HPI: High Intellectual Potential, explanations and testimonial by Mel Poinas

Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog dedicated to neurodiversityin France. Here you will find information about Giftedness (High Learning Potential), hypersensitivity, autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome), DYS disorders and ADHD.

I’m Mel Poinas. I founded Suivez le Zèbre in 2017 after passing the WAIS 4 and discovering my High Intellectual Potential(HPI).

What is High Intellectual Potential?

High Intellectual Potential means having much higher intellectualand cognitive capacities than people of the same age group in a country. IQ is a threshold number.

HPI profiles are detected by means of intellectual level tests:

  • WPPSI-IV for toddlers aged 2 to 6
  • WISC-V for children and adolescents aged 6 to 16
  • WAIS-IV for adults aged 17 and over.

To try and understand the specifics and characteristics of this singular operation, I gave an interview for the Oh My Mag media.

What is the IQ of a High Intellectual Potential (HPI)?

A person with High Intellectual Potential (or HPI, gifted, zebra) is a person with above-average intellectual abilities. In France, on the Wechsler scale, the IQ (intelligence quotient) threshold of an HPI person is considered to be above 130 points (corresponding to 2 standard deviations from the norm of around 100 IQ points).

HPI: the WAIS IQ (intelligence quotient) test

The IQ test test, which corresponds to the WAIS test for adults, assesses an individual’s cognitive abilities via 4 major indices:

  • The verbal comprehension index
  • The perceptual reasoning index
  • The working memory index
  • The Processing Speed Index

You may score above 130 in one or two of these indices, but your total raw IQ at the end of the test may be below 130. To be identified as High Intellectual Potential, the total gross IQ must be above 130.

But how is this possible?

For one thing, the brain is a highly complex organ! You may have more potential in certain areas. Several factors can also explain underperformance in one or more indices.

Can an IQ below 130 be considered HPI?

The minimum IQ considered to validate a profile with high intellectual potential(HPI) is 130. This is already a very asit only concerns 2. 3% of the population. However , fatigue, stress, DYS, the use of certain medications or mental disorders can cause you to lose a few IQ points when taking the test.

That’s why psychologists specializing in High Intellectual Potential take an anamnesis beforehand. It identifies the person’s character and personality traits, which complement the psychological assessment. The test and history can also be used to identify other disorders, such as DYS, ADHD, concentration difficulties, possible stress or anxiety generated by taking the test.

In fact, DYS can act as cognitive jammers for High Intellectual Potential, since cognitive abilities are slowed down by these cognitive dysfunctions.

Some people go to the shrink’s office for an HPI test, but may then be referred to other neurodevelopmental variations such as autism.

Why take the test and find out you’re HPI?

Discovering that you have HPI can change everything for the person you’ve identified. First of all, it’s totally guilt-free to finally understand the reason for this perpetual feeling of being out of sync.

As I explain in the video, we finally have the key to our own functioning. HPI appears to be the missing piece of the puzzle that finally allows us to understand each other .

Understanding our history, understanding our relationships with others, our relationships, our identity, our personalities, our values.

Discovering that you have HPI calls into question your fundamental identity!

Mel Poinas

The discrepancy and the difference felt for several years can finally be explained and have a name: High Potential .

Discovering one’s HPI also means using these talents to dare to be oneself, to stop suffering and to be given the opportunity to gradually blossom.

Psychology, characteristics and personalities of HPI people

If we stick to the definition that is the consensus among neuroscientists, to be HPI is to have abilities that are clearly superior to the population average.

However, the various studies carried out on these individuals reveal a number of common personality traits, traits which we have also identified in the many readers (over 2 million in 5 years) of our blog and in our exchange group.

  • Hyperactive brain also known as Hyperpensant or Overthinker
  • Powerful memory
  • Highly developed senses
  • Hypersensitivity (not validated by all specialists, but at Suivez le Zèbre we use it anyway)
  • Empathy skills
  • Divergent thinking,
  • Demanding and perfectionist
  • Strong creativity
  • Analysis facilities
  • Highly developed curiosity
  • Intuitive thinking
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Fear of failure
  • A feeling of being out of step (especially among women with high intellectual potential)

Are there different types of High Potential?

A fashionable new trend is to over-interpret the work of psychologist Daniel Goleman as evoking high emotional potential. A concept originally coined by the controversial psychoanalyst Raymonde Hazan.

HPE is a concept that is often misunderstood and a bit of a turn-off (even Raymonde says so!).
Some see it as High Sensitivity (hypersensitivity), others as perfect control of self and emotions and excellent understanding of others, and finally there are those who feel things very strongly, a kind of hyperesthesia with very high emotional permeability. Goleman has rightly shown thatemotional intelligence is acquired and not innate, unlike HPI.

At Suivez le Zèbre, we assume that the only High Potential is the HPI. We prefer to talk aboutemotional intelligence rather than using the term EH, which is not a physiologically or scientifically proven concept. As for the concept of local giftedness, which consists in performing well in just one or even two WAIS indices… Of course, but it doesn’t justify the singular and specific global functioning of HPI if the overall raw IQ remains well below the 125 and 130 thresholds.

What if I’m not High Potential?

There’s no need to get frustrated if the test doesn’t reveal any HPI. If you wanted to take this test, it’s because some things clicked. For the assessment to be useful, make sure you discuss your expectations with your psychologist. If you need to find your place, better manage your emotions or feel out of place, even if you’re not an HPI, your psychologist can help you take these steps.


Even before detecting High Potentials, this is the role and profession of psychologists: to support people!

In the end, if you discover who you are and how to feel good in your daily life as a result of therapy triggered by taking the test, then that’s the most important thing.

Honestly, in everyday life, you rarely talk about the results of your indexes… because already it doesn’t speak to many people and I don’t think others care. I took the test 5 years ago and I can’t remember the results in the indexes!

The most important thing is to learn to understand how it works, beyond the simple HPI / non-HPI label.

Mel Poinas

If you come across sites that offer you paid paid HPE tests we’d like to warn you, as it sounds like a scam.

Emotional intelligence tests do exist, but they are usually administered by occupational psychologists or HR managers.

Tests that measure emotional intelligence

In fact emotional intelligence tests tests are mainly used in the workplace by managers and recruiters to assess personality. These tests are used to validate a profile for a given job description.

Clearly, they identify all your abilities, behaviors and values at a given moment. The tests in question can be: MBTI, Big Five 5, DISC, Process Com or Profil pro 2.

To show you just how useful these personality tests can be, we’ve selected a few examples from my own test results. In the company, I passed the BF5 and Profil pro 2.

Big Five 5 test

Profil Pro 2 test

Unsurprisingly, my personality results corroborate some of the characteristics found in high potentials.

To remember

HPI is a singular form of cognitive functioning, but it colors an individual’s entire personality. We can’t separate the intelligence determined by the cognitive abilities and personality traits of these individuals. You can’t have one without the other.

And the tests that measure HPE?

As you can see, at no time do these tests evaluate High Emotional Potential. They’re here to help you make career choices that match your personality.

HPE is beautiful, it’s different, it’s gentler than HPI, it’s less haughty, it can be confused withhypersensitivity, but it’s a chimera. We’re being a bit harsh with this HPE concept, but in reality it’s a bit dangerous because people really identify with it when there’s certainly another concrete and credible avenue to explore…

In short, continuing to use it and making people believe that it exists is sending them in the wrong direction in their quest for identity, and accentuating an imposter syndrome that is often already very present.

HPE is like the unicorn of HPI

Mel Poinas


If you see on a website or blog: HPE screening test, we at Suivez le Zèbre advise you to run away and find information on a more reliable site. There’s ours, but there are also plenty of other really nice, high-quality ones that don’t validate the HPE concept.

Similarly, if a practitioner, or more generally a healthcare professional, suggests you take a test to determine an EHD, we advise you to consult another practitioner who is more familiar with neurodiversity and who will be able to help you in the best possible conditions.

Is it possible to self-diagnose HPI?

High Potential is not a disease; we use the verbs identify or detect rather than diagnose.
You can self-identify, but you’ll never be perfectly sure of the result. We all have our own cognitive biases.
In my experience, at first, people with high intellectual potential find it hard to consider, as they often suffer from a severe impostor syndrome.

You find yourself in the characteristics of HPI, what if we tried a first approach together?

You can also find more information, resources and tools on High Potential in Mel POINAS’ book . With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her High Potential and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

To go further, you can read

Did you like the article? Don’t hesitate to share it 😊

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On se retrouve sur nos réseaux sociaux

Espace presse

Aucun article

Les articles de presse

Scroll to Top