Intelligence, giftedness, creativity

Objectives and subject-specific competences

Objectives: to acquire qualitative and advanced knowledge on two main determinants of human cognitive efficiency – intelligence and creativity; to learn about phenomenology of searching and interpreting interpersonal differences in intelligence, general and specific talents within intelligence and creativity.

Competences: Students learn how to observe the development of intelligence in individual developmental stages, how to determine and develop cognitive capacities of an individual and the optimal development of intellectual and creative potentials. They meet specific professional-ethic principles of the problematic of intelligence and creativity and the importance of their connection to the society. Various possibilities of consideration and estimation of the talented and individuals with a remarkable potential of creativity are presented. Students are able to distinguish and connect the concepts of cognitive abilities and creativity – (i) they are familiar with methods of consideration of creative individuals, (ii) they know the mechanisms of talent and creativity in several fields of work and endeavours in science and art, (iii) they understand the development of talent and creativity in individual cognitive stages. They obtain advanced knowledge and skills of perception, of accompanying and of development of intelligent, talented and creative children and adults.

Description of content

Nature, activity and cognition of interpersonal differences in intelligence (plus general and specific talents), in creativity and the connections between them are thoroughly presented. Intelligence and creativity are, together with other psychic characteristics, a part of the whole structure of personality. The history of research of intelligence and different view on its research. A hierarchic structure of intelligence and a brief overview of different models and theories. Implicit understanding of intelligence, genetics and intelligence, biological correlates of intelligence, determinants of environment and intelligence and other factors that correlate with intelligence (education, profession, etc.) stability and changeability of intelligence, apparent and actual differences in intelligence among various social, gender and racial groups. Ways of measuring the intelligence. Social intelligence and dr. Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. The nature of talent or genius. Genius in intelligence. Specific talents in the view of Multiple Intelligence Theory. Talent in science and art. Creativity and intelligence. Measuring the creativity and creativity’s personal correlates. The basis of creative genius (combination of cognitive, environmental and personal dimensions). Talent and creativity (social basis, home environment, education and career, characteristics of people with creative achievements, motivation of the creative person, developmental patterns). Criteria of excellence and brilliance. Ordinary and extraordinary development. Creative thinking and inspiration (stages in creative problem solving, specific abilities and processes included in creative thinking, the role of unconscious processes). Intuition and unconsciousness. Genetic questions of talent and creativity. Extraordinary individuals. Discovering, observing and encouraging the creativity. Creativity in art. The connection between intelligence, talent and creativity with some other personal characteristics. Emotional intelligence and its parallels with intelligence.

Basic bibliography

Eysenck, H. J. (1995). Genius: The natural history of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gardner, H., Kornhaber, M. L. in Wake, W. K. (1996). Intelligence: Multiple perspective. Fort Worth,TX: Harcourt Brace.
Sternberg, R. J. (ur.) (1999). Handbook of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (izbrana poglavja)

Envisaged learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Students hear about theoretical and practical basis of the construct of intelligence and its hierarchic structure. They understand and know how to apply different approaches to the cognition of intelligence. They acquire extended information on the nature of intelligence and learn how to critically see that construct. They learn to see talent as a characteristic that places the individual to the top of the variability of general or specific intellectual abilities. They learn about theories and concepts of recognizing the talented, they get to know and work on important differences and relationships between the concepts of cognitive abilities and creativity, they understand principles of discovering and observing the talented and the estimation and consideration of creative individuals; they are acquainted with tools and procedures of detecting the talented.


Students learn about the role of intelligence in the efficiency of an individual in everyday life. They learn the concept and practical differences between concepts of intelligence, talent and creativity. Mechanisms of talent and creativity in different fields of work and the endeavour in science and art are presented in examples of extraordinary individuals. The main emphasis is on the observation of the development of talent and creativity with children in different developmental stages.


Professional-ethic principles of handling with the problematic of intelligence, talent, creativity and the importance of social connection with these constructs are presented to students. They need to know how to understand the theory and connect it with practical experience when meeting different components and specific factors of intelligence, at the work with talented and when recognizing creative handling.

Transferable skills – not tied to just one subject

Students gain advanced information on the nature of intelligence and learn to critically see that construct. They learn how to handle the talent as a characteristic that places an individual in the top of variability of general or specific intellectual ability. They get to know theories and concepts of recognizing the talented, how to work on important differences and relationships between concepts of cognitive capabilities and creativity, they learn and understand the principles of discovering and accompanying the talented, estimation and consideration of creative individuals. Through this, they develop abilities of critical analyse, judging and synthesis of various theoretical skills and the connection of these skills with practical experience. Along the course, they develop their skills of using national and foreign literature and other sources; they obtain information on the use of equipment for diagnosis of the talented and for discovering creative behaviour. The course is also connected with some other courses (obligatory or elective) from the study programme of psychology; i.e. Applied psychometrics, Differential psychology, Selected clinical-methodological methods, Children with special needs…

Methods of teaching and learning

Lectures, seminar or project work.

Curriculum complier

Valentin Bucik, Full Prof. PhD
Neubauer, A. in Bucik, V. (1996). The mental speed - IQ relationship : unitary or modular?. Intelligence, 22 (1), 23-48.
Bucik, V. (1997). Osnove psihološkega testiranja. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za psihologijo.
Boben, D. in Bucik, V. (2003). Slovenia. V J. Georgas (ur.), Culture and children’s intelligence: cross-cultural analysis of the WISC-III (str. 181-197). San Diego, CA, London: Academic Press.
Bucik, V. (2005). Ocena knjige “Inteligentnost, ustvarjalnost, nadarjenost”. Psihološka obzorja, 14 (1), 143-148.