On Being 'Gifted'

“What a gifted child is, in many ways, is a gifted learner. And what a gifted adult is, is a gifted doer. And those are quite separate domains of achievement.

Precociousness, in other words, is not necessarily or always a prelude to adult achievement. Sometimes it’s just its own little discrete state… Sometimes we call a child precocious because they acquire a certain skill quickly, but that skill turns out to be something where speed of acquisition is not at all important. … We don’t say that someone who learned to walk at four months is a better walker than the rest of us. It’s not really a meaningful category."

Malcolm Gladwell

The Myth of Prodigy and Why it Matters, by Eric Wargo, Observer Staff Writer, The Association for Psychological Science

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Published: October 13, 2006Last updated: October 13, 2006

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