Differences in information processing characteristics between gifted achievers and gifted underachievers

Date of Completion

January 1989


Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special




School psychologists are frequently called upon to identify gifted students. There is perhaps a no more educationally difficult situation than one that requires intervention recommendations for a gifted underachiever. Current research and priority on identifying the discrepancy between potential and achievement of all students indicates a need to assess the information processing skills of gifted underachievers is paramount. Clear relationships are apparent between the means by which children process information and their achievement. In order to establish discrepancy criteria it is first necessary to examine differences between the information processing skills of gifted achievers versus gifted underachievers.^ The purpose of this study was to identify the role that information processing deficits play in academic underachievement of gifted students, and lend these deficits consideration in identification of and intervention with gifted underachieving students.^ The Bloomer Learning Test, a measure which evaluates information processing ability, was administered to 60 gifted achievers, and 74 gifted underachievers in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. Analysis of Variance and Discriminant Function Analysis Procedures were employed to determine significant differences in performance between the groups, and the ability of subtest performance or combinations of subtest performance to explain group membership.^ Although sample selection was limited to a school system which has a procedure for identifying gifted underachievers this study is considered significant because of the information gained concerning the difference in information processing skills between gifted achievers and gifted underachievers. ^