Throughout history, characters have emerged who have been classified as “geniuses”. Among them, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare and Michelangelo. But what defines them as such? What are the essential characteristics that give them the title of genius?
The truth is, defining genius is no easy task., because various personalities fall within this category, whose abilities can differ greatly. For example, Stephen Hawking’s genius is not the same as that of Beethoven or Picasso.
Even so, it was possible to identify the most distinctive characteristics of the genes. Let’s see what they are.
What is meant by genius?
The term genius It is often used in two different but related senses. The first, popularized in 1916 by the American psychologist Lewis M. Terman, refers to extraordinary intellectual ability as measured by performance on a standardized test.
In this case, Terman put the intelligence quotient (IQ) of a potential genius at 140 or higher; a score obtained by about 1 in 250 people.
However, in 1942, Leta Hollingworth, an American psychologist who study the nature and breeding of genius, proposed that a genius’ IQ should be 180 or higher. A score that, in theory, exhibits only one person in two million.
However, many think that being a genius isn’t just about having a high IQ. Well, although intelligence is a basic requirement to be considered a genius, there are other aspects that come into play, such as creativity, self-awareness and innovative thinking.
That is why the notion of genius derived from the concept of genius has become so popular. The work of Sir Francis Galtonan English psychologist and anthropologist who defined the term as an extraordinarily high creative capacity, demonstrated by actual realization (provided that this achievement has no transitory value or is the result of an accident of birth).
In this way, in addition to a high intellectual capacity, being a genius also implies originality, creativity and the ability to work in previously unexplored fields. Thus a legacy is left in the world that otherwise would not exist.
It is for this reason that people like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin can be lumped into the same gene pool as Mozart, Beethoven and Picasso.
The theory of multiple intelligences and the notion of genius
Not all geniuses excel in the same intellectual areas. That is why the theory of multiple intelligences Howard Gardner plays an important role in understanding the notion.
Gardner identified at least eight particular types of intelligence, all of which are thought to be relatively evenly distributed in the population. However, in the case of geniuses, they are likely to be born with extraordinary abilities in at least one of these areas.
For example, great writers have a strong linguistic intelligence; brilliant scientists often have an extraordinary logical-mathematical intelligence; while eminent musicians tend to develop a high musical intelligence.
The distinguishing features of genes
As we see, classifying genes in the same group is not an easy task. However, we can identify some similar features and characteristics that lead them to be classified as such.
1. They are very curious
Geniuses usually have a very curious mind. This leads them to develop new ways of thinking. and discover previously unexplored ideas.
In this regard, the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Creativity (2008), concluded that eminent people were characterized by their creativity. To reach this conclusion, Csikszentmihalyi interviewed more than ninety geniuses from various disciplines, including fifteen Nobel laureates.
2. They are self taught
For the geniuses, education level or performance is usually not decisive for their life. Instead, they spend most of their time studying topics that interest them. In this case, they do it themselves, with no institutions or qualifications involved. Just because he likes it.
3. They are self-critical
Howard Gardner said that eminent figures such as Picasso, Freud or Stravinsky used trial and error as a working model. In this case, they identified the problem, devised the solution, tested it, and then listened to the feedback.
In this sense, according to Gardner, these people spend a lot of time analyzing what they want to achieve, whether they have been successful or not, and if they haven’t, what they should change.
4. They tend to be loners
Csikszentmihaly also claims it most geniuses fail to establish interpersonal relationships during their youth. Especially for the heightened curiosity about topics unknown to their peers.
Also, being so focused on what constitutes their center of interest, they tend not to develop great social skills or participate much in group activities.
5. They work for passion
At work, geniuses tend to dedicate themselves out of passion and vocation, rather than for money. In this case, what motivates them is their desire to learn and innovate. Extrinsic rewards are often less than intrinsic ones.
Restless and creative personalities
The characteristics of genes go beyond an extraordinarily high intellectual capacity. Therefore, if we want to understand the profile of these people, it is important to take into account the fact that creativity, innovation, autonomy and genuine passion for a particular field are also essential traits of their personality.
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