Hidden talents in harsh conditions
Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
It is well established that people living in adverse conditions tend to score lower on a variety of social and cognitive tests. However, recent research shows that people may also develop ‘hidden talents’, that is, mental abilities that are enhanced through adversity. The hidden talents program sets out to document these abilities, their development, and their manifestations in different contexts. In this talk, I present studies of cognitive adaptations to harsh and unpredictable environments. These studies have been conducted among individuals with different levels of exposure to adversity in the Netherlands and the United States.