Researcher David Galenson theorizes that the reason for this is that creative people come in two main types:
- Conceptual innovators think in bold, dramatic leaps and do their best work when young
- Experimental innovators learn through trial and error and do their best work after lengthy experimentation
Critics say Galenson's theories overlook people who produce exceptional work throughout their lives. His latest research suggests that creativity can be expressed as a continuum. Instead of being either experimental or conceptual, people can be mostly one or the other, or they can be somewhere in the middle.
We may never know precisely where creativity comes from, why some people use their creativity more than others or why some people are most creative during specific times in their lives. We may not learn how one person ends up with the right balance of brainpower, intelligence and creativity to become a genius. But it's clear that geniuses are central to advancements in science, technology and understanding. Without geniuses, our understanding of mathematics, literature and music would be completely different. Concepts that we now take for granted, like gravity, planetary orbits and black holes, might still be undiscovered.
Check out the links below for lots more information about the human brain, intelligence and genius.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- "A New Take on Human Intelligence." ABC News. 12/29/2004. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/story?id=365543&page=1
- Benet, William E. "Genius: An Overview." Assessment Psychology. 1/2005. http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/genius2.htm
- Bilger, Burkland. "Nerd Camp." New York Times. July 26, 2004.
- Calvin, William H. "How Brains Think: Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now." BasicBooks. 1996.
- Coghlan, Andy. "Do Active Mums Produce Branier Babies?" NewScientist. 3/6/2006. http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/dn8807.html
- Dotinga, Randy. "Music Makes Your Brain Happy." Wired. 8/23/06. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/medtech/0,71631-0.html?tw=wn_index_2
- Grandin, Temple. "Genius May Be Abnormality: Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome, or High-functioning Autism." http://www.autism.org/temple/genius.html
- Hulbert, Ann. "The Prodigy Puzzle." New York Times Magazine. November 20, 2005.
- Hunt, Earl. "The Role of Intelligence in Modern Society." American Scientist. July/August 1995.
- Jones, Steve. "Genius, Teach Thyself." NewScientist. 10/1/2005. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18825190.600.html
- Knight, David. "Brilliant Scientists Dare to Dream." NewScientist. 8/13/2005. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18725122.400.html
- Levenson, Thomas. "Genius Among Geniuses." Nova. June 2005. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/genius/
- Lightman, Alan. "Scientific Moments of Truth." NewScientist. 11/19/2005. http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg18825262.100.html
- Lloyd, Robin. "The Genius Behind the Geniuses." LiveScience. 1/23/2006. http://www.livescience.com/history/060123_genius_behind.html
- Ochert, Alaya. "The Mathematical Mind: Madness, Genius and What Mathematicians are Really Like." California Alumni. http://www.alumni.berkeley.edu/Alumni/Cal_Monthly/April_2002/The_mathematical_mind.asp
- Pink, Daniel H. "What Kind of Genius Are You?" Wired. July 2006. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.07/genius.html
- Plucker, J.A. (ed.) "Human Intelligence: Historical Influences, Current Controversies, Teaching Resources." http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/
- Preti, Antonio and Paola Miotto. "Creativity, Evolution and Mental Illness." http://cfpm.org/jom-emit/1997/vol1/preti_a&miotto_p.html
- Rey, Camille Mojica. "Researchers Find Link Between Creative Genius and Mental Illness." Stanford Report. 6/12/2002. http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2002/june12/crazy_genius.html
- Shekerjian, Deinse. "Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born." Viking. 1990.
- "Size Isn't Everything when it Comes to Intelligence." NewScientist. 4/1/2006. http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg19025454.500.html
- "Smoking Is Bad for the Brain." NewScientist. 12/11/2004. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18424774.900.html
- Staley, Roberta. "Wunderkinds." BC Business. August 2002.
- Stanger, Ilana. "Artists and Mental Health." NFYA Interactive. http://www.nyfa.org/level4.asp?id=177&fid=1&sid=51&tid=169
- Sternbert, Robert J. "The Triarchic Mind: A New Theory of Human Intelligence." Viking. 1988.
- "Study: Gifted Children Especially Vulnerable to Effects of Bullying." Purdue University. http://news.uns.purdue.edu/hp/Peterson.bullies.html
- Talukder, Gargi. "Does IQ Equal the Whole Story on Intelligence?" BrainConnection. http://www.brainconnection.com/topics/?main=news-in-rev/intelligence
- "The Mad Genius: Fact or Fiction." Patient Health International. 9/27/2004 http://www.patienthealthinternational.com/features/3118.aspx
- Trefil, James. "Are We Unique? A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind." John Wiley & Sons. 1997.
- University of California, Irvine. "Human Intelligence Determined by Volume and Location of Grey Matter in Brain." ScienceDaily. 7/20/2004. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040720090419.htm
- University of Colorado. "Biological Basis for Creativity Linked to Mental Illness." ScienceDaily. 10/1/2003. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031001061055.htm
- Wang, Steve C. "Essays on Science and Society: In Search of Einstein's Genius." Science. 9/1/2000. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/289/5484/1477?maxtoshow=&HITS= 10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=genius&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT