What distinguishes people with high intellectual abilities from people with high sensitivity?

Stereotypes surrounding highly intelligent people have evolved over the years. Two images dominate the collective imagination. First of all, these are people with high abilities.They excel in all areas of their lives. The second vision is associated with the myth of a loser and a restless genius, especially in the social-emotional area.

Approximately two-thirds of the population has this second image. However, scientific evidence does not indicate the presence of serious social-emotional problems.

On the other hand, the concept of “highly sensitive people” (HSP) appeared in the late 90s of the last century. One of its characteristics is deep processing of stimuli: These are people who analyze information exhaustively and thoughtfully, paying attention to subtleties and nuances. This overlap with some of the traits of high-ability people, coupled with several authors pointing out similar behavior, has led to the suggestion that high sensitivity is a characteristic that defines high-ability people.

About emotions and feelings

Advances in recent decades in the study of emotions and feelings using neurobiology have allowed us to offer theories that integrate the body-mind dichotomy. Today we understand a person as a subject whose neurobiological configuration gives rise to a complex structure and process that turns him into a feeling and thinking unit.

That is, an organism capable of perceiving the environment and itself, activating response mechanisms to endogenous and exogenous stimuli (from within and outside the body) and evaluating both stimuli and responses. We not only react to stimuli: we have the ability to form complex mental images through self-awareness. These images are internal representations that combine information from stimuli, reconstructions of past experiences, and are used to construct a representation of a feeling.

Emotions and feelings are born in people in this matrix, the scenarios of which seem to be two (body and mind), but deep inside they are only one. The process starts with stimulus that due to its characteristics andIt can cause a reaction elsewhere in the brain. This causes an emotional response in the body (such as a change in heart rate or sweating) and brain.

These reactions are mapped by the brain, and its mental image is the main component of feelings. People have a record of those images (autobiographical memory) that It allows us to give a name to what we feel. This mental image (feeling) and the new physiological responses it generates (emotions) create a process of mutual influence that can be reflected, amplified, or absorbed.

Features of people with high abilities

People with high abilities have with differential congenital neurobiological characteristics , both in terms of brain structure and its functioning (differences in activation, activity and connectivity between areas). This is due to distinctive cognitive characteristics: they have greater flow of ideas, ability to connect different topics and greater speed of understanding complex ideas.

They also have higher creative and intellectual excitability. This means they are passionate about ideas and intellectual challenges. And this can lead to strong connection with fictional and creative worlds.

However, at the physiological level, higher reactivity was not observed, since the stimuli did not evoke stronger emotions in them.

In addition, they score lower than the normal population on the Highly Sensitive Personality Scale in terms of emotional and physiological reactivity.

They have other traits in common with highly sensitive people: score higher than the normal population on three positive subscales of the same questionnaire (socio-affective sensitivity, aesthetic sensitivity and sensory comfort). This refers to a personality trait called “openness” (the willingness to experiment with new ideas, emotions and actions). And since the opening more closely related to verbal intelligence, This may be due to the ability of high ability individuals to develop rich and complex mental discourses.

Feelings generated by thought

Feedback from powerful intelligence, such as in people with high abilities, is stronger, although emotional physiological reactions are not necessarily stronger. His flow of ideasthe origin of the vast loop of feelings, that is, the brain’s reading and interpretation of the process of emotions and feelings. neglected is more productive. The point is not that emotions are felt more strongly, but that the associative process of ideas is much more extensive.

Feelings do not depend solely on sensitivity to stimuli or physiological reactivity. Feelings are built in the realm of thought and are nourished by memories of our previous experiences and projections of future possibilities. All this is provided by cognitive resources. And if there is one thing that distinguishes high-ability people, it is this intellectual part.

Instead of stating that people with high abilities have high sensitivity, it is more correct to say that they have greater emotional intensity. Thus, we point to the idea that their feelings are more complex and can feed each other.

Paloma Merello Jimenez, university professor in finance and accounting. Talent Development Project Coordinator, University of Valencia

More community news

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button