Characteristics of the gifted

Synonyms in the wider sense

Talent, high talent, special talent, genius, special talent, high intelligence, highly intelligent, highly gifted, high performance, achiever, underachiever, giftedness.

English: highly gifted, highly talented, endowment, giftedness, achievement, achievment, underachievement, underachievment.


From a scientific point of view, a talent is understood as the potential ability to achieve high intellectual performance. This, in turn, requires a high level of general intelligence, which is characterized by exceptional information acquisition and processing, as well as exceptional skills in the area of ​​thinking and problem solving. Since the gifted cannot be visualized directly, this is done using an intelligence test. If the result is, or above a value of 130, one is assumed to be highly gifted. However, this does not necessarily mean that the giftedness is symptomatic or is reflected in the performance.


Already on the basis of the various models that try to clarify the term “gifted” and gifted behavior, emphasis is placed on the distinction between internal and external factors. Heller and Haney, in particular, emphasize that the ability to perform exceptionally well may even deteriorate, but that favorable influencing factors can also strengthen the ability to perform particularly well.

Below you will find one List of different behaviors that can become visible in different stages of life. When certain behaviors or combinations of behaviors occur, it doesn’t mean that a child is gifted. It also does not necessarily mean that a gifted child shows these behaviors got to.

Possible indications of a giftedness – symptomatic behaviors

Ability to think and learn

  • expressive language that uses a vocabulary that seems rather unusual for the respective age.
  • have an increased need for learning
  • Critical thinking ability that evaluates problems neutral and independent according to their own level of knowledge
  • logical thinking is strong
  • spatial imagination
  • Quickly looking through the cause and mechanisms of action
  • fast saving (more interesting / general) facts
  • See through relationships
  • Comparing similar processes / events, .
  • provide transfer services by understanding the underlying principles and connecting them with existing knowledge.
  • can generalize learned processes / knowledge using the example
  • .

labor Practices

  • intrinsic (internally controlled) motivation: urge to know and willing to perform
  • independent work, gladly independent of others
  • strive for perfection
  • seem bored with routine tasks
  • prefer complex tasks in return
  • usually have a high pace of work
  • work purposefully
  • appear very self-critical, for example with regard to the problem-solving process, the pace of work or the result
  • Interest in topics related to the adult world
  • flexible working (weighing up alternatives, rethinking strategies,.)
  • targeted work
  • don’t like to give up (tough stamina)
  • resourcefulness
  • .

social behavior

  • often have older friends who have a knowledge advantage over their peers
  • rarely have friends of the same age
  • would like to be a "determiner" and would like to try to take command.
  • We are therefore happy to take responsibility
  • Only accept the opinion of others (including authorities) after a thorough examination
  • have a great sense of justice
  • .

Are you familiar with some symptoms? Read more on the topic here "Giftedness in adults".

It is particularly understandable that condition factors that do not harmonize with each other can not only cause the ability to perform particularly well. People can rarely accept that external factors negatively affect the overall constellation and thus inhibit people as such. For example, a “suppressed” ability to perform special intellectual achievements can also have a negative impact on the child’s development. Behavioral problems and even learning difficulties are particularly conceivable.

It is therefore not absolutely possible to assume that highly gifted children stand out as such in any case. Highly gifted children can stand out – in both positive and negative ways.
In addition, the occurrence of a Partial power failure, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia, do not rule out that a child is gifted. Contrary to the assumption that highly gifted children do not also have problems in certain areas, there is even the definition of partial performance weaknesses, which mention the occurrence of problems in certain areas despite normal to even above-average intelligence.

Highly gifted children often appear to be “small adults” and superior to their peers due to their intellectual ability. It is problematic, however, that this is generally not the case on the emotional level. The social skills of a highly gifted child must therefore be paid very close attention to, since otherwise the fact of being isolated as an outsider is very likely.

It happens again and again subjective misjudgments, especially on the part of the parents. Due to the fact that education seems to be becoming more and more important, the desire for special talent combined with the desire for active support is understandable. However, as can be seen from the percentage distribution, very few children are supposedly highly gifted.

Characteristics of giftedness in different age groups

Features of giftedness among teenagers

Whether young people benefit from their talent or suffer from it depends, among other things, on the support they received in early school. While they usually enjoy learning new skills, the pace in a normal school is often too slow for them and repeating and practicing new material bores them. They concentrate unusually well and intensively on things that interest them, but it is much more difficult for them to learn less exciting topics. As a result, many gifted teenagers even have poor grades in the School and Problems in the social environment, which makes it difficult to recognize the high level of intelligence. If those affected are not diagnosed in childhood, they often fall through the cracks as adolescents. They often suffer from social exclusion and find it difficult to make friends because their high intelligence also influences their behavior and they do not always get along well with their peers. So while highly gifted teenagers can show tremendous performance early on with the right support, they suffer enormously from their high talent without specialist support. Special schools and boarding schools that specialize in highly gifted young people can help those affected to deal with their talent.

Features of giftedness in young children

The giftedness is usually noticed for the first time in small children. It is particularly noticeable through an accelerated development, such as by early learning differentiated language and questioning many things that peers are not interested in. Some children even skip entire development phases, e.g. start to walk straight on without being crawled in front of it. Highly gifted children have one good observation skills, demonstrate great interest in their environment and ask a lot of questions, to quench their thirst for knowledge. You have one excellent memory and can concentrate well on things that they enjoy. This is what many gifted children are Frustration tolerance low and patience is not one of their strengths. They are often stubborn, want to be independent early on and are irritable in activities that they find boring. There is also a pronounced sensitivity in many highly gifted children, which means that they can hardly cope with rejection (e.g. by other children in kindergarten) and feel marginalized and "different". If there is insufficient funding, talent can be lost again, especially in young children, early funding is therefore advisable.

You might also be interested in this topic: giftedness

Characteristics of giftedness in adults

Highly gifted adults are capable of tremendous performance once they have learned to use their talents. You have to do this have received appropriate funding and training and enjoy their work. However, if they were not promoted because the talent was not recognized or was recognized only late, or if they work in a profession in which they cannot use their talents properly, they have more disadvantages than advantages due to their high level of intelligence. Because not every talent is remarkable, the people concerned do not necessarily have to be "geniuses". Many do not consider themselves to be particularly talented because they often perform below average and attribute the failures to poor rather than exceptional skills. They cannot exploit their potential and are therefore so-called "underachievers", ie under-performers who achieve less than they actually could. At this stage it is not easy to think of a talent as a trigger for the problems. However, if the talent is still determined, there are various offers from doctors, associations and other bodies that help those affected to reach their full potential.

Characteristics of giftedness in the baby

A high level of intelligence in baby age is almost impossible, and most of the development steps in which a talent would be noticeable lie ahead of the children. It is therefore very difficult to identify a gifted baby, and in many cases it is not feasible. However, in In retrospect, many children have common abnormalities already in infancy. Parents report a low need for sleep and the constant crying out for attention. The babies are reluctant to be alone and want to be fun continuously. They keep intensive eye contact early on and are very attentive, but are often perceived as exhausting due to their high need for care. It would be beneficial to recognize the gifted talent at this age, because this would ensure early support. However, an advance in development can also get lost again and effective support can begin at the earliest in kindergarten, which is why Intelligence testing in infants is of little importance.


Related to the Measurement of the intelligence quotient With appropriate test procedures, about 2% of the people examined in a comparison group (= same test, same age) can be found in the area of ​​IQ 130 and higher. The 2% relate to the people examined and not to the total population.
Roughly estimated and from a purely statistical point of view, it is assumed that a highly gifted child can be found in every second school class at primary school.
The intelligence quotient (= IQ) determined by means of an intelligence test is not a generally valid result. It reflects the intelligence that a person has to a particular one time and based on peers. The external factors in particular influence the further development in a special way. Seen symbolically, an IQ – similar to a person’s body weight – can increase or decrease due to external factors.
The gender distribution in the field of giftedness is the same. Girls are just as often gifted as boys.


Highly gifted children and adolescents are not small adults!

Problems arise especially then,
when with the gifted children and teenagers
is handled incorrectly

Underchallenge at school

Gifted children learn faster and better than their classmates, but are also rather bored, if the school pace is too slow for them. In addition, many can only really use their special skills in areas that they enjoy. Therefore, they have for frequent repetition and practice, as is necessary for normal students mostly no patience and the Limit of frustration is low. So if you don’t go to a suitable school that can meet your individual requirements, the highly gifted children lose interest in teaching and prefer to deal with their own thoughts and digress. This way they get little of the material, lose touch and eventually no longer understand what it is about. Thus, they write poor grades and perform below average, even though they would actually be able to do more than their classmates. In the end, this undercommitment leads to the loss of the initial joy in learning and the children are at some point more or less overwhelmed with everyday school life. Special schools and boarding schools solve this problem through small classes, individual support and an adapted learning pace, which enables the children to live out their potential.

How can you recognize a high talent in kindergarten?

In kindergarten, children do not yet have to perform demanding tasks as in school, so determining a high level of intelligence here is not that easy. However, gifted children develop much faster than their peers. Often they already show a differentiated language in infancy, great interest in the environment and ask correspondingly demanding questions. You are therefore ahead of your age, often get along better with older children and can have problems in contact with peers. Some teach themselves reading, writing and arithmetic or pick up other skills from just watching. AHowever, due to their enormous thirst for knowledge, they require a lot of attention and are perceived as above average effort. Highly gifted children stand out in kindergarten mainly because they are ahead of their age in terms of development and skills difficult in the social environment and may be exhausting.

What tests are there for the gifted?

By definition one speaks from an IQ of 130 points of a gift. For most people, the IQ test is therefore the first way to identify a talented person. These tests are offered by various official bodies and measure the so-called “intelligence quotient”, which compares your own performance in the test with a sufficiently large comparison group of the same age. So you can’t measure intelligence as such, but only compare with the normal population and draw conclusions from it.
A disadvantage of the IQ test is that it cannot cover all aspects of intelligence. For example, he checks the logical combination and similar skills, but no creative talents, which are also a facet of intelligence. Therefore, in addition to the IQ test, there are also a large number of more specific intelligence tests that cover smaller sub-areas of cognitive performance and are used when a talented person needs to be further differentiated or the IQ test has turned out unexpectedly bad. Exactly which tests are used for this depends on the age and individual talent of the person to be tested and is determined by the examiner.


Why should be warned of a misjudgment (supposedly gifted)??

If you assume that it is better to "suspect" too much talent than to overlook a talent, you forget it effects, that can have such a behavior on the children. If such a suspicion is expressed to the child, this may imply the attitude in the child: "I am something special".
This alone is not necessarily a negative thing, but it is bad for the child to find that his Achievements are at best in the average range and it cannot meet the expectations of the parents or their new self-image.
In the interest of the child, a warning is given here of overly euphoric misjudgments, overly euphoric wishes and overactive support. Give your child the opportunity and opportunity to be a child !

Promotion of giftedness

To an existing one giftedness are to be funded concentration Games especially advisable.
For this purpose, we have developed a game in combination with a game manufacturer, which can promote a gifted talent.

Through the combination of concentration and games, different goals can be achieved very well.

We particularly value the high quality and workmanship of this game.

Only the correct interplay of a high level of intellectual ability (IQ greater than or equal to 130), creativity (for example when solving problems), perseverance and performance motivation Performance is based on various components and is influenced by many aspects or side effects. A high level of talent can remain undetected due to these influences. In particular, in combination with an ADD or ADHD, or with a dyslexia or dyscalculia, a talented person may go undetected. The extent to which genetic dispositions (= individual factors) really develop depends in particular on the external factors that significantly influence these dispositions. Even if a person can only lose intelligence through illness, the level of training depends crucially on the accompanying factors (family, home support, friends,.). Developmental advances can manifest themselves on different levels. Advances are conceivable in the intellectual – intellectual area, but also in the musical – aesthetic, motivational or social area.


As Achiever are those highly gifted children and adolescents who due to their high intelligence (IQ from 130) provide services, who are also credited with their high talent.

Achievers can also have some problems with themselves and the environment due to their high talent, however, the performance is in line with expectations.


There is a certain proportion of the highly gifted who go undetected because their academic performance does not appear to be highly gifted. This group of the highly gifted is called underachiever – they achieve less than their intellect could enable them. They cannot translate their intellectual skills into (school / cognitive) performance.

In addition to the underachievement, there are also among the highly gifted children and young people who in one school section problems exhibit. The highly gifted can also join one dyslexia or dyscalculia Suffer.

Read more about the topic here Under Achievements and the Partial performance disorder despite high talent:

Further pages on the subject of giftedness

Here you will find further information on the subject area of giftedness:


  • Funding for highly gifted people

    Symptoms in the broader sense of giftedness, diagnosis of giftedness, giftedness, giftedness, special giftedness, genius, special giftedness, high intelligence,…

  • Test of talent

    Introduction Special standardized tests were carried out in order to be able to determine a highly gifted person, that is to say an intelligence that was well above average…

  • Giftedness: what parents and teachers can do

    Reading time: 2 minutes If a child has special cognitive abilities and, due to this special talent, has problems with getting into the…

  • Gifted children: these are signs of giftedness

    High talent in children is by no means a blessing. This supposed gift from heaven can quickly become torture for schoolchildren. Then…

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