What the term giftedness “really” means has been discussed for centuries. There are many domains in which one can be considered gifted, including sports, music, and intellectual pursuits. However, when discussing intellectual giftedness, general intelligence or cognitive ability likely plays a central role in any definition. Experts often differ on verbal definitions, and beyond general ability, there are specific domains of cognitive ability such as verbal, math, and spatial. With full acknowledgment that definitions of giftedness vary widely, this entry focuses on a quantitative definition of intellectual giftedness as a variable on a continuum, focusing on what is measurable—specifically discussing general cognitive ability (often indexed by IQ) and its connection to a variety of outcomes.

When intellectually gifted students are identified when young and followed up ...

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