How to Be a Genius

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How to be a Genius by John Woodward

Optimism aside, answering a genius-level question does not a genius make — at least, not according to psychologist Frank Lawlis, supervisory testing director for American Mensa. They don't know the answers, but they know a lot of questions and their curiosity takes them into their fields," Lawlis told Live Science. You must statistically be a genius to qualify for Mensa, with a measured intelligence that exceeds 98 percent of the rest of the population.

However, Lawlis said even these tests can exclude some of the most brilliant of thinkers. You create questions that have real answers. They start with a search for ideas, not necessarily a problem in need of a solution. From this search, geniuses will generate a number of questions, and begin a long series of trials and errors.


They then find a solution, for a problem others may not have even been aware of. Genius hits a target no one else can see," Simonton said, quoting the 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. In an attempt to "discern what combination of elements tends to produce particularly creative brains," psychiatrist and neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen at the University of Iowa used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI , which measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow.

Andreasen selected the creative subjects from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a control group from a mixture of professions. The control group was matched to the writers based on age, education and IQ — with both test and control groups averaging an IQ of , considered very smart but not exceptionally so, according to Andreasen. During the fMRI scans of participants, the subjects were asked to perform three different tasks: word association, picture association and pattern recognition. The creatives' brains showed stronger activations in their association cortices.

At the time, it was believed that kids exclusively learned from their parents. She spent weeks watching how children interacted with their environment.

For instance, she observed a 6-month-old dropping a rattle over and over. Instead of focusing on the rattle she was dropping, the baby girl was actually focused on her hands.

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She also changed things up, and opened a different finger every time. Montessori realized that she was doing this in order to learn what her hands could do.

10 Exercises That'll Make You Smarter In a Week

In short, she was teaching herself. Ness, who teaches a course in innovative thinking, shared a few of the exercises she assigns to her students. Goodman and Aisha S. Draw a picture of an object or an image you find online or in a magazine.

How To Be A Genius - PsiTek

Practice being really present in the moment using all your senses, Ness said. She tries to do this on her daily runs. She carefully observes the structure of the clouds and the wildflowers she passes. She feels the breeze and smells the air. She also ponders questions about her surroundings, such as why clouds end and what creates their color. Think of how you can approach a problem from an unexpected angle. How can you shatter current expectations?

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Ness gave the example of a group of students, who were assigned the conundrum of getting more people to write living wills. The frames around death, of course, are anything but pleasant. Just think of the metaphors surrounding death: the grim reaper and six feet under, she said.

Her students brainstormed an alternative metaphor: nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.

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They decided to make death bureaucratic rather than emotional. The living will would look like another tax document, which lets you check off your elections. Brainstorm absurd ideas. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.

A genius's process

Geniuses use a variety of cognitive tools to make their incredible discoveries. Fortunately, we can harness these tools for our own creations. Margarita Tartakovsky, M. In addition to writing about mental disorders, she blogs regularly about body and self-image issues on her Psych Central blog, Weightless.