Personality, Gender, and School Behaviors

Deborah Ruf, PhD
8 min readMay 16

Extroversion, being male, and having a sister are a triple whammy for most boys during their school years! Especially for gifted boys who don’t cooperate with parent or teacher goals for them. See why.

From his and his parents’ reports, Donald always chose to be with his friends rather than change classes or develop goals that were not part of his own friendship group’s goals. When still in early elementary school, Donald was given an IQ test. He scored in the gifted range. He scored higher than his sister. But he floundered throughout his school years while his sister soared!

What’s up?

It all starts when the boy begins his elementary school years. All too often that happy, active, engaging boy starts to lose the joy that was such a noticeable part of him.

Extroverted people tend to prefer working with others

Donald was an extrovert as a child. So, how do extroversion and introversion compare to each other and how does it affect school behaviors?

E stands for extroversion. Extroverted people are energized by being with people and interacting with others. This does not necessarily mean talkative; an E can be quiet, even shy.

I stands for introversion. Introverted people gain energy by being alone. “Down time” generally means “alone time.” Introverts can be talkative and good in groups, but they need “alone time” to recharge.

How do the behaviors of extroverted school boys (and sometimes girls) compare to those of introverted gifted boys?

Common School Issues for Extroverts

Extroverted gifted children: Want to work with and do what others are doing. Resist individualized plans, subject acceleration (where friends are left behind), or working beyond what classmates are doing. Fewer E’s than I’s spend lots of time reading, and instead prefer to discuss and pick each other’s brains.

Parental and Educator Viewpoint of Extroverted Children

Because they often defy the gifted stereotype of being a loner, they are seen as “not trying” rather than as extroverted gifted. If…

Deborah Ruf, PhD

High Intelligence Specialist & Writer, Dr. Ruf writes about highly intelligent people from birth to very old age.