There are many different definitions of high giftedness. The most simple one, which has nothing to do with classic intelligence, just states that you are very good at something. That could be football, playing the violin or chess.
Usually a highly gifted person is considered to be someone with a very high IQ. Sometimes high giftedness is defined as someone that is not only very smart, but also very creative and good in finding solutions to practical problems.
The definition of high giftedness we feel is best suited for our purposes, is that someone should be seen as highly gifted if he or she achieves a very high IQ test score. Typically, an IQ score of 130 is used as the limit. 2.5% of the population achieves an IQ test score that high. According to this definition, there would be 125 million highly gifted people in a world population of five billion.
People with an IQ test score that high, usually share some physiological traits:
- Sensory stimuli are processed and routed quickly;
- Thinking is done in parallel processes and images;
- Large amounts of knowledge are efficiently associated and processed.
Is being highly gifted fun?
Having a high IQ is a big advantage: your chance of success at school and in your career is higher. But being highly gifted also has some disadvantages. If a child is highly gifted, that does not necessarily mean it will get high grades in school.
Children can perform below their abilities because they do not want to stand out or because their parents have a negative attitude towards school. Also, the child might be bored at school, as it is not intellectually challenged and not motivated to work hard.
Highly gifted adults may feel misunderstood by other people and they may have trouble finding a partner that is equally gifted.