Thursday 15 August 2013

Genius and breakthroughs - a round-up of assumptions



Gottlieb said...

Mr Charlton,
do you believe that there is some relationship between psychopathy and creative genius?

Bruce Charlton said...

@G - Yes - I get this from Eyseck's book Genius.

Anonymous said...

There could be two different reasons for this imo, a contributory reason and / or a barrier negation reason

1) Barrier Negation

If a person has an idea that goes against the current orthodoxy they'll generally get a lot of abuse and / or mockery which will act as a barrier. It might not matter how high IQ or innovative a person is if they don't also have a trait that negates tha barrier.

As well as psychopathy and aggression / confidence i'd say various aspects of autism or asperergers could have that barrier negating effect.

So in this case a genius would need to have genius traits and barrier negation traits. Neither would be enough on their own.

2) Contributory

Psychopathy might have a direct contributory effect in some way.

I'm more inclined to the first explanation myself as it's easier to see how it might work. However i can see how psychopathy might be the best of a collection of possible barrier negation traits as it would likely lead not just to an ability to ignore the barrier but a very strong desire to smash it i.e. make a person look for ideas that would overturn an orthodoxy just for the hell of it.