What is the High Intellectual Potential (HIP)? – Guide

Photo of author

Written by Paul Dugué

Updated on

The High Intellectual Potential (HIP) is a person neuroatypical who has high cognitive abilities (measured with an IQ score greater than or equal to 130). That is the simplest definition.

IQ curve

From a purely "technical" (or "biological" point of view), the brains of gifted people are built differently. Neurons communicate better with each other, and faster.

This "super brain" is an advantage in certain moments of life, but it can also harm the Zebra person in psychology (other names of the gifted).

This is what we will see in this guide on people who are suffering frommental boiling, sometimes also referred to as "douance" or "douance".

What are the characteristics of HIP ?

As I told you in the introduction, the brain of a person to High Intellectual Potential is built differently. But more precisely, what it means to be HIP ?

The HIP have better neural connections

Neurons communicate with each other via axons. These are kinds of cables that allow to pass information from one neuron to another.

These axons are protected by myelin, which has the role of speeding up and improving the transmission of information via l-axone.

Neurons HIP better communication between them

In gifted individuals, there is a higher rate of myelinization of the brain (source). That means there's more myelin in the brain of the HIP, and therefore that neurons communicate better between them (and faster).

The two hemispheres of the brain HIP communicate better

The two hemispheres of our brain are separated by the callous body.


This callous body is normally rather impermeable: it leaves information wrong from one hemisphere to another.

This is less the case for HIP (source). 

For example, by transferring MRIs to gifted children (from EIP It was found that the different areas of the brain are more active than in neurotypical children.

The hemispheres of the brain of a HIP are better connected

Both types of High Intellectual Potential

By digging further into scientific research, we realize that philo-cognitives (other small name for the gifted):

The HIP is healthy

Obviously, there are not just disadvantages to be HIP Hey!

But then why do we often see this type of articles around people at High Intellectual Potential ?

The woe of HIP

These content are mainly based on knowledge Clinical of this neuroatypical profile (to be distinguished from knowledge Scientific of which I have just mentioned above).

To know that it is HIP, you have to take an IQ test with a psychologist. And to plan to go to a psychologist, you usually have to go wrong at some point.

General public content on the HIP, mainly relayed by books on the HIP as Too smart to be happy or Adult Surdoubedare created by psychologists who, by definition, only see in consultation some of the gifted. Those who go wrong for one reason or another.

Sampling Bias

The contributions of zebra clinical research

Be careful, I'm not saying that everything is to be thrown into clinical research. On the contrary, it is very useful because it allows us better understand a HIP. One discovers how the "super brain" can harm and that it can be difficult to living with a HIP. These are the disorders of HIP.

Here are the main points for which the work of many psychologists has been important and which make it possible to create what might be called the syndrome HIP :

  • The HIP a thought in tree, i.e. each idea would make him think of several other ideas (in a treelike way). Note that this point is undermined by science, which believes that we cannot think of many things at the same time. It would be a linear thought (like everyone else) but much faster.
  • By trying to conform to the norms of society, the atypical person develops a false self. It is a concept developed by the British psychologist Donald Winnicott that could be seen as a social mask. According to the psychologist, this could lead to depression.
  • Because of its hypersensitivity (yy will return a little lower) and its high analytical capacity, the Gifted a what might seem like a extra-lucidity.
  • The latent inhibition deficit is a problem that many gifted people encounter because they have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time. Their brains don't know how to prioritize the information they receive. This may sometimes look like an attention disorder or even an ADHD.
  • The HIP and injustice are very related because gifted people hate injustice.
  • People High Intellectual Potential are perfectionists, and often suffer from a strong feeling different with others (this is very true in female HIP). In addition, often on HIP has relational difficulties.
  • The Love behaviour of the gifted adult are more intense, with a tendency to sapiosexuality.
  • Adult with high potential and boredom are very related. This is also true for Early childhood and may be the source of school difficulties (child) HIP boredom and therefore does something else).
  • Stress is often very present because the gifted analysis of everything, raises many questions and has difficulty resting. The link between HIP and sleep is still little known, but it would deserve to be plunged because, personally, many people come to me and say " I can't sleep, I think too much ».

All this parallel meaning of what a profile is HIP Not to be forgotten, far from there. It shows, for some, signs of superior intelligence and would allow to recognize a HIP.

How to know if you are a person HIP ?

Let us move on to the question of many: How to know if we're HIP ?

There are two approaches that allow us to know if we are a zebra person: HIP and the IQ test. However, these two approaches are not always valid.

Comparison of different methods of detection HIP

The IQ test (WAIS)

I've been talking about it before, we're told to High Intellectual Potential with a intellectual quotient not more than 130 (the Average IQ or normal IQ is 100). We even speak of THQI (Very High Intellectual Quotient) from 145.

This intellectual quotient is measured with the official IQ test WAIS (WISC is used for Zebra children). To date, this is the only way to know his IQ.

The test HIP takes place in 3 stages:

  1. A preparatory interview with your psychologist to define the psychometric assessment ;
  2. The testing, which is itself composed of sub-tests. Depending on your different scores, you will know if you are a HIP laminar or complex ;
  3. The final interview in which your psychologist will give you a detailed account of how your brain works – and give you your final score to know if you have a high intellectual quotient.

If you are interested in diagnosis HIP, you can make an appointment directly with a specialist psychologist HIP. which will also be an excellent source ofinformation on the HIP.

The detection balance HIP

The detection or (douance test) balance is based on clinical work. Instead of trying to measure an individual's IQ, we seek to identify similarities with the IQ criteria. High Intellectual Potential, the signs of HIP.

Many detection and tests HIP are available. Here, for example, is one to do yourself, which is totally free.

You can also find many other balance sheets, free IQ tests and neurodivergence tests online. Be careful, however, their reliability is limited.

Note also that there will sometimes be a question of difference between HIP and gifted. Actually, it's the same thing. We always try to identify the symptoms of HIP.

I mean, we're talking about detection of the gift because the HIP is not a mental illness (it does not diagnostic Not).

What is the link between High Intellectual Potential and hypersensitivity?

On the link between hypersensitivity and High Intellectual Potential...it's more complicated.

It is known that 2.5% of the population is HIP (cf IQ curve above and statistics HIPIn addition, 15 to 20% of the population Highly Sensitive Person (source). 

So there are more hypersensitive people than there are personalities HIP. Technically, all HIP may be hypersensitive, but not all hypersensitive HIP.

But what is the situation? Is there any HIP is hypersensitive?

None HIP is hypersensitive

Or is only part of the HIP are hypersensitive?

Part of the HIP is hypersensitive

Or third option: all HIP are hypersensitive?

All HIP are hypersensitive

The problem is that no one agrees to help us solve this issue.

In My Brain is Hyper, neuropsychologist Cathy Assenheim explains that only 20% of HIP are hypersensitive. For Jeanne Siaud-Facchin (Clinical Psychologist), this is 100%

And even scientists don't agree! Some explain that HIP are not hypersensitive (source), while for others 95% are (source). 

Does the HIP are hypersensitive?

In short, to date we know the difference between HIP and HEP, but the link between them is more complex.

The HIP Is it a fashion effect?

Following the broadcast of the series HIP On TF1 that explodes the records, we can ask: on HIP is it a fashion effect ?

I don't think so. That said, the series has allowed many people to become familiar with the concept of neuroatyping.

Evolution of the query HIP in France

We detect more and more, and that's a good thing. Many people who, without this "fashion effect" would have remained in pain without understanding what was happening to them were able to get better.

For that, it's great.

Besides, if you're in this situation, I invite you to take a look at my super new book. I am HIP in which you will find dozens and dozens of tips to apply in your daily life to calm your brain in a boil.

Interviews with atypical personalities

As I worked on the web (via the site you are on), I had the opportunity to talk to many people at High Intellectual Potential through the Francophonie.

Here are some filmed exchanges.

I started by learning about the link between on HIP and bipolarity. For this, I had the chance to meet Bertrand and Charlotte who told me about their stories and their fights.

Delphine returned to her path to discover her HIP.

Sabine tells us how she used her mental overefficiency to review her professional career.

A Zebrette (who wished to remain anonymous) was kind enough to share her wisdom with us to find her personal path.

Azilis came to tell his story between HIP and addiction.

Sébastien came to tell us about his rich daily HIP, with 4 children who also have a HIP and/or dys disorder.

William, 21-year-old prodigy, came to share his experience about his schooling and his discoveries

Photo of author
Article written by
Hello! I'm Paul. I come out of many years of international business studies that have brought me to a few years of experience in management and events and the creation of a company. What I love most is to experiment and test new things, understand what's going on. So I've always been very curious, read and learn a lot. In order to share my passion for personal development, I decided to create Connect The Dots (CTD). Good reading!