Self-tests : giftedness / high ability
Also see Gifted / talented characteristics
Characteristics often experienced by gifted / talented individuals:
Are you a good problem solver? Can you concentrate for long periods of time?
Are you perfectionistic? Do you persevere with your interests?
Are you an avid reader? Do you have a vivid imagination?
Do you enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles? Often connect seemingly unrelated ideas?
Do you enjoy paradoxes? Do you set high standards for yourself?
Do you have a good long-term memory? Are you deeply compassionate?
Do you have persistent curiosity? Do you have an excellent sense of humor?
Are you a keen observer? Do you have a love of mathematics?
Do you need periods of contemplation? Do you search for meaning in your life?
Are you aware of things that others are not? Are you fascinated by words?
Are you highly sensitive? Do you have strong moral convictions?
Do you often feel out-of-sync with others? Are you perceptive or insightful?
Do you often question rules or authority? Do you have organized collections?
Do you thrive on challenge? Do you have extraordinary abilities and deficits?
Do you learn new things rapidly? Feel overwhelmed by many interests/abilities?
Do you have a great deal of energy? Often take a stand against injustice?
Do you feel driven by your creativity? Love ideas and ardent discussion?
Were you advanced
developmentally in childhood? Have unusual
ideas or perceptions?
"If 75% of these characteristics fit you, you are probably a gifted adult. Giftedness was not commonly identified in children until recently, so many adults are unaware that they were gifted as children. But even those who were identified tend to believe their giftedness disappeared before adulthood."
Adapted from the Institute
for the Study of Advanced Development
~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~Self-test - based on workbook of the Adult Giftedness Project
of The Rocamora School, Los Angeles, CA
1. General characteristics
Do you have a large vocabulary? Are you multi-talented?
Do you have so many interests and abilities it is hard to focus on developing any of them to your satisfaction?
Are you possessed of an unrelenting (and possibly off-the wall) sense of humor?
Can you occupy time usefully without external stimulation?
Are you persistently goal-directed in your behavior?
Is your creativity apparent in all areas of endeavor?
Do you have the need and
the energy to develop more capacity?
Derived from the Greek
word for having a goal, entelechy is a particular type of
for self-determination, and an inner strength and vital
force directing life and growth
Gifted people with
entelechy are often attractive to others who feel drawn to
their openness and
to their dreams and visions. Being near someone with this
trait gives others hope and
(from Deirdre Lovecky,
"Warts and Rainbows: Issues in the Psychotherapy of the
Development, Jan., 1990)
Are you directed by an inner vision of your purpose in life, or have a dream that is all-consuming?
Are you highly motivated to be all you are capable of being?
Are you deeply involved in creating your own destiny?
Do you continue to believe in yourself and your vision, even when no one else does?
Are others attracted to
your vision, wanting to participate?
Part of the Theory of
Emotional Development of Kazimierz Dabrowski -
"The forms of
'overexcitability' are particularly prominent in the gifted
and creative because there
we find a higher level of energy and capacity
for sustained effort;
enhanced differentiation and aliveness of sensual
experience; greater avidity
for knowledge, discovery, and attitude of questioning
and questing; greater vividness of imagery, richness of
associations, and capacity
for detailed visualization, and greater depth
and intensity of emotional
life. One may think of these five forms of
overexcitability as the substrate of giftedness and creative
A. Psychomotor excitability:
Are you a high energy person?Do you love intense physical activity and movement?
Do you feel constantly pressured to take action? Are you impulsive?
Do you have nervous habits?Are you restless, always on the go, incapable of just relaxing?
Do you talk compulsively? Are you a workaholic?
B. Sensual excitability:
Are you often moved to tears by music or the visual arts?
Are you prone to eating and drinking excesses because they give you intense pleasure?
Are you adventurous where new sensory experiences are concerned (food, music, erotic experimentation, different environmental settings, for example)?
When you recall an experience, can you also recall the sensory aspects?
Is the touch, smell, taste, and sight of sex as important to you as having an orgasm?
C. Intellectual excitability:
(Not to be confused with high intelligence, since many highly intelligent individuals do not enjoy intellectual activities and pursuits)
Are you always questioning everything?
Do you love to explore a wide variety of theories and ideas?
Are you able to examine ideas outside of the framework of your own opinion?
Do you enjoy research, analysis, and theoretical thinking?
Is problem-solving a source of immense satisfaction?
D. Imaginational excitability:
Do you write, speak, think, or dream in vivid imagery?
Do you embellish the plain truth in ways that make your end of a conversation more impactful or amusing?
Do you express yourself in ways that demonstrate a rich association of images and impressions?
Do you entertain yourself endlessly with private jokes and wacky visual, auditory, or associational images?
Do you creatively reframe events to support your perspective on life?
E. Emotional excitability:
Are you excruciatingly sensitive, with intense emotions?
Can you describe your feelings with great precision?
Do you have intense emotional attachments to others?
Are your emotions sufficiently profound to take you beyond yourself into areas of philosophical consideration?
Do you suffer from extraordinarily high levels of fear and anxiety or suffer attacks of psychological depression?
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
4. High Intelligence
"Gifted adults differ intellectually from others. They are more sophisticated, more global thinkers. In addition, they have the capacity to generalize...
They can grasp difficult concepts and phenomena. Their imagination and creativity are often incomprehensible to the average person... they have the ability to predict consequences... and foresee problems which are likely to occur.
Gifted adults are able to see the pattern of development and growth, and therefore will recognize a trend. This allows them to predict and, by certain actions, to influence the trend."
"Gifted Adults: Their Characteristics and Emotions", Advanced
~ ~ ~
Are you a divergent thinker with unique and interesting perspectives?
Are you highly intuitive, with insight and foresight?
Do you enjoy experimenting with psychic and metaphysical ideas?
Are you relentlessly curious and investigative?
Are you verbally agile?
Do you love intense discussions?
Do you have an exceptional memory?
Do you think things out at an accelerated pace?
Can you work with
extraordinary amounts of mental data?
5. The Search for Truth
us who are contemplative from the heart cannot tolerate
the idea that life is accidental, purposeless,
Do you strive to understand the nature and meaning of life?
Have you read extensively on the nature of mind or done any meditation practice?
Are you attracted to, and long for, spiritual or mystical experiences that will provide the basis for a deeper understanding?
Are you preoccupied with death and the possibility of after-death experience?
Are you determined to make a meaningful contribution during your life?
Do you have strong feelings
regarding issues of morality and justice?
6. The "Autonomous Factor" (from psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski)
"... the autonomous factor
enables the individual to transcend
The autonomous factor is a
sense of inner-directedness, an inner drive to make conscious
choices in accordance with those principles which are
highest in oneself."
Are you driven toward self-actualization and self-perfection?
Are you highly self-aware?
Have you demonstrated the capacity for intrapsychic transformation?
Do you feel a great deal of empathy and compassion for others?
Do you exhibit a high level
of moral responsibility and integrity?
"In a world in which emotional health is defined in terms of contentment, ability to relax, satisfaction with self and with life, and lack of inner conflicts, it is no wonder that the perfectionist is perceived as neurotic.
Worse, the consistent messages that perfectionists receive throughout life convince them that there is some basic flaw in their personality which must be eradicated.
This greatly exacerbates the amount of inner conflict with which they must cope. Not only do they feel shame, guilt and inferiority for not meeting their own standards; in addition, they feel shame, guilt and inferiority for having all this inner conflict.
And this is where the tension can mount to the point of paralysis."
Silverman, PhD 1987)
Are you determined to do your best at all costs?
Do you feel inadequate to measure up to your personal standards?
Are consumed with self-doubt and self-criticism?
Is self-perfection or the perfection of your life's work the central driving force of your existence?
Do you have a sense of your potential destiny and feel responsible to live up it?
Do you have inappropriately
high expectations of others?
"All introverts are
perfectionists. All gifted individuals
Linda Kreger Silverman
Do you prefer depth to breadth, concentrating on one activity at a time?
Are you hard to get to
know, more involved with your internal world
Are you easily humiliated, therefore keeping people at a distance?
In a social situation, do you wait to be approached rather than introducing yourself, and take time to observe others before engaging?
Do you develop skills in private before showing finished products to the world?
Do you need privacy,
respect the privacy of others, and resent having your
personal space invaded?
"Advanced development has
to do with recognizing and admiring
You do justice, not only because it is right but more so because you cannot do otherwise. You don't believe in one thing but find yourself doing another; you become a just person." (Karen C. Nelson, 1989)
"Excellence may be a universal ideal, but it is a personal goal for only a few. The attainment of excellence begins with a vision -- a vision of what is possible.
The vision does not visit
everyone; it selects the most fertile ground for its
criteria does it use? Inherent capability, surely. However,
there must also be emotional receptivity,
If the ability is there,
but the receptivity is lacking, the vision will be fleeting.
remains with those who are willing to work toward its
fruition." (Linda Kreger
Are you driven to achieve "what could be" when you think of "what is?"
Are you solidly connected to an inner vision and aware that that vision will continually evolve?
Do you feel compelled to
connect directly with painful social ills,
Do you work tirelessly to
make a contribution to better the world,
'When many of us hear the word gifted we almost always think two things: (1) "Only schoolchildren are gifted" and (2) "Since I'm not a child, I can't be gifted."
These automatic responses are understandable given what most of us have been told about bright people.
But most of what we have been told is radically incorrect and enormously incomplete.'
From the book: Mary-Elaine Jacobsen. The Gifted Adult
~ ~ ~ ~
"Even if you have doubts about the extent of your giftedness, you will really bring your talents to life if you will embrace your drive to become, serve, create, achieve, and contribute.
Self-recognition is not to fuel egotism or elitism, but to align with a more powerful, creative part of you that will let your heart, your knowledge, your talent loose on the world."
Mary Rocamora, founder and director of The Rocamora School, Los Angeles
~ ~ ~ ~--
Talent Development Resources pages :
intensity / sensitivity resources : articles sites books
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~