Giftedness and Intelligence: One and the Same?

  1. Gregory R. Bock Organizer and
  2. Kate Ackrill
  1. Douglas K. Detterman

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470514498.ch3

Ciba Foundation Symposium 178 - The Origins and Development of High Ability

Ciba Foundation Symposium 178 - The Origins and Development of High Ability

How to Cite

Detterman, D. K. (2007) Giftedness and Intelligence: One and the Same?, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 178 - The Origins and Development of High Ability (eds G. R. Bock and K. Ackrill), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470514498.ch3

Author Information

  1. Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106-7123, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471939450

Online ISBN: 9780470514498

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Keywords:

  • giftedness;
  • intelligence;
  • system functioning;
  • heritability;
  • mental ability

Summary

Giftedness, like other rare phenomena, is often explained by principles beyond those used to explain the normal variation of mental ability. Before parsimony is abandoned and additional principles are invoked, the following five points should be considered. (1) Gifted samples often have restricted ranges, reducing correlations with intelligence and making standard tests insensitive to relationships that may exist. Though this is an obvious point, it is frequently overlooked. (2) Theories of intelligence that view g as a single global ability are inadequate. Intelligence is better seen as a complex system of independent but interrelated parts. Measures of g are global ratings of system functioning, but global measures do not explain mental ability in terms of either more basic cognitive abilities or underlying brain functioning. More basic explanations of intelligence are essential for understanding giftedness. (3) Correlations among intellectual abilities are lowest for persons of high intelligence. Specific skills will be less highly correlated among the gifted. (4) Heritability of cognitive abilities may differ across the intelligence range, though evidence on this point is mixed. (5) Achievement and intelligence are different things. Discrepancies between intelligence and achievement are due to environment. Such a finding is consistent with the idiosyncratic development of giftedness.