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By: School Search Solutions
Date: 06.07.12 | Category: Favorite Posts

Is My Child a Genius?

Many of our families tell us that their kids are gifted. School Choice group Founder and Chair Liz Perelstein recently attended a lecture by a Yale professor named Craig Wright who has been studying the nature of genius. Here are some of the factors that he identifies as possible enablers of genius:

- genetic gift

- strong concentration

- memory

- (obsessive) motivation

- luck

- self-confidence

Some of these are innate and others, such as luck and self-confidence, are determined by the environment. Professor Wright feels that genius is caused by a perfect storm between genetic and situational factors. The working definition of genius that he uses is:

Person of extraordinary mental powers whose works change society in a consequential way. Note the plural – it has to happen more than once, in his view, and it has to transform society.


What about IQ? According to Professor Write, previously defined geniuses, categorized by IQ, often didn’t do more than anyone else to improve society. In his view, it’s not just about what you have, but about what you do with the tools you’re given.


Liz likes these thoughts about genius because the terms “gifted or genius” often are used by our clients, in her opinion erroneously, to imply a positive value judgment – as though a gifted child is somehow more desirable than other children. When you add in the element of contributing to society, genius is something we can all aspire to.