Die begaafde student en die gemiddelde student : 'n vergelykende psigologiese ondersoek
De Vos, Catharina Elizabeth
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MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: In a young growing country such as the Republic of South Africa there is a growing need for higher productivity. The gifted person does not always perform according to his abilities, because he is not identified at an early age and is therefore not completely understood. Previously, gifted persons were only identified by their mental abilities, whereas it is known that there are more factors involved, such as personality, interests, study methods and attitudes. etc. Psychological aspects that play an important role in the better understanding of the gifted person are the following :- - academic performance, - influence of the gifted person on the family, - the influence of inheritance and environment on giftedness, - education of the gifted, - sex differences with the gifted. AIM OF THE RESEARCH: The general aim of this study was to compare the gifted and average groups of students according to their abilities, scholastic achievement, interests, personalities and study-orientation. This was done through the following specific aims to determine if:- i) the gifted and average groups (both sexes included) differed in their profiles of the cognitive variables (SAT and standard ten results). ii) the mean profiles of the gifted and average groups (both sexes included) comparing non-cognitive variables (19FII, PHSF, SSHA), differed. iii) the mean profiles of the gifted male and average male groups comparing the cognitive variables differed. iv) the mean profiles of the gifted male and average male groups comparing the non-cognitive variables proved to be significantly different. v) the mean profiles of the gifted female and average female groups comparing cognitive variables were significantly different. vi) the mean profiles of the gifted female and average female groups comparing non-cognitive variables were different. The second aim of this study was to determine by t-tests whether there is a statistically meaningful difference between the different groups on the various fields or components of the psychometric instruments. METHOD OF INVESTIGATION: In the first place, a study of the relevant literature was undertaken, concerning the concepts of average, gifted, interest, aptitude, personality and study methods and attitudes. The psychometric instruments used in this research are discussed thoroughly according to their development, contents, reliability and validity. The sample used in this research consisted of one hundred and forty average students (seventy male and seventy female) and seventy gifted students (thirty five male and thirty five female) which were selected after the 1984 mass testing of first year students of the PU for CHE. Statistical operations were done for these groups with the aid of a computer. This work included the drawing-up of mean profiles on each variable (cognitive and non-cognitive) for each group (i.e. the gifted and average groups, the gifted and average male groups; and the gifted and average female groups) as well as the statistical comparison of these profiles with each other. In the second place t-tests were completed to detect differences between these groups on different fields of interest, personality, abilities, etc. CONCLUSIONS With regard to the first aim of this study, the following can be concluded: i) The gifted and average groups' mean cognitive profiles (both sexes included) were not parallel. ii) The gifted and average groups' mean non-cognitive profiles were not parallel. iii) The gifted and average male groups' mean cognitive profiles were not parallel. iv) The gifted and average male groups' mean non-cognitive profiles were parallel. v) The gifted and average female groups' mean cognitive profile were not parallel. vi) The gifted and average female groups' mean non-cognitive profile were not parallel. With regard to the t-tests, the following can be concluded:- The gifted group (both sexes included) showed statistically better performance on the following fields or components compared to the average group. a) Subjects: Afrikaans (1st language), English (2nd language), German higher grade, Latin higher grade, Mathematics higher grade, Science higher grade, Biology higher grade, History higher grade, Geography higher grade & standard grade, Accountancy higher grade & standard grade, Domestic Science higher grade and standard grade, Wood & Metal work standard grade, Technical Drawings higher grade and Typing standard grade. b) Interests (19FII):- Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Creative Thought and Numerical. c) Personality: (PHSF):- Desirability scale. d) Study Methods and attitudes (SSHA) - The average students (both sexes included) showed a statistically higher performance on clerical interest and sociability (Groups). The gifted male group performed statistically better on the following fields:- a) Subjects:- Afrikaans (1st language), English (2nd language), Latin higher grade, Mathematics higher grade, Science higher & standard grade, Accountancy higher grade, Technical Drawings higher grade and Wood & Metal work standard grade. b) Interests:- Creative thought. c) Personality:- Desirability Scale. - The average male students performed higher on the following:- a) Interests:- Clerical b) Personality:- Sociability (G) The gifted female group showed the following statistically higher performances:- a) Subjects:- Afrikaans (1st language), English (2nd language), German higher grade, Mathematics higher grade, Science higher grade, History higher grade, Geography higher grade. Accountancy higher and standard grade. Biology higher grade, Domestic Science standard grade and Typing standard grade. b) Interests:- Fine arts, Creative Thought, Practical - Male, and Numerical. c) Personality:- None. It was also found that the gifted group as a whole, as well as the gifted female group, tend to be more actively inclined towards interests. RECOMMENDATIONS The results of this study show that the gifted student does differ in many ways from the average student. There is thus a need for early identification of the gifted person so that he could be understood and so that there could be catered for this student at school level. The following recommendations can be made in connection with future research studies:- a) More meaningful findings may be gathered on the personality of the average student by including a second personality questionnaire such as the Jung Personality Questionnaire. The results of this questionnaire could lead to better understanding of the PHSF results of this study. b) More instruments can be used to evaluate study orientation, such as personal questionnaires and interviews. c) It is also recommended that the size of the groups be increased in order to increase the reliability of such findings.
- Humanities 
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