The term “High Ability” is the most common common use to call aqello what we previously mentioned when talking about gifted.
At first, when the concept of IC (IQ) began to be studied, giftedness was associated with very high percentiles in tests that measured very specific intelligence.
With the development of the concept of intelligence and the emergence of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, the meaning of High abilities seems more appropriate, since it covers not only the concept of intelligence but also that of aptitude, competence, of dexterity or mastery. That means High capacities not only consist of having an IC greater than 130, but also involves characteristics that are intricately related to each other..
What are high capacities?
The National Association for Gifted Children describes high abilities (hereafter AACC) as “those which demonstrate an excellent level of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or performance that places them in the top 10%, or above, of the normative group) in one or more areas; the fields include any field of activity structured with its own symbolic system (Mathematics, Music, Language …) or its own set of sensorimotor skills (Painting, dance, sports …) “.
But there are differences in the way people with great abilities learn and reason, and if you think about what emotional management plays a very important role in learning and reasoningIt is not uncommon to wonder if there are differences in what they are feeling or in what they are feeling.
And it seems that certain characteristics appear in people with AACC. Several studies show how very intelligent people score higher on emotional intelligence scales. Let’s take a look at a few points that can help us understand why.
The link between AACC and emotions
One of these characteristics is the great sensitivity of these people.. They seem to perceive it, feel it and rationalize everything. They generally perceive with greater intensity in any sensitive channel used, thus appearing an aversion to noises or crowds, for very penetrating flavors, for the rubbing of a label, etc. But they also experience with equal intensity sensations that are pleasing to them, such as the smell of freshly prepared pasta or contact with a very soft blanket.
Sometimes these people are called dramatic or exaggerated, thus promoting the appearance of frustration, discomfort or the feeling that no one understands them, but this is not so much a dramatization as an expression of their actual experience. .
They also appear in them the ease of interpretation of the intentions of others, With a great weight of empathy and a sense of justice. And it is that AACC people seem to feel what the other is feeling and not just understand what is happening to them; they have a strong sense of justice, feel compelled to act, having serious difficulties to ignore.
The people at AACC want to understand everything that is going on, to analyze everything; from their perspective, almost everything they do, see, hear or practice is tinged with emotion. So, integrating emotion into understanding the facts is important to be able to give an overview of what is being analyzed.
This need for understanding often causes them to feel emotionally overwhelmed because, given the times this situation occurs, they do not have the tools to deal with such intense emotions. They therefore generally use their own mechanisms for emotional management.
Many children with strong capacities present this overflow in what Terrasier (1994) called asynchronies. This phenomenon appears in them when parallel cognitive and emotional development does not appear. They can think of a lot of things but not assimilate them emotionally because the development of the emotion is not yet at this stage. These phenomena are also frequent at the social level when the child sees that his interests, motivations or games are not the same as those of other children of his age.
Not feeling, rationalizing emotions, or using exaggerated irony are often mechanisms that the folks at AACC use to deal with these asynchronies that arise.
To finish, it is necessary to stress the importance of early detection of AACC both in the family and school context in order to adjust the assistance presented to them, and thus promote full cognitive, emotional and social development.
- Arroyo, Susana. (2018). Emotions. The hidden face of high capacities. Horsori.
- Patti, Jannet; Brackett, Marc; Ferrándiz, Carmen and Ferrando, Mercedes (2011). Why and how to improve the emotional intelligence of gifted students? REIFOP, 14 (3). (Web link: http://www.aufop.com – Accessed on (2020.10.09).
- Sainz, Marta; Soto, Gloria; Almeida, Leandro; Ferrándiz, Carmen; Fernández, Mª Carmen and Ferrando, Mercedes (2011). Socio-exciting skills and creativity according to the level of intelligence.REIFOP, 14 (3). (Web link: http://www.aufop.com – Accessed on (2020.10.09).