Online Glossary



Underachievement is the term used to describe underperformance in a person who has a very high, far above-average cognitive potential. An example of “underachievers” would be students who, in their academic performance, are unable to fulfill the potential indicated by their IQ score.

There are many different causes of underachievement. They can be seen in a lack of learning strategies, in long periods of insufficient intellectual challenge, or unique challenges in personality development.

This phenomenon may manifest itself in a rapid loss of motivation and a huge decline in performance due to distinctive avoidance behavior and, amid high expectations, mutual blaming among students, parents, and teachers. Risk factors for later underachievement can already exist for Kita-aged children—due to a permanent lack of challenge, for example.

The authors Nicole Miceli and Anne-Kathrin Stiller have developed this glossary together with the Fachportal Team. The glossary was translated by Daniel Shatwell and edited by Lisa Trierweiler.