The Three-Ring Model of Giftedness

Research on creative/productive people has consistently shown that although no single criterion should be used to identify giftedness, persons who have achieved recognition because of their unique accomplishments and creative contributions possess a relatively well defined set of three interlocking clusters of traits. These clusters consist of above-average though not necessarily superior general ability, task commitment, and creativity (see Figure 1). It is important to point out that no single cluster "makes giftedness." Rather, it is the interaction among the three clusters that research has shown to be the necessary ingredient for creative/productive accomplishment. This interaction is represented by the shaded portion of Figure 1. It is also important to point out that each cluster is an "equal partner" in contributing to giftedness. This point is important. One of the major errors that continues to be made in identification procedures is overemphasis on superior abilities at the expense of the other two traits.

Figure 1. The ingredients Of Giftedness

-- Joseph S. Renzulli

from "What Makes Giftedness? Reexamining a Definition"

Quoted on Fri Jul 6th, 2012