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Camilla P. Benbow

Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development, Peabody College
Professor of Psychology
Co-Director, Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth
Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Dean Benbow's scholarship has concentrated predominately on academically talented children. Yet her efforts in the educational policy arena are much broader - on equity and ensuring the optimal development of all children through individualized educational services that capitalize on strengths, build on high expectations, promote competence, and focus on outcomes. Her research seeks to identify different "types" of academically talented adolescents, characterize them, and then discover effective ways to facilitate their development.

Through the longitudinal study of over 5000 individuals of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), she examines developmental trajectories and the impact of educational interventions over the lifespan. This longitudinal study is in its third decade and will continue until at least its 50th year.

In addition to studying talent development, she is interested in precocity's fundamental nature. In collaboration with other investigators, she is seeking to understand advanced development from multiple perspectives, such as, ways in which verbally versus mathematically precocious youth process verbal/numerical information to biologically based designs.

Representative Publications

  • Benbow, C.P. (1992). Academic achievement in mathematics and science of students between ages 13 and 23: Are there differences among students in the top one percent of mathematical ability? Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 51-61.
  • Benbow, C. P., Lubinski, D., Shea, D. L., & Eftekhari-Sanjani, H. (2000). Sex differences in mathematical reasoning ability: Their status 20 years later. Psychological Science, 11, 474-480.
  • Benbow, C.P., & Stanley, J.C. (1996). Inequity in equity: How "equity" can lead to inequity for high-potential students. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2, 249-292.
  • Bleske-Rechek, A., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2004). Meeting the educational needs of special populations: Advanced Placement's role in developing exceptional human capital. Psychological Science, 15, 217-224.
  • Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2000). States of excellence. American Psychologist, 55, 137-150.
  • Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2006). Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth after 35 years: Uncovering antecedents for the development of math-science expertise. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 316-345.
  • Lubinski, D., Benbow, C. P., Shea, D. L., Eftekhari-Sanjani, H., & Halvorson, M. B. J. (2001). Men and women at promise for scientific excellence: Similarity not dissimilarity. Psychological Science, 12, 309-317.
  • Park,G., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2007) Contrasting intellectual patterns for creativity in the arts and sciences: Tracking intellectually precocious youth over 25 years. Psychological Science, 18, xx-xx.
  • Shea, D. L., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2001). Importance of assessing spatial ability in intellectually talented young adolescents: A 20-year longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 604-614.
  • Webb, R. M., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2002). Mathematically facile adolescents with math/science aspirations: New perspectives on their educational and vocational development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 785-794.
  • Webb, R. M., Lubinski, D., Benbow, C. P. (2007). Spatial ability: A neglected dimension in talent searches for intellectually precocious youth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 397-420.


  • American Association for College Teachers Education, David Imig Award, 2010
  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), President's Award, 2009
  • Inaugural Fellow, AERA, 2009
  • APA George A. Miller Award - Division 1 (Outstanding Article in General Psychology), 2009
  • Fellow, AERA
  • Distinguished Alumna Award, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
  • Mensa Education Research Foundation (MERF) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004
  • Fellow, APA Divisions 3 and 15
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Research on Intelligence, Mensa Educational Foundation, 2004
  • APA George A. Miller Award - Division 1 (Outstanding Article in General Psychology), 1999
  • Phi Kappa Phi, 1997
  • Iowa Academy of Education - Charter Member, 1996
  • American Association of University Women Distinguished Scholar Award, 1996
  • Distinguished Professor, 1995
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, National Association for Gifted Children, 1992
  • Who's Who in America, 1991
  • Society of Scholars, The Johns Hopkins University, 1991
  • Best Research Paper on Gifted--National Association of Gifted Children, 1987
  • Early Scholar Award of the National Association of Gifted Children, 1985
  • Mensa Awards for Research Excellence, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002
  • Spencer Fellow, alternate, 1984, 1985, 1986
  • American Educational Research Association, Division E, Research Award in Human Development, 1983
  • John Curtis Gowan Graduate Student Research Prize of the National Association for Gifted Children, November 1980, 1981