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Assessing developmental potential in gifted children: A comparison of methods

Authors:
  • Institute for Educational Advancement
  • Institute for the Study of Advanced Development

Abstract

Compared 2 methods (questionnaire and interview) of assessing forms of overexcitability in gifted children. It was hypothesized that the interview, offering the possibility for probing and clarification of responses, would yield richer response material than the questionnaire. 28 younger children (aged 9–11 yrs) and 18 older children (aged 12–24 yrs) participated. Contrary to expectations, the interview did not yield higher overexcitability scores. In 2 separate comparisons of the questionnaire and interview similar results were obtained for 4 of the forms of overexcitability. Correlations between questionnaire and interview scores were too low to consider the methods equivalent for making individual assessments. Older Ss scored higher than younger ones. Most of those in the younger group had difficulty writing their answers; therefore, the interview is recommended for children below age 12. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... The open-ended OEQ allows for creative responses to questions designed to elicit OE in respondents, but not all individuals with strong OE also possess the verbal ability to express themselves well on paper. Attempts were made instead to use interviews with younger children who were less able to express themselves well with a pen and paper instrument (Piechowski & Miller, 1995). Individuals with dyslexia or One of Piechowski's graduate students conducted research with the original OEQ and later published a paper with him which contests the idea that it is the strength of the psychomotor and sensual forms that limits development. ...
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Abstract: The construct of overexcitability originated from the condition known as “nervousness.” Dąbrowski differentiated it into types many years before publishing the first outline of his theory of positive disintegration. In this paper, we establish the origins of psychic overexcitability (OE), tracing its evolution in Dąbrowski’s work prior to developing his theory and later through its placement within the concept of developmental potential. Based on our study of Dąbrowski’s early Polish work, we challenge the belief that overexcitability is often misdiagnosed as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Piechowski’s elaboration of OE in gifted education is explored, and current misconceptions and misuses of OEs are critiqued. Based on our review, we present possible future applications and elaborations of overexcitability.
... "To varying degrees, these five dimensions give talent its power," said Piechowski (1997, p. 366). Piechowski assisted researchers in better understanding the relationship of overexcitabilities to the theory of positive disintegration with numerous studies of emotional and spiritual intelligence (Piechowski, 1979(Piechowski, , 1991(Piechowski, , 1997(Piechowski, , 1999(Piechowski, , 2006(Piechowski, , 2008Piechowski & Colangelo, 1984;Piechowski & Cunningham, 1985;Piechowski & Miller, 1995;Piechowski, Silverman, & Falk, 1985). The need to investigate overexcitabilities on a cross-cultural level may provide new understanding to the use of overexcitablities with talented children and youth. ...
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This autoethnography gives a personal and cultural account of my work with the Dabrowski theory. I have administered the Overexcitability Questionnaire (OEQ) and the Overexcitability Questionnaire II (OEQ-II) to 16 cohorts of talented high school sophomores and juniors (N = 600+). I have written about much of this in my books, but the studies have not appeared in the journal literature, though they have been presented at national and international conferences. Comparison studies have been done with both instruments. In addition, I organized three of the first Dabrowski conferences in the U.S., edited a newsletter, and my graduate students used the OEQs in their own studies. In this autoethnographic account, I describe several studies with the OEQ and the OEQ-II. The appeal of the Dabrowski theory itself, as it posits levels of adult development gained through reactions to challenges, seems to appeal to people by means that seem to be mysterious and mythic. ____________________________________________________________
... Što je kognitivni razvoj ili razvoj neke posebnosti intenzivniji, povećava se neravnomernost razvoja i osobina ličnosti [5]. Činjenice o neravnomernom razvoju glavnih dimenzija ličnosti kod darovitih potvrđena su u većem broju istraživanja [7,8,9]. Opisana neravnomernost čini ih posebno osetljivim, pogotovu ako odrastaju u sredini (porodica, škola, vršnjaci) neprihvatanja njihove različitosti. ...
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Leading authors in research on giftedness highlight that in childhood the talent exists only as a potential for future achievements. On the other hand, lately, the aspects of atypical and unevenly development have been defined. They can slow or even prevent a person from realizing achievements that are in correlation with the potential that has been observed in childhood. Moreover, the more cognitive development or the development of a specific gift is pronounced, the uneven development and personality traits may be pronounced as well, with a risk of developmental disorders, psychiatric symptoms and emergence of psychopathology rising. Even asking for help on time, after the first symptoms are recognized, does not give security. Psychological and psychotherapeutic help need to be long term and well structured. In this paper we show unstructured and discontinuous psychiatric treatment to a multi-gifted patient, who started his psychotherapeutic treatment with group analytic psychotherapy in his late adult life.
... Desde as proposições de Dabrowski e Piechowski, vários estudos foram conduzidos para investigar as SE em indivíduos com superdotação (Gross, Rinn, & Jamieson, 2007;Miller, Falk, & Huang, 2009;Moon & Montgomery, 2005;Rinn, Mendaglio, Rudasill, & McQueen, 2010;Rinn & Reynolds;2012;Piechowski & Miller, 1995;Tieso, 2007b;Treat, 2006; entre outros) ou para comparar os escores de pessoas com e sem essa condição (Ackerman, 1997;Al-Onizat, 2013;Bouchard, 2004;Bouchet & Falk, 2001;Carman, 2011;Gallagher, 1986;Harrisson & Haneghan, 2011;Miller et al., 2009;Piechowski, Silverman, & Falk, 1985;Piirto & Frass, 2012;Sanz, 2006;Siu, 2010;Tieso, 2007a;Wirthwein & Rost, 2011;Yakmaci-Guzel & Akarsu, 2006). Essas investigações têm demonstrado que os superdotados tendem a apresentar níveis mais altos de SE em um ou mais padrões. ...
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RESUMO A Teoria da Desintegração Positiva (TDP), proposta por Dabrowski, constitui importante ferramenta para a compreensão do desenvolvimento emocional de superdotados. Trata-se de uma teoria do desenvolvimento da personalidade que enfatiza o papel desempenhado pelas emoções no potencial de desenvolvimento humano. O objetivo deste artigo é apresentar conceitos centrais da TDP e suas contribuições para a área da superdotação. É enfatizado o conceito de sobre-excitabilidade, que, além de ser considerado um indicador de superdotação, representa um construto chave para o desenvolvimento de medidas e para promoção de intervenções que tenham como foco as características de personalidade e emocionais dos superdotados.
... All five psychic overexcitabilities: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual, and emotional, have been present and active all my life, experienced as countless variations of enthusiasm, vivid imagination, emotional intensity, heightened sensual capacity, and a love of learning for its own sake (Piechowski & Miller, 1995). Born in 1973, I grew up in Milford, Connecticut living with my natural parents, possessing a great deal of developmental potential. ...
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Based on my autoethnographic work, this paper illuminates how a focus on achievement overshadows the importance of the inner experience of giftedness. Growing up identified as a gifted child, but lacking an awareness of what it means to be gifted, created great inner conflict as I struggled with feeling too different and out of sync from the norm. As an adult, I have found that Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration provides a framework for understanding the power of multilevel development. Lacking guidance to help me understand that these differences were indicators of strong developmental potential and not mental illness led to two decades of inappropriate treatment. To ignore or deny the inner experience is an injustice to gifted individuals of all ages.
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The purpose of this phenomenology study is to elicit and understand the gifted elementary school students’ opinions about environment. A total of three gifted elementary school students selected by means of the homogenous sampling technique participated in the current study conducted in line with the phenomenology design of quantitative research. The data were collected through the Draw-An-Environment Test and Rubric and one-to-one interviews conducted with the students. In the analysis of the collected data, textural and structural descriptions were used. In light of the findings of the current study, it can be said that the gifted students mainly used biotic elements in their drawings. In addition to this, the findings obtained from the drawings and interviews have revealed that the gifted students have a limited and anthropocentric perception of the environment. On the basis of the findings of the current study, it can be suggested that the number of environment-centred studies including gifted students as their participants should be increased and the environmental education to be given to gifted students should be focused on the inculcation of ecocentric conception of the environment in these students.
Chapter
The social and emotional world of the gifted encompasses both an exploration of their unique social and emotional characteristics and experiences, and the psychosocial skills necessary to develop their talents. Using the construct of asynchronous development, we explore a few social and emotional characteristics and experiences that may arise due to advanced intellectual development as compared to social and emotional development. We then discuss a number of psychosocial skills that are crucial for the development of talent.
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There exist important personality characteristics of the gifted and talented that intelligence tests do not tap. Among these characteristics is a broad range of a heightened activity which finds expression in an enlarged and intensified manner of feeling, thinking, imagining, even tasting. The model of developmental potential defines five dimensions of such enhanced mental functioning. These five dimensions provide a broader conception of the makeup of giftedness and talent. The model offers new means of examining commonly used methods of identification; it also offers ways of recognizing potential for self-actualization and outstanding moral development.
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Interviewed 13 Ss (aged 19–43 yrs) who had a serious involvement with artistic or creative work at a vocational, professional, or avocational level to assess the manner of functioning and interaction patterns of the 5 categories of overexcitability (i.e., psychomotor, emotional, sensual, intellectual, imaginational) that are considered to be basic in gifted and creative individuals. It is suggested that the model of the 5 dimensions of mental functioning is useful in describing the psychological endowment of artists. Three patterns of overexcitability that emerged from the study (balanced and integrated, emotionally vulnerable, and polarized and restless) are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Asserts that perfection is an undesirable and debilitating goal and that striving for nonexistent perfection keeps people in turmoil and is associated with a number of psychological problems. Human qualities come from imperfection, from defects that define unique personalities and create real people. The psychopathological aspects of perfectionists are described, focusing on mental distortions and the distinction between perfectionists and neurotic perfectionists. Individual and group treatment techniques are outlined. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Investigated the relationship between creative personality characteristics and psychic overexcitabilities (OEs), as defined by K. Dabrowski and M. M. Piechowski's (1977) theory of emotional development. 21 gifted 7th and 8th graders (IQs 127–242) were administered the Something About Myself (SAM) portion of the Khatena-Torrance Creative Perception Inventory and an overexcitabilities questionnaire. The 7 Ss with the highest SAM scores were designated as high creative (HC) and the 7 Ss with the lowest SAM scores were designated as low creative (LC). A t test was performed on the group means of the 2 groups on the 5 dimensions of overexcitability: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual, and emotional. Findings indicate that HC Ss showed significantly higher levels of imaginational, emotional, and intellectual OE than did LC Ss. It is suggested that the level of OE is a promising indicator of creative ability. Imaginational, emotional, and intellectual OE appear to be related to the creative personality and need to be recognized and provided for to offer the creatively gifted opportunities for maximum development. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The stability and change in four social motives (achievement, affiliation, fear of weakness, hope of power) over the adult life cycle were investigated in two surveys representative of the American population. One sample of 1,363 respondents was drawn in 1957; the other of 1,208 respondents, in 1976. Motives were assessed by established procedures that coded thematic apperceptive content for motivational imagery. Some age differences in motives were evident in both samples: Women's achievement and affiliation motives decline in older ages; men's hope of power is distinctly high at mid-life. These major age effects were found to depend on work and family patterns. By and large, however, the strength of the motives is remarkably similar over different age groups. Year and education differences moderate some of these results. Although not robust, indications of some cohort stability in certain motives emerge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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12 very exceptional children were known and studied, some for as long as 23 years. The author at the time of her death in 1939 had been bringing a survey of them up to date. Part I, on general orientation, contains chapters on the concept of intellectual genius, on the early scientific study of eminent adults, and on published reports of tested children. Part II describes the 12 cases new to the literature, 7 reports having been formulated by H. L. Hollingworth from data left in the files of the author. Information besides that of repeated testings includes, whenever possible, facts concerning heredity, educational and social information, character traits, physical measurements, creative activities, test records of brothers and sisters, etc. Talking and reading most clearly differentiated the records of these children from the norms. Difficult educational problems were presented from school entrance. 1/3 showed notable signs of creativeness. As these children matured, they maintained their high initial intellectual status. Part III, giving selections from or complete reproductions of published papers, presents the author's views concerning general principles and about the social and educational implications resulting from her study of children of high intelligence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)