Asynchrony is a theoretical construct that views the intellectually gifted child as inherently vulnerable because of disparities arising from the mismatch between his or her chronological age and mental age. Such disparities, for example, between wanting to belong but being intellectually out of step with peers, are said to give rise to a psychological experience of discomfort or tension and to impact upon developing self-concept. Though the theory has been little subjected to empirical research, it does bear strong similarities to the well-established, but broader-based, psychological theory of cognitive dissonance. This article develops a model of asynchrony as a particular case of cognitive dissonance. As such, it may assist understanding of some children’s experiences of giftedness, though more research is needed to examine this theory.
- cognitive dissonance
- peer relationships