Hugh Pickens writes "Ingrid Wickelgren reports in Scientific American that people have long-equated genius with intelligence, but it is more aptly characterized by creative productivity which depends on a combination of genetics, opportunity and effort. 'Nobody can be called out for outstanding contributions to a field without a lot of hard work, but progress is faster if you are born with the right skills. Personality also plays a role. If you are very open to new experiences and if you have psychopathic traits (yes, as in those shared by serial killers) such as being aggressive and emotionally tough, you are more likely to be considered a genius.' True creativity and genius depends on an unfiltered view of the world, one that is unconstrained by preconceptions and more open to novelty, writes Wickelgren. 'In particular, a less conceptual and more literal way of thinking, one more typical of people with autism, can open the mind up to seeing details that most people miss.' Our schools devote few resources on nurturing nascent genius, concludes Wickelgren, because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind. 'We need to train teachers to spot giftedness, which may take a variety of forms and often needs to be accompanied by creativity, drive and passion. Offering a greater variety of enrichment activities to children will cause many more hidden talents to surface. And accelerated classes and psychological coaching are essential for nurturing talent as early and vigorously as possible.'"
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