Child Prodigy

Although the semantic distinction between child prodigy and gifted child is not always clear, the term ‘child prodigy’ tends to be attributed to those children who display exceptional ability in just one or a couple of domains of expertise, with the added suggestion of high-level outputs or performance. The label of child prodigy predates that of gifted child. The former tends to appear more often today in popular culture and the media (where it sometimes competes with the term ‘child genius’), while the latter is preferred in scientific publications. This entry briefly examines the history and academic definition of child prodigies and further explores the cult status and popular fascination of child prodigies in contemporary art, culture, and media. This entry concludes with a review ...

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