Giftedness and Moral Promise



The relationship between giftedness and moral development is complex. One does not have to be gifted to be moral, and the gifted are capable of incredibly destructive, immoral behavior. However, many have observed that gifted children express moral concerns at a younger age and in a more intensified manner than their age peers, and some theorists suggest that moral sensitivity increases with intelligence. From our experience, which spans more than 5 decades, we contend that gifted children are at promise for high moral development in adult life. Their ethical sensitivity stems from their heightened cognitive awareness, keen sense of justice, emotional sensitivity, empathy, insightfulness, powers of observation, knowledge of consequences, questioning of the morality of the culture, and their ability to imagine alternatives. Moral promise comes to fruition within a nurturing environment. Self-regulation – the ability to put the needs of one's community before one's own desires – develops through the establishment of emotional bonds with caring adults who honor one's inner world.


Moral Development Moral Concern Moral Sense Ethical Sensitivity Moral Awareness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.2089 Tapscott Ave.El CerritoCA 94530USA
  2. 2.Gifted Development Center1452 Marion CenterDenverCO 80218

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