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High Intellectual Potential

How to recognize a person with high intellectual potential and how to support them?

High intellectual potential - definition


The High Intellectual Potential (HIP) designates individuals who combine a set of characteristics such as high intellectual skills, creativity and strong emotional commitment.
This potential is measured using a set of tools of which the IQ is most widely known.

The characteristics of high intellectual potential

Although each individual is unique, we find in people with high intellectual potential, a number of characteristics such as:

  • academic success (not systematic)

  • early acquisition of skills (reading, calculation, etc.)

  • taste for knowledge, desire to understand

  • possible obsessive behaviours

  • strong sensory sensitivity

  • strong emotional sensitivity

  • boredom when too little intellectual stimulation

Origins and causes of high intellectual potential

Many factors can come into play in the expression of “forgiveness” (or HPI). However, it seems that genetic and biological factors are predominant.
We find in “gifted” children that they have a paradoxical sleep rate higher than the average. They also seem to have more grey matter in the frontal area of ​​their brains.

High intellectual potential - key figures

Children are generally designated as gifted when their Intellectual Quotient exceeds 140, which corresponds to 0.4% of the French population.
People whose IQ exceeds 130 can also be considered as individuals with high intellectual potential. They can sometimes be designated, according to specialists, as “well endowed”. It is estimated that 2.1% of the French population would fall into this category or 450,000 people. Among them, there is a majority of men and an over-representation of left-handed people.

How to support people with high intellectual potential?

Contrary to what one might think, having a high intellectual potential is not necessarily an asset, nor a pledge of ease in everyday life.

Part of people with HPI may suffer from a lack of stimulation. There may exist in them what is called dyssynchrony; a mismatch between ego maturity and emotional immaturity. Early thinking is out of step with affective maturation which is normal. Individuals, in this case, may suffer from repeated and difficult to manage frustrations, depressive withdrawals, intellectual self-stimulation …