Don’t call it what it is: talking to unidentified gifted adults by using the “wrong” words. Giftedness Across the Lifespan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review


Many gifted adults are not aware that they are gifted. Diagnosed gifted children who grow up knowing they are gifted have access to literature and can partake in outreach activities for the gifted. This may help them find a way to manage their trait and lead a satisfying life. In contrast, unidentified gifted adults may suffer from their oddities, feel socially rejected and may show signs of physical or mental “dis-ease”. If we assume that any gifted person would benefit from reading the available literature, it then follows that unidentified gifted people need to access materials easily, especially trait descriptions and management strategies. This information could help them identify their specificities, help them re-frame their life alone or with professional help. The majority of publications about gifted people contain that exact word. Unfortunately, unidentified gifted people are far from considering themselves gifted and would not think of reading such materials. Having often experienced difficulties in their lives, feeling somehow different, and having difficulties in relationships, unidentified gifted adults are unable to recognize that those resources apply to them. Even if they did suspect that the material could be of interest to them, the idea of being seen at the cashier with a book about gifted people is enough to dissuade them to buy it. If they do indeed buy the book (surely online!), then they are sure to feel uncomfortable at the idea of someone seeing what they are reading. This is therefore a call for authors: do not call it what it is (gifted)! Make reference to gifted traits instead in the title of your publications. Society as a whole is likely to benefit from gifted people recognizing who they are and managing their difference in productive ways.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2012
EventEuropean Council for High Ability - Münster Castle, Münster, Germany
Duration: 12 Sept 201215 Sept 2012
Conference number: 13


ConferenceEuropean Council for High Ability
Abbreviated titleECHA
Internet address


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