and as adults. The character ‘Dr. Lisa Cuddy’ on the tv series “House” finds Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) “hot.” The actor who plays Cuddy, Lisa Edelstein, was asked if she would you be attracted “to a guy like him” and replied, […]

  • How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact the Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

    How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact the Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

    By Sarah Williams Some among us, plain and simple, are born great. There are people who have high capacities for specific talents, such as those who are math wizards or seemingly inherently know everything scientific. The world is home to a select few highly gifted people blessed with abilities the average human can only envy. […]

  • Gifted and Shy: Kubrick; Kidman and others

    Gifted and Shy: Kubrick; Kidman and others

    Stanley Kubrick: overwhelmed by his actors Kubrick is considered one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers, renowned for a legendary perfectionism. But one of his most intense actors, R. Lee Ermey, the menacing drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket (1987), has said, “Stanley called me about two weeks before he died [in 1999]. “We […]

  • Misdiagnosis of gifted adults: Pathologized and stigmatized

    Misdiagnosis of gifted adults: Pathologized and stigmatized

    Talented and challenged Novelist Patricia Cornwell has had bipolar disorder: “My wiring’s not perfect,” as she puts it, and she takes a mood stabiliser. Other highly talented people with mental health challenges include psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison, writer and actor Carrie Fisher, tv journalist Jane Pauley. Giftedness misunterstood But people may also label attributes of […]


  • More Articles

  • Exceptional, gifted adults without enough positive self-regard

    Exceptional, gifted adults without enough positive self-regard

    Exceptional and insecure Diana, Princess of Wales was noted for her pioneering charity work for AIDS and landmines. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, among many others, considered her “an exceptional and gifted human being.” But biographer Simone Simmons, also a friend and confidante, says she was “one of the most insecure people I had ever […]

  • Addressing gifted adult underachievement: Acknowledging our own abilities

    Discounting our abilities One aspect of high ability, being able to do many things well, is a tendency to discount those abilities, and thinking, If we can do things easily, they must not actually be difficult or worthy of our respect. It’s a way, perhaps, to keep us more comfortably small in our own estimation. […]

  • Talented People, Stress and ChokIng

    Talented People, Stress and ChokIng

    Does having a highly capable intellect ensure you will perform well all the time, and always do better in performance situations? Not according to some research. This is from a news article: “Talented people often choke under pressure because the distraction caused by stress consumes their working memory, a psychologist at the University of Chicago […]

  • Creative Passion and Gifted Adults: Prodded by Our Angelic and Demonic Muse

    Creative Passion and Gifted Adults: Prodded by Our Angelic and Demonic Muse

    How does talent become passion? “The presence of talent is not sufficient. Many people have more than one talent, and wonder what to do with them.” Jane Piirto, Ph.D. continues in her book Talented Children and Adults, “What is the impetus, what is the reason, for one talent taking over and capturing the passion and […]

  • Giftedness in the work environment

    Giftedness in the work environment

    Backgrounds and practical recommendations By Noks Nauta, Sieuwke Ronner This article was published in Dutch in Tijdschriftvoor Bedrijfs-en Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Journal for Occupational Health- and Insurance Physicians), TBV 16, no. 11 (Nov. 2008): 396-399. Publisher: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum, Houten, The Netherlands. The editor agreed with translation and publication on this website. Key words: GIFTEDNESS, CHARACTERISTICS, […]

  • You may be gifted - Are you denying it?

    You may be gifted – Are you denying it?

    Not settling for underachievement We may not have realized all or even many of the promises of our identity as a gifted kid, and through circumstance or suppression left talents unmanifested or unspoken. But that doesn’t mean we have lost that aspect of who we are. You can learn more about the traits that gifted […]

  • Higher IQ than Hawking - But what challenges may Victoria Cowie face?

    Higher IQ than Hawking – But what challenges may Victoria Cowie face?

    British schoolgirl Victoria Cowie recently scored 162 on the adult admission tests for Mensa, which places her above the scores thought to have been achieved by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Her father cites one example showing how uncommon she is: “When she was just three years old we were sitting in a […]

  • Finding the Gems in the Rough: the mission to identify and serve the unknowing gifted

    Finding the Gems in the Rough: the mission to identify and serve the unknowing gifted

    By Sara Harrier Over the decades, education and resources for gifted youth have made significant contributions to the education and mental health fields.  Many thinkers have shed light on not just the intellectual differences of the gifted, but on the unique personality traits and social-emotional needs of this population.   And it’s been hugely liberating […]

  • Publish your expertise to help others

    Publish your expertise to help others

    In their article What Is Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy?, Drs. Phillip and Jane Mountrose note, “Many gifted individuals have expertise to share and this may include you. “The issue is how to make your expertise into a profitable business. Experts Academy with Brendon Burchard solves this problem. His goal is to turn you into a […]

  • Adult Genius, Unexceptional Kid

    Adult Genius, Unexceptional Kid

    Genius: born or made “The young Mozart’s prowess can be chalked up to practice, practice, practice. Compelled to practice three hours a day from age three on.. No wonder they thought he was a genius.” Malcolm Gladwell How we think of talents in others and ourselves may have a profound effect on nurturing and realizing […]

  • Raising Gifted Kids: Carol S. Dweck on the Impact of Mind-set

    Raising Gifted Kids: Carol S. Dweck on the Impact of Mind-set

    When it’s too easy “Great accomplishment, and even what we call genius, is typically the result of years of passion and dedication and not something that flows naturally from a gift.” In her article The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, Stanford Professor of Psychology Carol S. Dweck writes about children “who coast through the early […]

  • Gifted, talented and still hiding out

    Gifted, talented and still hiding out

    To avoid being seen as too weird or different, and to fit in better with others, gifted people often learn to stifle or cover up their unusual cognitive and other abilities, which can lead to an enduring pattern of hiding. One of the interesting elements of the Disney movie “Frozen” is Queen Elsa having abilities […]

  • Asperger's Disorder: Clearly bright and imaginative

    Asperger’s Disorder: Clearly bright and imaginative

    Nick’s universe In his article “The Geek Syndrome,” Steve Silberman wrote, “Autism – and its milder cousin Asperger’s syndrome – is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?” He gives an example: “Nick is building a universe on his computer. He’s already mapped out his first planet: an anvil-shaped world […]

  • Career Planning for Gifted Adults

    Career Planning for Gifted Adults

    Article by Cathy Goodwin “James is so restless and energetic. I wonder if he’s hyperactive.” “Nancy seems to be all over the place. She’s got a dozen projects going at once!” “Harley does things so fast! He put up a website in two weeks.” “Marlene is so intense. She needs to lighten up.” While it’s […]

  • When the Gifted Grow up

    When the Gifted Grow up

    By Matthew C. Makel, Duke University Talent Identification Program What happens to gifted kids when they grow up? A hundred years ago, people feared that early ripe would lead to early rot, with gifted children growing up to lead difficult adulthoods. Numerous counterexamples have diminished that belief. Today, a more common discussion is about the […]

  • Gifted, talented: With or without the label and notable accomplishments

    Gifted, talented: With or without the label and notable accomplishments

    Giftedness often tied to achievement So much categorizing people as gifted children or adults emphasizes having achieved significantly, having some distinction – high IQ or SAT scores, having a bestseller book or movie or being a sport superstar. And with perfectionism and high levels of self criticism, many gifted and talented people feel they don’t […]

  • Growing up exceptional: "There are large numbers of frustrated gifted adults."

    Growing up exceptional: “There are large numbers of frustrated gifted adults.”

    In her book Gifted Grownups, Marylou Kelly Streznewski illuminates many of the myths and challenges of being exceptional. Here are some excerpts. Are only the successful truly gifted? For too long society has believed that if you aren’t president of General Motors, you aren’t gifted. If the estimates of the researchers are correct, and between […]

  • Is genius genetic or is it nurtured?

    Is genius genetic or is it nurtured?

    By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Though he received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for his work in paleontology, Christopher Beard doesn’t consider himself a wunderkind or believe he was genetically predestined for success. Not entirely, anyway. Dr. Beard said he had his parents’ guidance, along with their genes. He’s worked industriously to make a mark […]