High Intellectual Potential: What Does It Mean?

High Intellectual Potential, Giftedness, Zebra: What is an HPI Person?

The person of high potential, also called “zebra” or “gifted”, has a intelligence significantly superior to those of people in his age group. We speak of High Potential when they have a score equal to or higher than 130 on intelligence quotient (IQ) tests, knowing that the average for the whole population in France is set at 100. This diagnosis can be made in childhood as well as in adulthood.
“But it is important to specify that this concept of efficiency is not always well used in HPI,” emphasizes the psychologist. These people may suffer from a sense of significant disadvantage with others, find themselves in a situation of failure, rejection and recurring misunderstanding.
Like Morgane Alvaro – the main character of the HPI series played by Audrey Fleurot – who is a cleaning lady, the HP Adult is not necessarily a person of brilliant professional success. And high potential kids aren’t all top of the class, some, on the contrary, fail in school, demotivated by boredom or lack of confidence.

Symptoms: What are the signs that a person has HPI?

People of high intellectual potential, be they children or adults, have a strong interest in a number of subjects and are very curious.

Johanna Rozenblum, clinical psychologist: They have a fluid mindset, which is said to be tree-like: they can draw conclusions, make connections and associations, and they have great problem-solving skills.

Each of the ideas that come into their head thus gives rise to a cascade of new ideas, which causes significant and rapid thinking activity.
We also find great creativity, a speed of learning and a very developed sense of humor.
precocious children usually have advanced reading skills, very good memory and a rich vocabulary.
“PHIs also have a clear relationship with emotions, with a strong resilience and a lot of empathyAdds Johanna Rozenblum.
Finally, one of the key criteria often found in high potential individuals, both children and adults, is that lack of self respectoften as a result of a highly developed perfectionismon their specific functioning and on a great brightnessmaking them think they can’t handle it.

High Potential and Hypersensitivity: Is There a Link?

“There is indeed a great sensitivity emotional and social under HPI, with a strong empathy† It gives them a good understanding of the situations at stake, the problems or the needs of each other,” confirms Johanna Rozenblum. People with high intellectual potential therefore usually have a high potential emotionalassociated. However, some hypersensitive HPI can occur: difficulties with their environment and their relationship with others, which gradually leads them to distance their affects. “The whole challenge for them is to achieve coexisting with their emotions and their intellectual faculties not to be hindered by their great empathy and to keep moving forward by accepting themselves with their individuality,” concludes the psychologist.

With boards that are ultimately very varied and with not too clear outlines, it can be tempting to see HPI people all around you. But only 2% of the population really is. “These intellectual abilities can only be demonstrated at the moment thanks to accurate and official psychometric testthe psychologist insists.

For young children from 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 years, the official test is the WPPSI or “Wechsler intelligence scale for children”. It takes between 20 and 60 minutes, depending on the child, knowing that the younger the child, the shorter the test. Parents are not allowed to be in the room during the test procedure.

For children between 6 years and 16 years and 11 months, the test is the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and Adolescents).

Finally, for adults, the officially recognized test is the WAIS (Wechsler intelligence scale).

The results of these three tests – adapted to the age group of the population concerned – allow to determine the person’s IQ, but also to obtain their complete cognitive profile, with the level of the 5 main components of cognitive intelligence:

The verbal comprehension index : or the ability to use one’s knowledge, skills and experience,

The visuospatial index : which stands for the ability to create mental images, to mentally manipulate images, to represent objects in space.

The fluid reasoning index : or the ability to solve new problems, without being able to use one’s knowledge.

The working memory indexor short-term memory, which is the ability to temporarily hold information in memory,

Processing Speed ​​Index, or the ability to work quickly, under time pressure, with a minimum of errors.

Johanna Rozenblum: On the other hand, beware of tests on the internet that are absolutely not scientifically validated.

A subject is recognized as HPI if he has an average of 130 and above IQ to the different articles.

Sometimes, however, we may wonder whether it is necessary to diagnose these high-potential people, knowing that it is neither a disorder nor a pathology, and that an accompaniment or a concern psychological will therefore not be an absolute necessity.
The passage of these tests can therefore be justified in people with vulnerabilities, difficulties and have difficulty understanding each other and using this intelligence† This is especially the case for HP children in school failurewho have difficulty controlling and sustaining their emotions, and can be supported specifically with this in mind.

Being HP, is it like a “superpower”?

The character played by the HPI series, of a woman with mentalistic gifts, able to see, feel, analyze and understand things beyond mere mortals. Is that why people with high intellectual potential are almost superheroes? “In this series, we show intellectual potential as an almost mystical superpower, but it’s largely overdone” insists Johanna Rozenblum, remembering that there is no typical portrait of HPI person. When some perform, others feel entangled in their tree thoughts and suffer from it. “But in general we find curiosity, motivation, creativity and a good control of humor and verb, but also a difficulty in the social bond or the control of emotions: that is transcribed quite well in the series!”, concludes the psychologist.

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