Traits of Giftedness

No gifted individual is exactly the same, each with his own unique patterns and traits.   There are many traits that gifted individuals have in common, but no gifted learner exhibits traits in every area.  This list of traits  may help you better understand whether or not your child is gifted.





Keen power of abstraction

Interest in problem-solving and applying concepts

Voracious and early reader

Large vocabulary

Intellectual curiosity

Power of critical thinking, skepticism, self-criticism

Persistent, goal-directed behavior

Independence in work and study

Diversity of interests and abilities

Creativeness and inventiveness

Keen sense of humor

Ability for fantasy

Openness to stimuli, wide interests



Independence in attitude and social behavior

Self-acceptance and unconcern for social norms


Aesthetic and moral commitment to self-selected work

Unusual emotional depth and intensity

Sensitivity or empathy to the feelings of others

High expectations of self and others, often leading to feelings of frustration

Heightened self-awareness, accompanied by feelings of being different

Easily wounded, need for emotional support

Need for consistency between abstract values and personal actions

Advanced levels of moral judgment

Idealism and sense of justice


Boundless enthusiasm

Intensely focused on passions—resists changing activities when engrossed in own interests

Highly energetic—needs little sleep or down time

Constantly questions

Insatiable curiosity

Impulsive, eager and spirited

Perseverance—strong determination in areas of importance

High levels of frustration—particularly when having difficulty meeting standards of performance (either imposed by self or others)

Volatile temper, especially related to perceptions of failure

Non-stop talking/chattering

Source:  Clark, B. (2008). Growing up gifted (7th ed.)   Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson Prentice Hall.