Conceptual Foundations

Combined Concurrent

How Much Have We Understood Overexcitability: The Status of Research and Findings of a Meta-Analysis

Friday, November 10
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Location: 213 BC

Giftedness has been defined by Kazimierz Dabrowski as advanced developmental potential, manifested through five forms of overexcitability—intellectual, emotional, imaginational, psychomotor, and sensual. Is overexcitability a general characteristic of gifted individuals? If so, what forms of overexcitability are most prevalent, and does it manifest differently by talent domain, age, or gender? How does overexcitability correlate with intelligence, creativity, personality, and self-concept? These are frequently asked questions by parents, teachers, and researchers. This session presents a meta-analysis of two decades of research on the construct validity of overexcitability, its manifestations, and its relationship to giftedness and some major psychosocial constructs.

Saiying Steenbergen-Hu

Research assistant professor & Director of Research
Northwestern University

Saiying Steenbergen-Hu, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor and the research director of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) of Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of educational interventions on students’ academic achievement and psychosocial development. Her methodological interests and skills include meta-analysis, research synthesis, educational measurement and assessment, quantitative research methodology, and applied statistical analysis. Her meta-analysis, coauthored with Sidney Moon, on the effects of acceleration on high-ability learners won the Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ) Paper of the Year Award in 2012. She and Paula Olszewski-Kubilius recently published a methodological brief “How to conduct a good meta-analysis in gifted education” in Gifted Child Quarterly (Volume 60, No. 2, 2016).


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Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

Director, Center for Talent Development
Northwestern University

Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius is currently the director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. Over the past 33 years, she has created programs for all kinds of gifted learners and written extensively on issues of talent development, particularly on programming for under-represented gifted students. Her most recent work is a monograph written with Rena Subotnik and Frank Worrell, “Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education: A Proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science”, published by the Association for Psychological Science. She has served as editor of Gifted Child Quarterly, co-editor of the Journal of Secondary Gifted Education and on the editorial review boards of Gifted and Talented International, The Roeper Review, and Gifted Child Today. She is currently vice-chair of the board of trustees of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Association for the Gifted. She also serves on that advisory boards for the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary and the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington. She is the immediate past president of the National Association for Gifted Children from whom she received the Early Scholar Award in 1987, the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009, and the GCQ Paper of the Year Award in 2011.


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How Much Have We Understood Overexcitability: The Status of Research and Findings of a Meta-Analysis


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