Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
Overexcitability and Openness to Experience

Overexcitability and Openness to Experience

Join hosts Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 16 with Shelagh Gallagher

In episode 16, Chris and Emma were joined by Dr. Shelagh Gallagher, for a discussion of overexcitability (OE) and openness to experience (OtE), based on her paper which compares the two frameworks. Shelagh is an independent consultant in gifted education and President of the National Association for Gifted Children.

We discussed the controversy in the field of gifted education about OE and OtE, and the value both frameworks can provide in informing us about the gifted student experience in education. We talked about the impact and difference having multiple OEs can have in a person’s life, and Shelagh shared insights from her research and pointed out directions for future work in gifted populations.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Openness to Experience and Overexcitabilities in a Sample of Highly Gifted Middle School Students by Shelagh Gallagher

Building Bridges: Research on Gifted Children's Personalities from Three Psychological Theories by Shelagh Gallagher

24-item Overexcitability Questionnaire

A Comparison of the Concept of Overexcitabilities with Measures of Creativity and School Achievement in Sixth-Grade Students by Shelagh Gallagher

Creative Personality Characteristics and Dimensions of Mental Functioning in Gifted Adolescents by Shirley Schiever

Shelagh’s website


Videos from the 15th International Dabrowski Congress:

Full Dabrowski Congress 2022 YouTube Playlist

Shelagh’s keynote (YouTube)

* A transcript of this episode is available on the Dabrowski Center website.

Connect with us!

Positive Disintegration on Substack

Visit the Dabrowski Center website



The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel

Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook

Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook

The Tragic Gift blog by Emma

Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com

Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.