Terman Study of the Gifted

The Terman Study of the Gifted (originally known as Genetic Studies of Genius) is one of the most famous longitudinal studies in the history of psychology. In 1921, Lewis M. Terman, professor of psychology in Stanford University, initiated the study and its sample was comprised of 1,528 children (11 years old, on average), all with IQs of 135 or above—placing them in the top 1% of the population at the time. Its participants (Termites) were systematically followed for over 80 years: Comprehensive surveys and interviews investigated all aspects of their lives, including educational and occupational achievements, mental and physical health, marital and parental status, and mortality.

The results of Terman’s study provide important insights into the long-term, real-world influence of intelligence as defined and assessed ...

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