Please Explain: Genius

Friday, February 14, 2014

(Alena Hovorkova/Shutterstock)

This week’s Please Explain is all about genius. Dean Keith Simonton, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, talks about what exceptional intelligence is and how it can influence creativity, leadership and achievement. And we’ll find out how genius and intelligence are measured.


Dean Keith Simonton

Comments [18]

Cynthia Poten from Graton, CA

On the question, why do these periodic outbreaks of genius occur,
Richard Tarnas offers some fascinating conjectures in his book 'Cosmos and Psyche.' A philosopher and cultural historian, Tarnas is celebrated as the author of 'The Passion of the Western Mind.'

Feb. 17 2014 04:01 PM
John A

Worked in two research labs and will say that healthy minds did seem to be the rule. Personalities resembling the Olympic athletes we see on our TVs now - achievers yes. Some even Also came from Olympics backgrounds. Good lesson in my humility.

Feb. 14 2014 01:59 PM

I should pay my Mensa dues this year.

Feb. 14 2014 01:58 PM

Free markets and property rights create the environment in which genius flourishes.

Feb. 14 2014 01:56 PM
John from Harlem

Could you please ask your guest if he considers Wile E Coyote, a genius.

Feb. 14 2014 01:53 PM
Renee from Montclair, N.J.

Two Things :
1. I don't believe that there is a single definition of genius; geniuses defy definition.
2. I don't like the negative psychological analysis of individual geniuses, as being geniuses makes them different. Why compare them with the average human being, when they are far from average!

Feb. 14 2014 01:52 PM
Roxie Munro from Long island City

Didn't Lawrence Kubie in "The Neurotic Distortion of the Creative Process" argue that geniuses are actually the most healthy psycholgically among us.

Feb. 14 2014 01:51 PM
Roxie Munro from Long island City

Didn't Lawrence Kubie in "The Neurotic Distortion of the Creative Process" argue that geniuses are actually the most healthy psycholgically among us.

Feb. 14 2014 01:50 PM
M Katzenelson

Please speak to the loss to society when we fail to nurture and employ geniuses.

Consider how many fail in life, and how many succeed only because they found the right mentor and protector

Feb. 14 2014 01:49 PM
henry from md

Many many years ago I sat for an extremely difficult 3-hour intelligence test for acceptance into a leading European college. For at least 20 minutes I was unable to answer even one question, then the fog lifted and I ripped through the lot without one minute's pause. I got a 100% result and passed first of several hundred entrants.
I have never been able to replicate this performance nor explain what happened to explain my strange experience.

Feb. 14 2014 01:45 PM
Panfile de Vaca

One of the finest songs written about human genius was "There ain't 'alf been some clever bastards" by Ian Dury.

Feb. 14 2014 01:42 PM
John A

Leonard, can you cover the "Emotional Intelligence" EQ fad/research?

Feb. 14 2014 01:41 PM
John A

Nice to hear there are others who dispute von(?)Savant's solution to the Monty Hall problem. Always seemed more philosophy than math.

Feb. 14 2014 01:36 PM
Bill Israel from Dix Hills, NY

re: Marilyn Vos Savant-she was wrong regarding the Monty Hall problem-the correct answer is an application of Baye's theorem. A number of textbooks on probability theory cite her error on this problem.

Even a genius can make an error.

Feb. 14 2014 01:33 PM

Are 'world class' athletes "physical genious's?" - even if they can't add or read??? Is 'genious' only intellectual?

Feb. 14 2014 01:30 PM
Tony from Canarsie

"Genius is finding the invisible link between things." -- Vladimir Nabokov

Feb. 14 2014 01:13 PM
oscar from ny

I read in the quran that theres a band of ginns or geniuses that can build anything with perfection, most of these are masons and supposedly unlike humans who the lord molded from clay these geniuses were built from smokeless fire..
PS: king Solomon use to hang out with these ginns so they build him anything..these jinns can work fast and quietly..also aladin use to rub on his lamp 3xs so the ginni can come out..

Feb. 14 2014 01:10 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Apart from the physiological brain structure - i.e. a higher percentage of gray matter - genius includes not merely the ability to learn, and learn many different types of subjects in many different fields, but the ability to evaluate, assimilate and use the knowledge one has learned, along with a generous helping of abstract thinking and gestalt. Genius can be specialized, i.e., Mozart's ability to write music, or generalized, but generally the more knowledge one is able to process, the more of a genius one is.

Feb. 14 2014 12:47 PM

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