It isn’t easy to detect gifted or talented children in schools. We talk about gifted children, but what about geniuses? Is a gifted child the same as a genius?

The answer is no, and that’s why we want to explain some differences between genius and gifted. Generally speaking, we can say that gifted children are very intelligent children with an IQ of over 130 (the average intelligence is 100 in the normal population). On the other hand, geniuses are people who have excelled in a certain area thanks to a very specific talent.

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The Differences Between Genius and Gifted

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“It’s not how smart you are that matters; what really counts is how you are smart."

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The RAE (Royal Spanish Academy of Language) defines genius as “an extraordinary mental capacity to create or invent new and admirable things”.

On the other hand, it defines gifted as “someone who possesses greater than normal qualities, especially with regard to intellectual matters”.

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To be considered gifted, a person’s IQ must be higher than 130. The definition of “gifted” is related to social attributes and, according to expert psychotherapist in giftedness, Leandro Quiroz, they’re people who stand out in many ways.

These people are characterized by a diverse way of functioning on a neural, mental, cognitive, and executive level. They also tend to have somewhat specific personality traits.

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A genius, on the other hand, is someone who stands out in a certain area. It’s a person who performs a “work of genius” – an important and significant work for society. In other words, they’re people with special talents. They’re creative, groundbreaking, and innovative.

Thus, in summary, we can say that a gifted person is gifted in all areas, while a genius is gifted in a more specific area.

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A gifted child usually has an innate ability to develop tasks and solve difficult problems. Their intelligence usually develops very early on. Even though it’s often detected when they’re very young, that isn’t always the case.

A genius doesn’t have to be highly intelligent. What defines them as a genius is their talent and work in a certain area. For example, an artistic genius or a great mathematician.

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Another of the differences between genius and gifted is precocity , which we’ve already touched on. In gifted children, intelligence is high and precocious (which means they’re children capable of solving more difficult problems than would be expected for their age). However, in geniuses, this doesn’t necessarily have to happen.

A genius doesn’t necessarily show this precocious intelligence and we can define them based on the implementation of their talent. In other words, thanks to their work.

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Gifted children should, generally, be motivated in schools. That’s why the detection of high abilities is so important, in particular, to avoid boredom. On the other hand, geniuses tend to have a more intrinsic and innate motivation to develop their talent. This is because they really like what they do.

It’s quite easy to verify this, as those we consider to be geniuses are known for their achievements or work, which they develop because they actually want to. In other words, they’re passionate about something they’re also very good at.

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