Characteristics of Gifted Children (page 2)

— Duke University Talent Identification Program
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

Leadership Abbility

  • Have an evaluative approach towards self and others ( Clark, 2002).
  • Heightened expectations of self and others; perfectionistic; is self critical (Clark, 2002; Silverman, 1997-2004, Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ; Adderholdt-Elliott, 1987; J. Gallagher, 1990; Kerr, 1991; Robinson & Noble, 1991; Whitmore, 1980 ).
  • Advanced cognitive and affective capacity for conceptualizing societal problems ( Clark, 2002).
  • Are self-confident with children their own age as well as with adults ( Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ).
  • Responsible; can be counted on ( Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ).
  • Is cooperative with teacher and classmates ( Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ).
  • Tends to dominate others; directs activities ( Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ).
  • Often has solutions to social and environmental problems ( Clark, 2002).
  • Tends to question authority; is uninhibited in giving opinions (Silverman 1997-2004; Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, Hartman, & Westberg, 2002 ; Hollingworth, 1940; Meckstroth, 1991; Whitmore, 1979).

Affective/Social-Emotional Characteristics

  • Large accumulation of emotions that has not be brought to awareness ( Clark, 2002).
  • Unusual sensitivity to the feelings and expectations of others; sensitive (Clark, 2002; Silverman, 1997-2004).
  • Heightened self-awareness ( Clark, 2002).
  • Advanced sense of justice – idealism at an early age; concerned with justice, fairness (Clark, 2002; Roeper, 1988; Rogers, 1986; Silverman & Ellsworth, 1980 ).
  • Earlier development of internal locus of control ( Clark, 2002).
  • Unusual emotional depth and intensity; shows compassion; sensitivity (Clark, 2002; Silverman, 1997-2004; Piechowski, 1979, 1991; Webb, Meckstroth, & Tolan, 1982; Torrance, 1977; Dabrowski, 1972; S. Gallagher, 1985; Piechowski & Colangelo, 1984; Whitmore, 1980 ).
  • Strong need for consistency between values and personal actions ( Clark, 2002).
  • Advanced levels of moral judgment; morally sensitive (Clark, 2002; Silverman, 1997-2004; Gross, 1993; Hollingworth, 1942; Passow, 1988; Roeper, 1988; Silverman & Ellsworth, 1980; Terman, 1925 ).
  • Strongly motivated by self-actualization needs ( Clark, 2002).

Psychomotor Characteristics

  • Unusual quantity of input from environment through a heightened sense of awareness ( Clark, 2002).
  • Unusual discrepancy between physical and intellectual development ( Clark, 2002).
  • Has a high degree of energy (Clark, 2002; Feldhusen, 1986; Whitmore, 1980).                                                


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