Terman gifted study

Terman's Kids
Cover of Joel Shurkin’s 1992 Terman’s Kids, wherein he ironically reports on how, in all of Lewis Terman’s gifted study, in Terman's decade of testing kids, in and around California, with his IQ tests, so to presumably identify “giftedness” and supposedly “future geniuses”, that the only two notable geniuses that resulted, in actuality, from the effort, were two that didn’t make the identifying cut of IQ of 135 or above (see: IQ scale), namely: transistor inventor William Shockley and asteroid impact extinction theorist Luis Alvarez, both Nobel Laureates in physics.
In genius studies, Terman gifted study refers to a 1916 to 1928 IQ testing study, conducted by Lewis Terman, wherein 1,000s of children in and around Palo Alto, California, were tested to isolate those scoring an IQ of 135 or above on Terman's newly developed Stanford-Binet intelligence test; some 1,528 "genius" range approaching children were identified, and thereafter studied for patterns and traits, and followed thereafter, into adulthood, to see if psychologist identified "giftedness" would transform into adult-level realized "genius". The only two geniuses realized, in actuality, from the Terman study, ironically, were two kids who didn't make the IQ test cut (tested as below 135), and were excluded from the study, namely: transistor inventor William Shockley and asteroid impact extinction theorist Luis Alvarez, both Nobel Laureates in physics.

In 1916, Lewis Terman, harboring the belief that “genius is inherited” (Galton, 1869), began to test 100s of kids around Palo Alto, California, with the ultimate aim to find 1,000 so-labeled "gifted children", using his new Stanford-Binet test, the earlier Army Alpha, which he co-developed, and or the National Intelligence Tests. By 1921, he eventually found eventually found 1,444 by by 1928 found 1,528 children (856 males and 672 females) using this method.

Mislabeled geniuses
See main: Mislabeled geniuses and IQ tests
In 1918, William Shockley (IQ:175|#260), age 8, scored an IQ of 125 on the Stanford-Binet, and at age 9 scored 129, but would go on to win the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the development of the transistor, one of the central things behind what would later become to Silicon Valley.

In c.1921, Luis Alvarez (IQ:175|#533), age 10, took one of Terman’s tests, scoring below IQ 135, therein failing to qualify, yet would famously go on to win the 1968 Nobel Prize in physics for work in elementary particle physics, and also in 1980 become famous for the "asteroid impact extinction theory" as to why the dinosaurs went extinct, based in iridium layer measurements.

The following are related quotes:

“I often laugh at how I couldn’t qualify for Terman’s gifted study, yet go on to in a Nobel Prize in physics?”
William Shockley (c.1960), frequently mused joke, following his 1956 Nobel Prize win

“In 1921, Lewis Terman, a Stanford University psychologist and a pioneer of the IQ test, scoured California’s schools to identify 1,521 children who scored 135 or over on his new intelligence test, the Stanford-Binet. Terman’s little geniuses, who as the study went on too call them ‘Termites’, are now in their 80s and have been contacted every 5 or 10 years, making the Terman Study of Genius, the grandfather of all life-span research.”
— Daniel Goleman (1995), “75 Years Later, Study Still Tracking Geniuses” [2]

IQ also is a good predictor of success in life, at least by conventional middle-class standards, and the Termites did splendidly, becoming (at least for the males) doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and scientists at a vastly higher rate than would be expected from the general population. The 1,500 children grew up to produce at least 2,500 scientific articles and papers, 200 books, more than 400 short stories and 350 patents. And that didn't count the output of the professional journalists. Terman was so proud of them that his files bulge with their work. Three were members of the National Academy (including his son, Fred); six made the International Who's Who; 40 made Who's Who in America, and 81 (including 12 women) made American Men of Science. Terman's kids worked for the Federal Reserve, the Atomic Energy Commission, the staff of the US Senate, the Department of Justice, NASA and the United Nations. During the Second World War, the men earned 90 valor medals, including 15 Purple Hearts. By and large, they reported themselves to be happy people, and they lived longer than the population average.”
— Joel Shurkin (2006), Broken Genius: the Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (pg. 229) [3]

“A more valid criticism — and this is crucial to understanding the flaw in Shockley's argument too — lies in what IQ did not measure in Terman's study. Most obviously, Terman missed the two Nobel Laureates. Neither Shockley nor Luis Alvarez had IQs above 135. Shockley was tested twice and missed both times. Whatever talent they had went unmeasured by Terman's questions. One hypothesis is that the tests do not measure mathematical prowess very well, but is that ability not a facet of what we mean by ‘intelligence’?”
— Joel Shurkin (2006), Broken Genius: the Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (pg. 230) [3]

“Two of the students Terman deemed to be insufficiently intelligent to participate in his study, Luis Alvarez and William Shockley, won the Nobel Prize in Physics. None of the Termites received a Nobel Prize or a Pulitzer Prize. Nor did any of the Termites become world-class musicians like Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhim — two other students rejected by Terman for insufficient IQ scores. ‘All in all’, writes David Shenk, the author of The Genius in All of Us (2010), Terman's epic studies in genius turned out to be studies in disappointment’.”
— Randall Kiser (2017), Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer (pg. 89)

1. Shurkin, Joel N. (1992). Terman’s Kids: the Groundbreaking Study of How Gifted Grow Up (Amz). Publisher.
2. Goleman, Daniel. (1995). “75 Years Later, Study Still Tracking Geniuses” (Ѻ), New York Times, Mar 7.
3. Shurkin, Joel N. (2006). Broken Genius: the Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (Terman, 6+ pgs; 1,500 kids quote, pg. 229). Publisher.

External links
Genetic Studies of Genius – Wikipedia.

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