There is long-standing debate in psychology regrading whether ability is inborn or a result of environmental interactions? Whether it is fixed and constant over time or malleable and subject to interventions.
We have also looked at research by Dweck et al that say that no matter whether ability be actually fixed or malleable, the belief that it is fixed and malleable has important consequences. We are better off believing that ability is malleable as that enables us to be more persistent in face of obstacle , more creative and engaged while solving problems and enables us to to tackle hard problem as we are in a learning mindset and not in a proving ourselves/ validating ourselves mindset.
However the issue still remains as to whether ability is inborn or learned? whether genius is 99 % perspiration and 1 % inspiration or whether one can will oneself or choose to be a genius.
Like the other false dichotomies of psychology this one as to whether genius are born or made is not only false by pitching 2 things against each other where both have a role to play but also misses on the other aspects of being a genius like it being a result of sheer will power or the attitude that one has to see thins in a creative light.
While one group claims that talent/IQ is all that is there is to the genius story, the other camp is equally adamant that the 10,000 hours of practice rule suffices to explain genius. To some other genius is all about determination or grit; while still others think that optimism, positive framing and attitude and how we deal with ‘lucky’ breaks is all it takes to become a genius.
There are truths to each of the story, but by focusing on one aspect to the exclusion of others they all miss the point. Its only when you see a genius as a combination of these can you really appreciate the complexity and multiple facets of being a genius.
To give us a framework of reference I refer readers to myABCD model of psychology where A is Affect(genetics) , B is Behaviors (actions and environment) , D is Desire (developmental unfolding of motivation) and C is Cognition ( Conscious decisions and manifestations) .
To see a genius in the light of ABCD model is to see him/her as consisting of talent/IQ (largely genetic and inborn), hard work (need to put the 10,000 hours pf practice to achieve domain mastery), grit (motivation and determination , maybe unconscious , to succeed and overcome obstacles) and attitude (positive re-framing, optimism and choosing to see things in a creative/positive light) .
Out of these talent /IQ is something that we can least work on while positive and creative attitude and mindset is what we can easily change by changing our conscious thought and thinking styles and patterns alone. Hard work (related to conscientiousness) or grit (related to how intrinsically motivated and determined we are) are also more or less in our control . Thus to me becoming a genius is both a choice, that is within everyone’s reach, and a difficult journey that one has to necessarily undertake (a quest that challenges you to self-actualize)
Genius both become what they want to and manifest what their hidden potentialities are . to state otherwise or to assert that they are either born or made is to continue paying homage to a false dichotomy that has longed outlived its usefulness.
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This entry was posted by sandygautam on July 10, 2011 at 9:14 AM, and is filed under creativity. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Einstein The Genius Essay
Einstein The Genius
Did you know that Albert Einstein is named Time Magazine's Man Of The Century? Einstein did many great things in his lifetime and had many important achievements that no other scientist has been able to equal. What I wanted to understand was Einstein's work with Nuclear Physics and in Astronomy.
Einstein was born in the town of Ulm, Germany, Albert Einstein spent his early youth in Munich. While attending Zurich Polytechnic Institute he became a Swiss citizen. He graduated in 1890 and took a job at the Berne patent office. Einstein carried out experiments on his own time and in 1905, he published three scientific papers, including one that would make his name a household word - The Special History of Relativity. Einstein demonstrated that motion is relative and that physical laws must be the same for all observers moving relative to each other, as well as his famous equation E=mc2 showing that mass and energy are equivalent. He received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectic effect.
Albert Einstein helped make the first nuclear bomb. The theory that allowed people to design the first nuclear bomb was E=mc2. Also that same theory was confirmed by using machines that could break apart the nuclear cores of atoms. The Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned of the peril of nuclear weapons and the dangers of continuing an arms race and called upon scientists to discuss a resolution. That's Einstein's contributions to the nuclear bomb. "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding," said Albert Einstein in the Russell-Einstein Manifesto.
Einstein helped Astronomy because of his theory of relativity; the theory that states that the speed of light to remain constant as seen by all observers. These results have truly bizarre implications. Imagine trying to measure the speed of a truck on a highway while driving in the lane next to it. The truck is driving a little faster than you are, so you see it creeping by - first it catches up with your rear wheel, then with your rear door. Suddenly, you decide to slam on the brakes. Instead of zooming by you, though, the truck continues to creep up - now it's in line with your front door. You...
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