Affective qualities play an important role in realizing extraordinary potential. In his groundbreaking study of highly intelligent children and youth, Lewis M. Terman discovered that although intellectual potential was relatively homogeneous among his subjects, life achievements were much more variable among the men in the study. He pinpointed affective qualities that differentiated between (relatively) high- and low-achieving men: “persistence in the accomplishment of ends, integration toward goals, self-confidence, and freedom from inferiority feelings. In the total picture the greatest contrast between the two groups was in all-round emotional and social adjustment, and in drive to achieve” (p. 148). An extensive body of longitudinal or retrospective analyses of factors that distinguish between extraordinarily able individuals who perform highly throughout their lives and others who falter and ...

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