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PSYCHOLOGY OF GIFTEDNESS LABORATORY

Psychology of giftedness laboratory was created on 1st March 1993 on the initiative of the Ukrainian Center for Children and Youth to develop new ideas about psychological talent mechanisms and to create work system for gifted children and youth.  The founder of the main research areas in the laboratory is the Doctor of Psychology, Professor Maryna Oleksandrivna Kholodna.

Starting with 1995 the laboratory was led by the candidate of psychological sciences, senior researcher Rima Oleksandrivna Semenova, and since 2015   Oleksandr Leonydovych Muzyka, the candidate of psychological sciences, has become in charge of the laboratory.

The main scientific activities are specified in the laboratory research issues:

“Psychological Mechanisms of Giftedness in the Individual’s Creativity Factors System” (1993-1998.; scientific supervisors: .. Kholodna, R.. Semenova);

“Psychological Factors of a Gifted Person’s Development” (1999-2003, the state register number is 0204U000163, the scientific supervisor is R.. Semenova);

“The Relationship of Cognitive and Personal Factors in the Development of a Giftedness” (2004-2007, the state register number is 0104U000126, the scientific supervisor is R.. Semenova);

“Methodological Approaches for Psychological Assessment of the Giftedness at Different Stages of the Ontogenesis” (2008-2011, the register number is 0108U000273, the scientific supervisor is R.. Semenova);

“The Educational Environment as a Factor for a Gifted Personality Development” (2012-2014, the scientific supervisor is R.. Semenova);

“Value-Conscious Determination of a Gifted Personality Development” (2015-2017, the scientific supervisor is .L. Muzyka).

Initially the methodological grounds for the scientific research laboratory was a subjective approach. The level of subjective psychological mechanisms formation was considered as a general criterion of a giftedness, and talent development criteria were the characteristics of individual reality representation (originality as a perception, understanding and interpretation of events in the internal and external worlds).

 

 

 

The number of key conceptions definitions became the grounds for earlier research by the laboratory concerning intellectual, technical, social and artistic giftedness. Creativity was considered as a characteristic of an individual’s activity under the extraordinariness criterion regarding both results and means to achieve them. Creativeness is a gifted person’s feature, which determines a creative person’s attitude to the world and is implemented in a particular behavior type. Giftedness is understood as a feature of an individual’s psychological resources, which develop as psychological mechanisms of creativity type.

Since the beginning of the ղcentury a gifted person, who is considered as a bearer of values, identity and intellectual maturity has been in the center of the scientific research by the laboratory. As factors for a talented person’s development the following was considered: the level of spiritual development (field values and senses), including aiming for knowledge and self-development, a high degree of personal freedom; level of personal development (consciousness field): overall positive attitude towards themselves, confidence in their cognitive abilities, awareness of their own identity and their ability to take it into account within constant self-development; level of intellectual maturity (field of intellectual comprehension of reality): level of intelligence, capacity for intense intellectual activity, flexibility and freedom of intellectual activity, developed intuition.

Studies concerning relationship between cognitive and personality factors in talent development in ontogenesis was founded on     understanding of the giftedness as an integrated personality’s feature, the ground for which was a system of psychological and psychophysiological properties of an individual, providing exclusively successful activity in a particular area and special achievements. Thus, under such approach, criteria for a talented person’s identification, is primarily an evident enduring interest to a certain activity, enjoyment with the activity (efficiency, ease and speed of the activity acquirement) and activity performance (extraordinary, unusual achievements). Cognitive factors of a giftedness consist of the following components: general intellect, creativeness, intellectual organization. Personal factors comprise educational needs, basic properties (readiness to new experience, neuroticism, sociocentrism) and perfectionism  (striving for excellence).

Laboratory scientists found out that psychological diagnostics of a talented person requires an integrated approach. Assessment is needed for the intellect level and direction as well as creativeness, personal development and motivational field values.  It is important to use psychodiagnostic methods and expert analysis.

The laboratory offered the adaptive model of giftedness psychodiagnosis, that is specified in the general principles of the diagnosis within separate age stages of a gifted person’s development: the principle of comprehensiveness, consistency principle, principle of the secular approach, the principle of quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the dynamic principle. Among the specific giftedness psychodiagnostic principles one can highlight the principle of activity modeling, in the process of which in the form of study, playing or training, development effects are undertaken. The subject of the diagnostic procedure in this case is the abilities in their dynamics, that on the one hand, provides a diagnosis of their current state and, on the other hand, permits to determinate the probable trajectory and pace for a talented person’s individual development.

One of the latest trends research laboratories is to clarify the role of the educational environment in the gifted person development. Against this approach, the educational environment is presented as a complex, multidimensional, dynamic system of psycho-pedagogical conditions and influences, aimed at discovering the creative nature of a gifted person’s potential, including their ability arbitrary self-regulation of their own actions and states in accordance with the natural inclinations, interests, needs, age socialization requirements and social demands. It is shown that the gifted person’s successful development is mainly dependent on favorable educational environment, but on separate pedagogical influences. Requirement system for the educational environment, conducive to the gifted person’s development was outlined: 1) information richness, various types of cognitive activity availability; 2) the total educational process individual’s orientation to the knowledge values, creativeness as opposed to anti-intellectualism;  3) educational system orientation to the individual development, realization of their creative potential by intellectual properties and creative achievements cultivating; 4) personal oriented style of the study process management, aimed at the free exercising cognitive interests and abilities development; 5) non-hierarchization of relations and low conformism level; 6) high tolerance level in the attitude to their own failures.

Talent study, undertaken by the laboratory during two decades, allowed to create a theoretical model of the giftedness, to gain the experience of assessment and development of separate skills, owned by a talented person. At the present time – the integration of gained knowledge in a holistic approach to the giftedness as the focus of researchers, is the talent person, their unique values, focus on the creativity and self-development. Disclosure laws for a talented person’s formation within a mutually enriching interaction with the values of the contact environment and social values system, will produce axiopsychological principles for the developing environment, where the probability of extraordinary abilities and talent development is increasing.

The laboratory supports creative relations with the scientific-research and educational establishments: Institute of Personality and Skills Assessment (Germany), Munich University by Ludwig Maximilians (Germany), Institute of Psychology RA (Russia), Republican Institute of the Higher School of the Belarus State University (Belorus), Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko, NTU “P”, Uman State Pedagogical University named after Pavlo Tychyna,  Zaporizhzhia National University, Centre of Scientific and Technical Creativity of School Youth (Kyiv), Polytechnic Lyceum NTU “KPI”, Physics and Mathematics Lyceum of the KNU named after Taras Shevchenko, Klovskyi Lyceum of Foreign Languages No 77, National Center “Small Academy of Sciences of Ukraine ”, Gymnasium “Prioritet”, Darnytsia Technical Lyceum, Lyceum No 198 “EKO”,  Kyiv Children’s Academy of Arts, Secondary School No 16, Secondary School No 78, Secondary School No 93, Secondary School No 98, Children’s Educational Establishment No 208.

The Laboratory edits and publishes one of the volumes of the periodical professional edition of the Institute “Actual Problems of Psychology: Collected Scientific Works of the Institute of Psychology named after G. S. Kostiuk NAPS Ukraine, V. VI. Psychology of Talent”.

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