Monday, June 25, 2018

The Determination of Genius

Some wonder how we may determine if someone is a genius. We may look for high intelligence but this could be complicated by expression or we may seek to look for creativity and get confused with unique. The finding of genius is possible when we look for three markers that include human intelligence, creativity and performance. Within each of these markers may be other identifiers that lead to greater insight.

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence:

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence indicates that there are three components to determine human intelligence that include analytical, creative and practical. Each of these components creates the whole person and their ability to work through daily problems to achieve their goals.

Analytical (componential): The ability to process information from an analytical standpoint. It is the raw intelligence that allows us to remember things, process stimuli, make meaning out of it and take action. It is the type of intelligence that leads to higher performance in academic arenas. 

Creative (experiential): The ability to think about things in a new way and master novel situations that may be more difficult for others. It is a process of consciously learning and then moving that to automatic learning to take on new tasks. 
Practical (contextual): This is the "street smarts" that allows people to live and function within their environment. Every day people must navigate relatively new tasks in order to survive. Their ability to do this is important in the process.

Creativity, Language and Biochemical Markets:

They found that...,"higher verbal ability versus lower verbal ability participants, providing neurobiological support for a critical “threshold” regarding the relationship between intelligence and creativity." Those who can speak well, use metaphors, understand language and how to use it better were generally more creative than those who don't.

"Based on previous magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy studies demonstrating relationships between cognitive ability and concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), a common neurometabolite, we hypothesized that NAA assessed in gray and white matter (from a supraventricular slab) would relate to laboratory measures of creativity. "

Thus, a person with an IQ of 120 could have the capacity for creativity and this could lead to genius. They were not only good at the use of language but often divergent thinkers that can weigh and balance the sides of multiple arguments. It is believed they have higher through the neuro connections within their brain. Thus a person with a 135 IQ and higher levels of creativity may well be a genius even if they haven't performed in a way that allows them public exposure.

Genius is About Long-term Performance:

There are latent genius and performing genius based on the books they write, science they engage in and the overall output of their efforts. While IQ is important there isn't a specific number that matters once you get to the 130+ range. The reason is that IQ tests are only tests and imperfect and likely flawed in many ways. The truest acts of a genius are performance and excelling in their field beyond their contemporaries. Genius write books, invent stuff, create art and are highly engaged in fine activities.

Kalb, C. (May 2017). What makes a genius? National Geographic. Retrieved from

No Author.(January 24th, 2004)Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence.
Retrieved 06/25/2018 from

Jung, R. et. al. (2009). Biochemical Support for the “Threshold” Theory of Creativity: A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study. Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (16) 5319-5325; DOI:

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