Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth after 35 Years: Uncovering Antecedents for the Development of Math-Science Expertise

David Lubinski and Camilla Persson Benbow
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Vol. 1, No. 4 (Dec., 2006), pp. 316-345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40212176
Page Count: 30
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth after 35 Years: Uncovering Antecedents for the Development of Math-Science Expertise
Preview not available

Abstract

This review provides an account of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) after 35 years of longitudinal research. Findings from recent 20-year follow-ups from three cohorts, plus 5- or 10-year findings from all five SMPY cohorts (totaling more than 5,000 participants), are presented. SMPY has devoted particular attention to uncovering personal antecedents necessary for the development of exceptional math-science careers and to developing educational interventions to facilitate learning among intellectually precocious youth. Along with mathematical gifts, high levels of spatial ability, investigative interests, and theoretical values form a particularly promising aptitude complex indicative of potential for developing scientific expertise and of sustained commitment to scientific pursuits. Special educational opportunities, however, can markedly enhance the development of talent. Moreover, extraordinary scientific accomplishments require extraordinary commitment both in and outside of school. The theory of work adjustment (TWA) is useful in conceptualizing talent identification and development and bridging interconnections among educational, counseling, and industrial psychology. The lens of TWA can clarify how some sex differences emerge in educational settings and the world of work. For example, in the SMPY cohorts, although more mathematically precocious males than females entered math-science careers, this does not necessarily imply a loss of talent because the women secured similar proportions of advanced degrees and high-level careers in areas more correspondent with the multidimensionality of their ability-preference pattern (e.g., administration, law, medicine, and the social sciences). By their mid-30s, the men and women appeared to be happy with their life choices and viewed themselves as equally successful (and objective measures support these subjective impressions). Given the ever-increasing importance of quantitative and scientific reasoning skills in modern cultures, when mathematically gifted individuals choose to pursue careers outside engineering and the physical sciences, it should be seen as a contribution to society, not a loss of talent.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
316
    316
  • Thumbnail: Page 
317
    317
  • Thumbnail: Page 
318
    318
  • Thumbnail: Page 
319
    319
  • Thumbnail: Page 
320
    320
  • Thumbnail: Page 
321
    321
  • Thumbnail: Page 
322
    322
  • Thumbnail: Page 
323
    323
  • Thumbnail: Page 
324
    324
  • Thumbnail: Page 
325
    325
  • Thumbnail: Page 
326
    326
  • Thumbnail: Page 
327
    327
  • Thumbnail: Page 
328
    328
  • Thumbnail: Page 
329
    329
  • Thumbnail: Page 
330
    330
  • Thumbnail: Page 
331
    331
  • Thumbnail: Page 
332
    332
  • Thumbnail: Page 
333
    333
  • Thumbnail: Page 
334
    334
  • Thumbnail: Page 
335
    335
  • Thumbnail: Page 
336
    336
  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
338
    338
  • Thumbnail: Page 
339
    339
  • Thumbnail: Page 
340
    340
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345