The Psychology of High Performance Developing Human Potential Into Domain-Specific Talent

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Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2018-12-11
Publisher(s): American Psychological Association
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2020 NAGC Book of the Year Award Winner — ​Finalist in the 2020 PROSE Awards

This volume explores how early potential develops into high performance in five domains: sport (specifically golf and team sports), the professions (medicine, software engineering, and professional teams), academics (mathematics and psychology), the performing arts (dance and acting), and the producing arts (culinary arts and drawing/painting).

The chapters address many questions: What does “raw” potential in a specific domain looks like?  How can those abilities be nurtured and grown, and what psychosocial skills are necessary for this development? The Psychology of High Performance examines similarities and differences within and between domains and includes several personal interviews with “gatekeepers”—experts in a field whose professional judgment determines whether individuals’ developed abilities are good investments for further instruction and coaching. With its mix of scholarship and personal interviews, this book brings new insights based on psychological science and best practice to inform educators, parents, coaches, and psychologists guiding young people on their path to becoming high performers.

Author Biography

Rena F. Subotnik,PhD, is director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC. She is coauthor (with Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Frank C. Worrell) of the articles “The U.S. Neglects Its Best Science Students” (Scientific American); “Nurturing the Young Genius: Renewing Our Commitment to Gifted Education Is the Key to a More Innovative, Productive, and Culturally Rich Society” (Scientific American Mind); and “Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education: A Proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science” (Psychological Science in the Public Interest). She is coeditor of the books Methodologies for Conducting Research on Giftedness (with Bruce Thompson, 2010) and The Development of Giftedness and Talent Across the Life Span (with Frances Degan Horowitz and Dona J. Matthews, 2009).

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, PhD, is the director of the Center for Talent Development and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Recent publications include “Minority Achievement Gaps in STEM: Findings of a Longitudinal Study of Project Excite” (with Saiying Steenbergen-Hu, Rhoda Rosen, and Dana Thomson, 2017) in Gifted Child Quarterly and “The Role of the Family in Talent Development,” (with Rena F. Subotnik and Frank C. Worrell, 2018) in the APA Handbook of Giftedness and Talent. She is past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children from which she received the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009.
Frank C. Worrell,PhD, is a professor of school psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. A current member-at-large of the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Worrell is a former editor of the Review of Educational Research and a 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children. Recent publications include Achieving College Dreams: How a University-Charter District Partnership Created an Early College High School (with Rhona S. Weinstein, 2016) and “Talent Development: A Path Towards Eminence” (with Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Rena F. Subotnik, 2018) in the APA Handbook ofGiftedness and Talent.

Table of Contents

Rena F. Subotnik, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, and Frank C. Worrell
Chapter 1. High Performance: The Central Psychological Mechanism for Talent Development
Rena F. Subotnik, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, and Frank C. Worrell
I. Sport
Steven T. Portenga
Chapter 2. High-Performance Talent Development in Golf
Steven T. Portenga
Gatekeeper Interview: Jay Hogue, Assistant Gymnastics Coach, University of Denver
Steven T. Portenga
Chapter 3. Talent Identification and Development in Game Sports
Job Fransen and Arne Güllich
Chapter 4. Reflections on Talent Development in Sport
Steven T. Portenga
II. The Professions
Eduardo Salas and Steven E. Knotek
Chapter 5. Talent Development in Medicine and Software Engineering
Melissa A. McWilliams, Emily Z. Holding, and Steven E. Knotek
Gatekeeper Interview: Michael Reed, Software Engineer and Site Lead, Google Chapel Hill
Steven E. Knotek
Chapter 6. What Makes a Team of Experts an Expert Team?
Denise L. Reyes and Eduardo Salas
Chapter 7. Reflections on Talent Development in the Professions
Steven E. Knotek and Eduardo Salas
III. Academia
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Rena F. Subotnik, Frank C. Worrell, and Megan Foley-Nicpon
Chapter 8. Developing Mathematical Talent in School Children: Who, What, and How?
Roza Leikin
Gatekeeper Interview: Avi Berman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, the Technion<en>Israel Institute of Technology
Roza Leikin
Chapter 9. Talent Development in the Domain of Academic Psychology
Dean Keith Simonton
Gatekeeper Interview: Robert J. Sternberg, Professor of Human Development, Cornell University
Dean Keith Simonton
Chapter 10. Reflections on Talent Development in Academics
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Frank C. Worrell, Rena F. Subotnik, and Megan Foley-Nicpon
IV. Performing Arts
Aaron Kozbelt
Chapter 11. The Development of Acting Talent: Possibilities and Approaches
Tony Noice and Helga Noice
Gatekeeper Interview: David Black, Producer, Director, Actor, Teacher
Aaron Kozbelt
Chapter 12. Talent Development in Dance: Perspectives from Gatekeepers in Hong Kong and Finland
Joey Chua
Gatekeeper Interview: Stephen Pier, Professor of Dance and Division Director, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Aaron Kozbelt
Chapter 13. Reflections on Talent Development in Performing Arts: Concluding Comments
Aaron Kozbelt
V. Producing Arts
Linda Jarvin
Chapter 14. Talent and Ability in Drawing and Visual Arts
Aaron Kozbelt and Andrea Kantrowitz
Gatekeeper Interview: Talent and Ability in Drawing: An Account From the Field
Linda Jarvin
Chapter 15. Culinary Arts: Talent and Their Development
Laurent Aron, Marion Botella, and Todd Lubart
Chapter 16. Reflections on Talent Development in Arts Production
Linda Jarvin
VI. Conclusion
Chapter 17. The Psychology of High Performance: Overarching Themes
Frank C. Worrell, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, and Rena F. Subotnik
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