Showing posts with label scientific discovery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scientific discovery. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Intuition and Scientific Advancement Among the Gifted Population

Giftedness is a trait that comes with high intensity, motivation, love of learning and emotional sensitivities that make a person highly functional in the environment. Many countries have gifted enrichment programs to ensure that such individuals can fully contribute to the development of society. The U.S. has not fully developed their programs. Understanding the power of giftedness and their intuition that leads to career success is important in fostering their abilities for the benefit of everyone. 

Science has moved beyond the definition of giftedness and is working on better ways to select and categories giftedness for better development (Porath, 2013). Intuition is one of those gifted traits that lead to higher mastery of the environment and scientific innovation through perceiving differences within the environment. That perception matched with the rigor of scientific logic encourages new discoveries.

Intuition can be extremely powerful and can culminate in all types of useful conclusions that would have taken years with the normal investigative process.  Intuition is seen as a cognitive style that has been described as the “sixth sense” where the unconscious recognizes patterns and solutions to those patterns before the conscious mind is aware (Pearson, 2013). Such processes can be used to make accurate decisions and investigated for clarity afterwards. 

Intuition is so powerful it can do things science cannot yet explain fully. For example, intuition can lead to health choices that put cancer in remission, picking a better deck of cards for better results, and selecting items behind screens without seeing anything that would tip a person off. According to Dr. Turner book Radical Remission the body picks up on environmental cues unconsciously and makes conclusions that manifest themselves in physiological responses (Turner, 2014). 

Gifted individuals have powerful senses of intuition and logic that can lead them to unique AND innovative methods of solving problems.  According to studies on highly intelligent and creative people, gifted individuals often display a preference for either rationality or intuition (Karwowski, 2008). The style they rely on will impact how they understand and approach their world. 

Intuition among the gifted is an interesting and often unexplored trait where their biological and psychological preference matches to create unique powers of understanding and reasoning. The same skill that allows them to find new discoveries in their respective fields also leaves many unable to follow their train of thought. Gifted individuals are considered relatively rare among the population and ensuring they have the social, legal, and intellectual support/protection is important for advancing society. 

Karwowski, M. (2008). Giftedness and Intuition. Gifted and Talented International, 23 (1).
Pearson, H. (2013). Science and intuition: do both have a place in clinical decision making? British Journal of Nursing, 22 (4). 

Porath, M. (2013). The gifted personality: what are we searching for and why? Talent Development & Excellence, 5 (2). 

Turner, K. (2014). The science behind intuition. Psychology Today. Retrieved

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Process of Creative Breakthroughs and Scientific Discoveries

If you ever had an “aha” moment or a creative breakthrough this article is for you. Occasionally, if we think about a problem long enough we find a solution that is unique and beneficial. Scientific discoveries often live and die off new discoveries. According to Melissa Schilling (2005) those aha moments are years in the making and often rely on the cognitive abilities of the person. They are derived from the way in which people connect information to find new and unique perspectives.

Insight is a concept that entails an atypical association through the recombination of information to create a shortcut in a person’s network of representations. This shortcut can re-orientate a person’s perspective and create cascades to other connections. The result is a verified solution to a problem that has been previously undiscovered.

These connections are from working decades within a field and often rely on tight clusters of information. In science, as a person continues to gain more information they are capable of building in their memory multiple tightly connected networks or clusters of information. When a person finds a unique connection between all of the material, they can create new frameworks for viewing solutions. 

The question remains as to why one person can find new connections while another person with equal experience cannot. In many cases, as a person works within a field they become locked into a particular vantage point. This makes it difficult for them to move outside of that perspective to find a new connection. Some may call this ideology while another may call it cognitive rigidness. The more engrained they are in their pattern of thinking the more confirmed their beliefs. 

This is where intelligence and cognitive fluidity become involved. Some are more prone to try new connections and incorporate additional frameworks of information that allow them to see different connections. They can trace back connections to find logical conclusions and are capable applying those frameworks to new situations. This incorporation of unexpected connections of new representations can be seen as:

-completing a schema
-reorganizing visual information
-overcoming mental block
-finding a problem analog
-random recombination

The creative person enjoys thinking in novel ways and often tries to connect information in unique manners. Some have developed mental frameworks that constantly bring in new elements and attempt to find a match for them within their existing patterns. Generally, such individuals are persistent, highly motivated by intrinsic factors, and enjoy working on problems they find interesting. Over the years of data incorporation, they are able to build stronger clusters and more connections. 

Outside of this report, you can see that science, breakthroughs, and creativity are associated.  Previous research on gifted people indicates that they carry many of the creative, persistence, and deep thinking abilities that afford opportunities to find scientific breakthroughs. It is possible that over their lifetimes their over excitabilities and sensory sensitivities afford opportunities to build additional tightly woven clusters. When significant experience is gained, they can reconnect this material in new ways to make a creative breakthrough.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Schilling, M. (2005). A “small-world” network model of cognitive insight. Creativity research journal, 17 (2/3).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Creating Minds by Dr. Howard Gardner

Creating Minds an Anatomy of Creativity Seen through the Lives of Freud, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham and Gandhi by Dr. Howard Gardner delves into the personal lives of some of the world’s greatest geniuses and their chaotic development into full productivity.  Dr. Howard Gardner is a developmental psychologist and Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. He is best known for his ground breaking work on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences indicates that people have different processes for learning and developing. Schools often rely on only a few methods leaving many geniuses out of the academic arena. These arenas of learning are in the linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.  At present he is also considering an additional intelligence called existential intelligence which is the “consideration of big questions”. 

Within the book he looks deeply into the lives of seven creative geniuses in order to come to some conclusions. His review includes Picasso’s visual-spatial intelligence and the transcended interpretive frames of reference that he uses to change human perception of issues. He argues that each person has taken a Faustian bargain whereby they have put some aspects of their lives on hold as they went upon their personal missions that have led to profound breakthroughs. 

Each person has a set of tensions and asynchronous in development that when are not overwhelming lead the creative mind and new perceptions of life. Creators come from financially sound, but not necessarily wealthy families, and have a touch of estrangement from biological members. They hold certain values as important and work within fields a decade or more before making a major breakthrough. As they age their creative works become less even though their followership rises. 

The creative genius has certain intellectual strengths as they relate to the eight intelligence possibilities. Many of these geniuses were late bloomers who started their callings in their late twenties and thirties. Only a few were known as prodigies and this is based upon the support of their family and early recognition of skills. They are self-confident individuals who often self-promote and can have difficulties with others who are not considered as intelligent. 

Many geniuses came from homes where strictness and excellence were required. Yet when they gained enough skills the genius rebelled against their family and loosened the noose of control. They worked in areas of fields others have either discarded or completely didn’t understand. They seek to create their own domain in their chosen fields.  They were productive each day and worked on their craft or other complementary crafts to master skills. They were involved in each of the five distinct activities:

  • 1.)    Solving a particular problem.
  • 2.)    Putting forth a general conceptual scheme.
  • 3.)    Creating a product.
  • 4.)    A stylized performance
  • 5.)    A performance for high stakes

Each genius works within a triangle of creativity. This triangle includes the domain, the field and the individual. The domain is the knowledge, the field is the audience, and the individual is the creative person. They balance and move through these fields in different ways in order to find their creative breakthrough. It is the field that must accept that breakthrough as important. 

If you are seeking a book that discussed the nature of genius and the overall development of major scientific and artistic breakthroughs this is likely to be the one for you. You will find that intelligence mixed with the environment creates in part the genius. The book doesn’t state this but each of these individuals seem to have developed in times of international conflict as related to the world wars and other societal rubs.  Perhaps this is a background factor whereby society feels pressure to change and adapt and the genius is more capable emotionally, psychologically, and biologically to head the call. Perhaps it is a call to greatness?

Gardner, H. (2011). Creating Minds an Anatomy of Creativity Seen through the Lives of Freud, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham and Gandhi. New York: Basic Books.