When Lightning Strikes Twice: Profoundly Gifted, Profoundly Accomplished.

Published

Journal Article

The educational, occupational, and creative accomplishments of the profoundly gifted participants (IQs ⩾ 160) in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) are astounding, but are they representative of equally able 12-year-olds? Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP) identified 259 young adolescents who were equally gifted. By age 40, their life accomplishments also were extraordinary: Thirty-seven percent had earned doctorates, 7.5% had achieved academic tenure (4.3% at research-intensive universities), and 9% held patents; many were high-level leaders in major organizations. As was the case for the SMPY sample before them, differential ability strengths predicted their contrasting and eventual developmental trajectories-even though essentially all participants possessed both mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities far superior to those of typical Ph.D. recipients. Individuals, even profoundly gifted ones, primarily do what they are best at. Differences in ability patterns, like differences in interests, guide development along different paths, but ability level, coupled with commitment, determines whether and the extent to which noteworthy accomplishments are reached if opportunity presents itself.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Makel, MC; Kell, HJ; Lubinski, D; Putallaz, M; Benbow, CP

Published Date

  • July 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1004 - 1018

PubMed ID

  • 27225220

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27225220

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0956797616644735

Language

  • eng