The Gifted Adult by Dr. Mary-Elaine Jacobson discusses the unique nature of geniuses and gifted adults. With over 30 years of working with the highly intelligent she has become an authority on the subject. To her, there are many misconceptions about the gifted nature; where and when it is shown. She makes a distinction between savants who can master one skill and are limited in their other abilities with gifted geniuses that can master many skills with limited training. Their skills are innate to their abilities and part of their biological development.
According to Dr. Maureen Neihart the book, “takes readers beyond the myths and stereotypes about talent and genius…everyone interested in maximizing intelligence, creativity, or productivity will want to read this book. “
Geniuses are not always easy to find because they run with pacts of average people for social acceptance even though their intelligences and skill may supersede the people they know. Furthermore, such geniuses suffer from an environment that encourages conformity to rules and does not allow for questioning of those rules. The genius is the one who sees new relations among information and can make logical connections others may not see. It puts them at odds with their environment.
Others have accused genius of madness but there is little to no support for this concept. It is a public misnomer. Geniuses are less likely to display madness due to their logical self-awareness where people with madness cannot self-reflect on their thoughts and take them as truths or falsehoods even though their arguments are not logical and full of holes. With few exceptions all geniuses have been called mad or some demeaning term based upon the perceptions, ignorance, and self- interest of others. For much of Einstein’s life he was called mentally handicapped and yet he proved the world wrong.
Some traits of the gifted genius are as follows:
-Exceptional ability to see and predict trends and outcomes.
-Special problem solving abilities and interest in novelty.
-Original thinker and creative thinker.
-Excitable, enthusiastic, intensity in emotion, and compassion.
-Playfulness and childlike interest in the world.
-Extra receptivity, intuitive, persistence, deep insight and spiritual experiences (the sixth sense).
-Ability to learn rapidly, concentrate for long periods, retain what they have learned on multiple dimensions.
-Excellent verbal skills and love to pay with words.
-Self evaluative and sets own standards.
-Unusual sense of humor.
-History of being misunderstood and chastised.
-Powerful sense of justice and intolerance for unfairness.
-Independent and brave.
-Awareness of internal forces.
Genius has unique traits beyond the ones listed above. Having intelligence quotients (IQ) from over 125+ or 140+ (depending on the test used) indicates an intelligence level far above the average which can cause serious problems for geniuses to fit into the bell curve of average. Where the average person accepts just about everything told to them the unique traits of the genius force them to question these assumptions often putting them on the outs of mainstream society.
IQ, and the standard traits above, are not the only aspects of genius. Some may also contain linguistic intelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, special intelligence, body intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, and naturalistic intelligence that puts them in multiple intelligence categories. There are even different levels of genius where some geniuses move upward and to the top of one field of knowledge and others are more transcendental geniuses who work on higher platforms that connect information across many fields.
Many of the modern day gifted geniuses start out as child prodigies. This means they start with a limited skill in which they can excel above others but then expand that knowledge into a wide range of intelligence thereby putting them into the genius category. Some or all of the different levels of intelligence may be displayed based upon the nature and skill level of a genius. Savants, like the Rain man, are great with calculating a function of numbers but have little to no general ability to expand their use.
Of course, there is nature and nurture issues related to genius. It is impossible for a highly trained person to become a genius because they are limited in their genetics. Likewise, the majority of latent geniuses never see fruition due to being born into and working within improper environments. There are a small number of people who have superior evolutionary adaptations, when compared to their peers, and develop in either the right environment or overcome that environment to show their genius.
What you can learn from this book is to not judge others by their cover. The world is full of latent geniuses who refuse to shine through only because the environment is so brutal and critical of their skills. When someone can outperform or out think others it is very common for less developed people to use their social structures to maintain position and authority. That is the tragic state of not only a people but a nation that could do and be so much more if they only free their minds and had a fraction of the empathy geniuses have.