What Makes a Genius?


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What is it that makes someone a genius? If it was just intelligence we would have many more geniuses around. “Some minds are so exceptional they change the world. We don’t know exactly why these people soar above the rest of us, but science offers us clues.”

But monumental intelligence on its own is no guarantee of monumental achievement, as Terman and his collaborators would discover. A number of the study’s participants struggled to thrive, despite their towering IQ scores. Several dozen flunked out of college at first. Others, tested for the study but with IQs that weren’t high enough to make the cut, grew up to become renowned in their fields, most famously Luis Alvarez and William Shockley, both of whom won Nobel Prizes in physics. There’s precedent for such underestimation: Charles Darwin recalled being considered “a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect.” As an adult he solved the mystery of how the splendid diversity of life came into being.

The complete article

Claudia Kalb — National Geographic

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5 thoughts on “What Makes a Genius?

  1. For those who discover a phenomenal score of IQ have found for themselves equally phenomenal task that will take a life time of application; for them their breakthrough can come only at the end. Into which several about turns and missed tracks are all leading to settle the age old question: Is genius is all building on an eureka moment (inspiration) finding a star and reaching it.

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