Finnish students’ conceptions of giftedness and intelligence in basic education

Sonja Laine, Elina Kuusisto, Kirsi Tirri

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There is a lack of research on students’ conceptions of giftedness and intelligence, despite recognition of their influence on real-life factors such as achievement and motivation. This paper presents a cross-sectional mixed methods study that investigated Finnish students’ (age 6–16 years; N = 1282) implicit conceptions of giftedness and intelligence and the mindsets underlying such conceptions. More particularly, the study aimed to investigate how giftedness and intelligence are constructed and understood in the minds of students and how students’ mindsets are actualized in their descriptions of giftedness and intelligence. The results indicated that, from very early on, students differentiate between the two concepts. Giftedness and intelligence were both seen as malleable, but views on giftedness were more fixed than were conceptions of intelligence. Both age- and school-related differences were found in students’ conceptions. Furthermore, the study demonstrated differences in conceptions of giftedness and intelligence between growth- and fixed-mindset students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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