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- Mar 2023
In order to throw light on the question whether exceptionally bright children are specially likely to be one-sided, nervous, delicate, morally abnormal, socially unadaptable, or otherwise peculiar, the writer has secured rather extensive information regarding 31 children whose mental age was found by intelligence tests to be 25 per cent above the actual age. This degree of intelligence is possessed by about 2 children out of 100, and is nearly as far above average intelligence as high-grade feeble-mindedness is below. The supplementary information, which was furnished in most cases by the teachers, may be summarized as follows: -- Ability special or general. In the case of 20 out of 31 the ability is decidedly general, and with 2 it is mainly general. The talents of 5 are described as more or less special, but only in one case is it remarkably so. Doubtful 4. Health. 15 are said to be perfectly healthy; 13 have one or more physical defects; 4 of the 13 are described as delicate; 4 have adenoids; 4 have eye-defects; 1 lisps; and 1 stutters. These figures are about the same as one finds in any group of ordinary children. Studiousness. "Extremely studious," 15; "usually studious" or "fairly studious," 11; "not particularly studious," 5; "lazy," 0. Moral traits. Favorable traits only, 19; one or more unfavorable traits, 8; no answer, 4. The eight with unfavorable moral traits are described as follows: 2 are "very self-willed"; 1 "needs close watching"; 1 is "cruel to animals"; 1 is "untruthful"; 1 is "unreliable"; 1 is "a bluffer"; 1 is "sexually abnormal," perverted," and "vicious." It will be noted that with the exception of the last child, the moral irregularities mentioned can hardly be regarded, from the psychological point of view, as essentially abnormal. It is perhaps a good rather than a bad sign for a child to be self-willed; most children "need close watching"; and a certain amount of untruthfulness in children is the rule and not the exception. Social adaptability. Socially adaptable, 25; not adaptable, 2; doubtful, 4. Attitude of other children. "Favorable," "friendly," "liked by everybody," "much admired," "popular," etc., 26; "not liked," 1; "inspires repugnance," 1; no answer, 1. Is child a leader? "Yes," 14; "no," or "not particularly," 12; doubtful, 5. Is play life normal? "Yes," 26; "no," 1; "hardly," 1; doubtful, 3. 1s child spoiled or vain? "No," 22; "yes," 5; "somewhat," 2; no answer, 2. According to the above data, exceptionally intelligent children are fully as likely to be healthy as ordinary children; their ability is far more often general than special, they are studious above the average, really serious faults are not common among them, they are nearly always socially adaptable, are sought after as playmates and companions, their play life is usually normal, they are leaders far oftener than other children, and notwithstanding their many really superior qualities they are seldom vain or spoiled.
The data shows that children who are more superior are seen as healthy. I think children that are superior are seen as more healthy because they have a more positive outlook on life.