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What Makes a Genius?

nationalgeographic.com

The genius

Genius is too elusive and too subjective to be easily identified. It requires too many traits to be simplified.

However, we can try to understand it by looking at intelligence, creativity, perseverance, and good fortune that interlinks to create a genius capable of changin...

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Intelligence as a yardstick

Lewis Terman, who helped pioneer the IQ test, tracked over 1,500 Californian schoolkids with IQs above 140, which is the near-genius or genius mark.

40 after the study began, the researchers noted that a number of the study's participants struggled to thrive, despite their high IQ scor...

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Creativity is a part of genius that can't really be measured, but that can be explained to a certain extent. One sign of creativity is being able to make connections between seemingly different concepts.

The 'aha moment' that arises at unexpected times, like in a dream...

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It relies on the dynamic interplay of neural networks that work together.

It draws from both the right and left hemispheres of the brain, especially regions in the prefrontal cortex.

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Geniuses are rare, numbering roughly one in a million. Genetic potential alone does not predict actual accomplishments.

Advances in genetic research now make it possible to examine human traits. But Intelligence is very complex, and thousands of genes may be involved - eac...

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Social and cultural influences can provide that nourishment, creating a cluster of genius at moments and places in history, like Kolkata during the Bengal Renaissance, or Silicon Valley today.

The hungry mind can also find the intellectual stimulation it needs at home, where an environment...

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Motivation and tenacity

Natural gifts and a nurturing environment can still fail to produce a genius, without motivation and determination to press one forward.

Psychologist Angela Duckworth believes that a combination of passion and perseverance, or grit, drives people to achieve. Big hits emerg...

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Genius cannot be singled out and cultured and nurtured without support.

  • People born in poverty or oppression don't get a chance at working toward anything other than to survive.
  • Mozart’s older sister for example, Maria Anna, a brilliant harpsichordist, had ...

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