Dr. Matt Makel

Matthew Makel

Director of Research

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Research focus

Dr. Makel's research reflects the value that society places on helping talented people flourish. His content-specific research focuses on how academically talented students are identified and how they experience the world. Additionally, his methodological work explores research methods and emphasizes replicating research findings, preregistering hypotheses, and removing barriers to open science practices. He also seeks to communicate research findings to nonresearchers. He currently serves as chair of the National Association for Gifted Children’s Research and Evaluation Network. His work has won him multiple Mensa Awards for Research Excellence and he frequently travels internationally to aid gifted experts in other countries in examining policies and systems for educating the gifted. 


  • PhD, Educational Psychology, Indiana University
  • Master of Arts, Developmental Psychology, Cornell University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Duke University



Makel, M. C. & Plucker, J. A. (Eds). (2017). Toward a More Perfect Psychology: Improving Trust, Accuracy, and Transparency in Research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Plucker, J. A., Rinn, A. N., & Makel, M. C. (Eds.) (2017). From Giftedness to Gifted Education: Reflecting Theory in Practices. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Journal Articles

Steenbergen-Hu, S., Makel, M. C., Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2016). What one hundred years of research says about the effects of ability grouping and acceleration on K-12 students’ academic achievement: Findings from two second-order meta-analyses. Review of Educational Research, 86, 849-899. doi:10.3102/0034654316675417

Makel, M. C., Wai, J. Peairs, K., & Putallaz, M. (2016). Sex differences in the right tail of cognitive abilities: An update and cross cultural extension. Intelligence, 59, 8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2016.09.003

Makel, M. C., Kell, H. J., Lubinski, D., Putallaz, M., & Benbow, C. P. (2016). When lightning strikes twice: Profoundly gifted, profoundly accomplished. Psychological Science, 27, 1004-1018. doi: 10.1177/0956797616644735

Makel, M. C., Wai, J., Putallaz, M., & Malone, P. S. (2015). The academic gap: An international comparison of the time allocation of academically talented students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 59, 177-189. doi: 10.1177/0016986215578746

Makel, M. C. & Plucker, J. A. (2014). Facts are more important than novelty: Replication in the education sciences. Educational Researcher, 43, 304-316. doi: 10.3102/0013189X14545513

Makel, M. C. (2014). The empirical march: Making science better at self-correction. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8, 2-7. DOI: 10.1037/a0035803

Wai, J., Putallaz, M., & Makel, M. C. (2012). Studying intellectual outliers: Are there sex differences, and are the smart getting smarter? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 382-390. doi: 10.1177/0963721412455052

Makel, M. C., Plucker, J. A., Hegarty, B. (2012). Replications in psychology research: How often do they really occur? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 537-542. doi: 10.1177/1745691612460688

Makel, M. C., Putallaz, M., & Wai, J. (2012). Teach students what they don't know but are ready to learn: A commentary on "Rethinking giftedness and gifted education." Gifted Child Quarterly, 56, 198–201. doi: 10.1177/0016986212456073

Makel, M. C., Lee, S. Y., Olszewski-Kubilius, P., & Putallaz, M. (2012). Changing the pond, not the fish: Following high ability students across different educational environments. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 778-792. doi: 10.1037/a0027558