The relation between giftedness, mindset, and competitiveness (OWK, PSY; Ba)

Mentor: Tessa Eysink

Topic (focus on research)

The majority of gifted children successfully completes primary school. They learn well and are able to score high on achievement tests, often with little effort. The downside is that these children do not learn to fail, avoid challenges, and are at risk of developing a fixed mindset. What can also be observed from gifted children is that they often show competitive behaviour. They are often praised for their high achievements and become dependent on the appraisal of their parents and teachers. They therefore want to show that they are the best and in order to do so, they especially choose domains in which they excel. Although one can see the relationship between giftedness, mindset, and competitiveness, there is not a strong theoretical relation. The goal of this research is to investigate whether there is a relationship between giftedness, mindset, and competitiveness, both theoretically as well as empirically.


You will compare the mindset and competitiveness of gifted and average primary school children. Mindset and competitiveness will be measured by questionnaires. In addition, you will investigate the theoretical relation by means of a literature search. 


  • Blackwell, L.S., ¬†Trzesniewski, K.H., & Dweck, C.S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: a longitudinal study and an intervention. Child development, 78, 246-263. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.00995.x
  • Dweck, C.S. (2008). Mindset: the new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books.
  • Newby, J. L., & Klein, R. G. (2014). Competitiveness reconceptualized: Psychometric development of the competitiveness orientation measure as a unified measure of trait competitiveness. The Psychological Record, 64, 879-895. doi:10.1007/s40732-014-0083-2
  • Smither, R. D., & Houston, J. M. (1992). The nature of competitiveness: The development and validation of the competitiveness index. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 407-418. doi:10.1177/0013164492052002016


Giftedness; high-achievers; high-ability learners; growth and fixed mindset; competitiveness; primary school.