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Purpose: giftedness in intrapersonal intelligence

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Purpose is an internal compass that integrates engagement in activities that affect others, self-awareness of one's reasons, and the intention to continue these activities. We argue that purpose represents giftedness in intrapersonal intelligence, which processes information related to self, identity, self-regulation, and one's place in the world. Purpose is an extraordinary achievement. It is an ideal that young people are expected to accomplish by the end of high school, yet in our mixed methods study, only 26% of our sample overall (N=270 youth age 12-22) expressed a purpose. Still, purpose can be achieved precociously. Some youth achieve purpose much earlier than the norm: 11 6th graders in our sample showed a purpose.
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Keywords: gifted; multiple intelligences; purpose; self-regulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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