Role of Perceptual Processes in the Formation of the Phenomenon of Giftedness

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Abstract


Currently, there is an obvious shortage of Russian studies of perceptual processes in the gifted. The study is focused on theoretical and organizational issues of research in the cognitive sphere of giftedness, in particular, perception, which is relevant not only in its fundamental but also applied aspects, - this explains the high research activity of foreign psychologists in this area nowadays. The empirical data presented in the literature on the importance of perceptual processes in the formation of the phenomenon of giftedness are considered from the methodological positions of the perceptual psychology, which allows to identify new approaches in the study of giftedness. The array of empirical evidence that is emerging today is systematized according to the main tasks to be solved in the research: (1) to identify (to measure) the cognitive characteristics of the gifted and to establish connections between them; (2) to determine the parameters of cognitive processes specific to giftedness; (3) to establish the connections between the phenomenon of giftedness and specific cognitive resources. The typical organizational features of modern cognitive psychology of giftedness are highlighted: the use of psychometric tools and comparative research methods, the predominance of child and adolescent samples, the preoccupation with the phenomenon of mathematical giftedness and the involvement of neuroscientific research resources; their capabilities and limitations are shown. Using the neurocognitive studies of mathematical giftedness as an example, the theoretical and organizational threats to the validity of the conclusions drawn in them are discussed, as well as the ways to increase the argumentativeness of the research in the cognitive sphere of giftedness, i.e., to ensure its ecological validity, integrity, ontologicality, particularly by covering a larger number of studied variables on significant groups of participants. The empirical evidence of the key role of visual-spatial processing (spatial thinking) in the cognitive structure of giftedness is systematized. Based on the thesis about the special functional significance of the direct sensory perception, the task of determining the functional characteristics of perceptual processes under the conditions of giftedness is set. The integration of knowledge from different subject areas of psychology for studying the problems of unique cognitive and social functioning, the personality organization of a gifted person is also provided.


About the authors

Galina V. Shookova

Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education

Author for correspondence.
Email: shookova@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9864-0641
9 Mokhovaya St, bldg 4, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

PhD in Psychology, is leading researcher of the Laboratory of Psychology of Giftedness

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