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Assessing the Success of High School Gifted Students: A Social and Personality Study

Faculty Supervisor:
Paul Lewis
Year of Project Completion:
Justin Shook


This experiment tested twenty 14 to 18-year-old gifted students from Newton High School’s gifted education program in Newton, Kansas. Despite scoring extremely high on intelligence tests, there is a wide range of grades and motivation between the students. To find the reasons for these discrepancies, subjects completed the NEO personality inventory, the SMALSI inventory, and a socio-demographic survey. The study found that motivation and agreeableness have a large impact on grades. Motivation is greatly affected by peer groups and other personality factors, while agreeableness is affected mainly by social factors. Peer groups had a substantial impact on the study as a whole, indicating that a social stigma could be an underlying factor.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.