Dr. H. J. Eysenck obtained his Ph. D. degree in psychology at London University. He became an influential researcher into fields of personality. In his 1953 book `Uses and Abuses of Psychology’ he was concerned with loose thinking under the guise of psychology.
“As compared with unselected children, these highly intelligent boys and girls were less inclined to boast or overstate their knowledge, they were more trustworthy when under temptation to cheat; their reading preferences, character preferences and social attitudes were more wholesome; on the whole set of character tests, the gifted child of 9 tested as high as the average child of 12.” (Pg. 72)
Now we know that the parents of every aspiring eleven plus child will feel that their child has all these worthy character traits. The majority of parents are, however, remarkably realistic about their children’s personalities and ability.
Eysenck summarised data about the gifted from a variety of sources:
90% of gifted men and 86% of gifted women entered college.
Less than 10% were found in the slightly skilled trades
71% of the gifted were classed in the two top grades of the professional ladder.
Of course many of his conclusions were held up to scrutiny but few will argue with his statement that gifted men and women occupied much better jobs and earned far more money than others.
The parents of the very bright eleven plus children will hope that their children are happy at school and at home. They will also hope that their child grows up to enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career. Passing the eleven plus, with remarkably good grades, does not automatically slot a child into the gifted category – but this may be a reasonably good start!