2.3% of the French population have an intellectual quotient (IQ) greater than 130, or a little less than one person in forty, according to the government report “the schooling of intellectually precocious students”, submitted in 2002 to the Minister of National Education. 130 is the commonly accepted benchmark for classifying an individual as gifted. This IQ is determined by verbal and performance tests. Around 100, the individual is in the norm. An IQ between 110 and 115 corresponds to normal education up to the baccalaureate. Below 80, on the other hand, schooling will not be normal.
This quotient must nevertheless be appreciated according to its limits: it varies for a given subject according to the age, the quality and type of tests, the situation, etc. But this quantified data remains useful, in addition to clinical examinations, to diagnose gifted patients. But apart from the intelligence quotient, what does this name really mean? How is it reflected in the daily life of these adults?
Information is processed faster by the brain
The high IQ of gifted people does not mean that they have more neurons, but simply that they receive and process information faster than the rest of the population. Like everyone else, these are recorded by one or more of the five senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch – but, in the gifted, they reach the brain more quickly. Once inside, they also circulate there much faster. Gifted people are therefore not sick but have real differences – especially at the level of perception and analysis – with other adults. These differences have repercussions on their daily lives, which differ from one individual to another.
Some gifted people don’t feel different from other people. They therefore have a life similar to most adults. Others, on the other hand, experience a feeling of being out of step, which can be reflected in various ways and in different spheres of their personal and professional life. On the negative side: ill-being and the feeling of not being like others often come up in the testimonies of gifted individuals. But the positive points are numerous: thirst for learning, great memory, speed of analysis or even, in some, a capacity to be amazed much stronger than the average.
In adulthood, only a psychologist can establish the diagnosis
Many gifted people are diagnosed in childhood. But it is also possible to discover this specificity only in adulthood. Certain signs can alert those around you, such as hypersensitivity, a repeated state of anxiety or even very strong perfectionism.
In case of doubt and embarrassment, it will be necessary to consult a psychologist, because he is the only practitioner authorized to establish this diagnosis. For this, he will carry out tests and a psychological assessment of the patient. But no fear in the event of a positive diagnosis, many gifted people live very well. And if you don’t have one around you, you surely know some gifted public figures like Shakira, Emma Watson, Matt Damon or even Ben Affleck!