Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Tammy D. Barry, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



The current study examined the relation between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) characteristics and Positive Illusory Bias (PIB) in gifted elementary students. Children with ADHD have a propensity toward a PIB—or seeing themselves in a more positive light than other standards would indicate—even among domains in which they struggle (Owens, Goldfine, Evangelista, Hoza, & Kaiser, 2007). This tendency toward a PIB may be linked with their encounters of a great number of setbacks and could be a way to create hope and positivity. In comparison, gifted students frequently meet and surpass goals, often with few setbacks. Thus, twice-exceptional students (e.g., gifted students with ADHD) are a unique population that create a potential conflict in PIB research. Several questions remain unanswered regarding this population. Do gifted students with high levels of ADHD symptoms also have the PIB characteristics of individuals with ADHD symptoms in general? How does IQ level impact this relation? The current study tested gifted students on their ADHD characteristics, IQ, academic functioning, and social functioning to study the relation of ADHD characteristics to PIB levels among gifted students. It was hypothesized that PIB would positively relate to ADHD symptoms among gifted students but that, as IQ increased, the relation between PIB and ADHD would weaken. Although the findings did not generally support the hypotheses, there was some partial support and some large effect sizes that may yield more interpretable results with a larger sample size. Thus, future work in this area is recommended to fully understand the relation of ADHD and PIB in the context of giftedness.


Honors College Award: Top Thesis