Genius 101 (Psych 101) Kindle Edition
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This book responds to the latter motivation more than the former, since Simonton is a careful researcher who avoids getting into speculations unsupported by convincing evidence. The result is that this book has a "scholarly light" feel, with the aim being to educate rather than entertain, but the material is inherently fascinating and Simonton has a very personable writing style, so I found this book quite easy and enjoyable to read.
Here are the key points I noted from the book:
(1) Genius is hard to define, but it tends to involve achieving something which is both original and highly valued. The difference between genius and "ordinary" high performance may therefore be more quantitative than qualitative.
(2) Manifestation of genius tends to be domain-specific rather than universal, although it's not uncommon for geniuses to attain some distinction in more than one domain.
(3) Various ways of measuring genius (psychometric, historiometric, etc.) tend to converge in their findings.
(4) Adult geniuses tend to have had high IQ as children and adolescents. Based on IQ, the definition of genius is somewhat arbitrary and fuzzy, but some would use 140 (top ~1%) as the cutoff, with 130 (top ~2%) to 140 being considered borderline genius.Read more ›
So, it should not be surprising that "Dr." Simonton ranks himself highly and fails to appreciate the brains of people who can actually think using mathematics instead of words. (In a recent "study" he ranked the one President smart enough to be able to teach mathematics as the dumbest of them all.)
I got this on sale for $2, so it wasn't a big loss. Don't buy at full price! Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book.
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