Despite the fact that our society prizes gifted children, research on their special talents is underfunded compared with other areas of education and suffers from a number of methodological challenges. These challenges include (but are not limited to) the fact that definitions of giftedness are not standardized; that test ceilings are often too low to measure progress or growth; that comparison groups for exceptional individuals are often difficult to find; and that participant attrition in longitudinal studies involving special populations can compromise the validity of findings more severely than in studies with more general populations. Fortunately, the editors of this book make a strong case that these methodological issues can be overcome.

Bruce Thompson and Rena F. Subotnik have gathered a distinguished group of pioneers in measurement and statistics to offer creative solutions to these problems and more.

Chapters in Parts I and II describe the use of methods such as factor analysis, Q-technique factor analysis, reliability generalization methods, and hierarchical linear modeling in the study of giftedness; debates over statistical significance and the utility of p values and confidence intervals are covered as well.

Chapters in the final part of the book include contributions by leading journal editors in the field of gifted education who examine the implications of the various insights in earlier chapters upon their work as researchers and leaders in the field.

This book is a must-have for all researchers who seek to elevate the scholarship on giftedness and talent development to a new level of rigor.

Table of Contents


—Robert J. Sternberg

Introduction: A Promising Future for Research in Gifted Education
—Rena F. Subotnik and Bruce Thompson

I. Advanced Techniques

  1. Use of Factor Analysis Techniques in the Study of Giftedness
    —Robin K. Henson
  2. Q-Technique Factor Analysis as a Vehicle to Intensively Study Especially Interesting People
    —Bruce Thompson
  3. p Values Versus Confidence Intervals as Warrants for Conclusions That Results Will Replicate
    —Geoff Cumming
  4. Statistical Significance, Result Worthiness and Evidence: What Lessons Are There for Giftedness Education in Oother Disciplines?
    —Fiona Fidler
  5. Reliability Generalization Methods in the Context of Giftedness Research
    —Kevin M. Kieffer, Robert J. Reese, and Tammi Vacha-Haase
  6. Mixed Data Collection and Analysis for Conducting Research on Giftedness and Beyond
    —Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Kathleen M. T. Collins, Nancy L. Leech and Qun G. Jiao

II. Complex Analyses

  1. Promise and Pitfalls of Structural Equation Modeling in Gifted Research
    —Rex B. Kline
  2. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Applications in the Context of Giftedness Research
    —J. Kyle Roberts, Kim Nimon, and Lindsey Martin
  3. Contemporary Methods for Handling Missing Data in Observational Studies of Giftedness
    —Jason E. King and Brian G. Dates

III. Reflections From Leaders in the Field

  1. Two Perspectives on Statistics in Gifted Education
    —Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
  2. Moving the Field of Gifted Studies Toward Increasingly Sophisticated Approaches to Research: An Homage to Michael Pyryt
    —Tracy L. Cross and Jennifer R. Cross
  3. Research Methods for Gifted Studies: Comments and Future Directions
    —D. Betsy McCoach


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Bruce Thompson is a distinguished professor and distinguished research fellow of educational psychology and a distinguished professor of library sciences, Texas A&M University. He is also an adjunct professor of family and community medicine, Baylor College of Medicine (Houston). He has been coeditor of the teaching, learning, and human development section of the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ:TLHD), and past editor of Educational and Psychological Measurement, the series, Advances in Social Science Methodology, and two other journals. He is the author/editor of 202 articles, and several books, including the recently published Foundations of Behavioral Statistics. His contributions have been especially influential in moving the field as regards greater emphasis on effect size reporting and interpretation, and promoting improved understanding of score reliability.

Rena F. Subotnik, PhD, began her position as director of the Center for Psychology in the Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association (APA) in January 2002. From 1986 through 2001, Dr. Subotnik was a professor at Hunter College, where she coordinated the secondary education program and served as research and curriculum liaison to the Hunter College laboratory schools for gifted children (grades PK–12). From 1977–1984 she was a gifted education specialist in the Seattle Public Schools.

Dr. Subotnik is also director of the Center for Gifted Education Policy at the APA. The center's mission is to generate public awareness, advocacy, clinical applications, and cutting-edge research ideas that will enhance the achievement and performance of children and adolescents with special gifts and talents in all domains (including the academic disciplines, the performing arts, sports, and the professions).

Dr. Subotnik has been awarded grants from the McDonnell Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Psychological Foundation, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education Javits program, and the Spencer Foundation.

She is co-editor of Developing Giftedness and Talent Across the Life Span (with F. D. Horowitz and D. Matthews), Optimizing Student Success with the Other Three R's: Reasoning, Resilience and Responsibility (with R. J. Sternberg), The Scientific Basis of Educational Productivity (with H. Walberg), The International Handbook of Research on Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition; with F. Monks K. Heller, R. J. Sternberg), Remarkable Women: Perspectives on Female Talent Development (with K. Arnold and K. Noble), and Beyond Terman: Contemporary Longitudinal Studies of Giftedness and Talent (with K. Arnold). She is the first author of Genius Revisited: High IQ Children Grown Up (with L. Kassan, A. Wasser, and E. Summers).

Dr. Subotnik was the 2002 recipient of the National Association for Gifted Children NAGC Distinguished Scholar award. She was also selected as a 2009 American Educational Research Association Fellow.