Skip to main content

Thesis Adélaïde SIXDENIER


From 1 February 2022 to 2 February 2025

Creation and validation of a scale for Giftedness screening

Nowadays, requests for screening of giftedness in adults are more frequent, related to the identification of this type of profile in a child or as part of a process of psychotherapy.
Currently, the benchmark tools used to assess Giftedness are intelligence scales and mainly the Weschler scale (WISC V for children - 2016 and WAIS IV for adults – 2011). The numerical result obtained on the intelligence scale, associated with elements from the clinical interview, makes possible to establish or not the presence of the profile with a reference value set at 130 or sometimes 125 (Grégoire, 2012 ; Brasseur & Cuche, 2017; Labouret, 2021). However, the IQ score alone cannot be representative of the specific functioning of people with this cognitive profile. It makes possible to raise areas of expertise but do not allow to define precisely what’s involved presenting such a profile.
There are characteristics which are often at the origin of the request for the assessment and which deserve to be evaluated more precisely. Thus, peculiarities such as a different way of thinking (Brasseur & Cuche, 2017, Millêtre, 2018), highly sensitivity (Acton & Schroeder, 2001), highly sensoriality (Schlegel et al, 2017), the feeling of difference (Stalnacke & Smedler, 2011), the tendency of procrastination (Millêtre, 2018), intuitive reasoning (Karwowksi, 2008; Sobkow et al. 2018) ... are they characteristics specific to Gifted people or not?
Likewise, patients whose children are identified have often made some research on the topic and bring the list of characteristics in which they recognize themselves and which can be the cause of suffering: social difficulties, feeling of being different, difficulty in managing flow of thoughts, difficulties with hierarchy, emotional hypersensitivity, intolerance to injustice, offbeat humor… which are not necessarily peculiarities specific to giftedness but which sometimes fit into it.
The objective of this research is to create an evaluation tool which would make possible to identify the characteristics most commonly found in this population, based on data from scientific literature but also on the particularities of functioning evidenced in the clinical practice.
At first, the purpose is to verify the hypotheses finded in the scientific literature such as the idea that Gifted people present, in terms of personality, a greater openness to the world (Zeidner & Shani -Zinovich, 2011); but also to test new ones observed in clinical practice.
We could for example, examine the link between sleep difficulties and a rumination tendency. The low self-esteem frequently observed particularly in gifted women, or their propensity for perfectionism (Guignard et al., 2012) which can go as far as preventing them from acting. Impostor syndrome (Clance & Imes, 1978), and a high system of value (Hay et al., 2007; Tirri & Nokalineim, 2007; Gauvrit, 2015) are also observed in clinical practice and could be the subject of further evaluation.
Once the list of hypotheses done, it will be tested and compared to the administration of the WAIS-IV, which will make possible to establish correlations between the IQ score and the characteristics mentioned in the evaluated people.
People who already have been screened will be recruited, but also people wishing to start this identification process and finally people from general population who will constitute the control sample. The comparison of the results obtained should allow to establish which characteristics are most commonly observed in Giftedness and which particularities are shared with neurotypical people.
The project contains several stages and begins with a review of the scientific literature on the subject to extract the characteristics that will be assessed in the study through the administration of validated questionnaires. The next step is to create the evaluation battery which includes data from scientific literature and observations from clinical practice that will also be validated by the administration of clinical scales (for example a rumination scale if we follow the hypothesis that Gifted peaople are more likely to ruminate than neurotypical people). The third step consists on the administration of the scale and the WAIS-IV in an already identified population, a presumed Gifted population and a control population recruited within the practices and the consultation unit of the USMB. Several variables will be controlled (sex, NSC, presence of associated disorders such as AD / HD, ASD, mood, etc.) likely to interfere with the results. The results on the screening scale will be compared with those obtained at the WAIS in order to objectify the characteristics effectively associated with Giftedness.
At the same time, we could consider expanding this project by adapting it to child population and compare with the scale created by Jean Claude TERRASSIER (precocity screening inventory).This scale is widely used in France but has not received any validation study so it is necessary to establish its psychometric properties.
The thesis project is therefore the development of an evaluation tool but also the study of its psychometric qualities to help the psychologist to better screen adults with Giftedness. An extension to the child could be considered as a second step.
Bibliography :
ACTON, G. S., & SCHROEDER, D.H. (2001). Sensory discrimation as related ton general intelligence. Intelligence, 29(3), 263-27.
BRASSEUR, S., & CUCHE, C. (2017). Le haut potentiel en questions. Mardaga
CLANCE, P.R., & IMES, S. A. (1978). The imposter phenomenon in high-achieving women : Dynamicsz and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy : Theory, Research & Practice, 15(3), 241-247.
HAY, P.K, GROSSn M. U. M., HOEKMAN, K., & ROGERS, K.B. (2007). Prosocial reasoning and empathy in gifted children. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 16, (2), 5-14.
GAUVRIT, N. (2015). Les surdoués ordinaires. Paris : P.U.F
GREGOIRE, J. (2012). Les défis de l’identification des enfants à haut potentiel. ANAE, 119, 419-424.
GUIGNARD, J-H., JACQUET, A.Y, & LUBART, T. I. (2012). Perfectionnism and anxiety : a paradox in intellectual giftedness ? PloS one, 7 (7), e41043.
KARWOWSKI, M. (2008). Giftedness and intuition. Gifted and talented international, 23 (1), 115-124.
LABOURET, G. (2021) Les enjeux de la définition du haut potentiel entre pratique et théorie dans Psychologie du Haut Potentiel. De Boeck.
MILLETRE, B. (2018). Petit guide à l’usage des gens intelligents qui ne se trouvent pas très doués. Payot.
SCHLEGEL, K., WITMER, J.S, & RAMMSAYER, T.H. (2017). Intelligence and sensory sensitivity as predictors of emotion recognition ability. Journal of intelligence, 5(4), 35.
SOBKOW, A., TRACZYK, J., KAUFMAN, S.B., & NOSAL, C. (2018). The structure of intuitive abilities and their relationships with intelligence and openness to experience. Intelligence, 67, 1-10.
TIRRI, K., & NOKELAINEN, P. (2007). Comparaison of academically average and gifted students self-rated ethical sensitivity. Educationnal Research and Education, 13 (6), 587-601.
ZEIDNER, M., & SHANI-ZINOVICH, I. (2011). Do academically gifted and non gifted students differ on the Big-Five and adaptativ status ? Some recent data and conclusions ? Personnality and individual differences, 51 (5), 566-570.

Supervisors :
Martine BOUVARD (martine[dot]bouvard[at]univ-smb[dot]fr)
Nathalie FOURNET (nathalie[dot]fournet[at]univ-savoie[dot]fr) (Codirection)
Anne DENIS (anne[dot]denis[at]univ-smb[dot]fr) (Codirection)

Keywords : Creation and validation of a scale for Giftedness screening



From 1 February 2022 to 2 February 2025


Profession libérale

Submitted on 16 November 2023

Updated on 16 November 2023