Month: April 2021

An Unfortunate Boon of Genius

  • John Baxter

JOURNAL OF GENIUS AND EMINENCE, 5 (2) 2020 Article 3 | pages 37-43
Issue Copyright © 2020 Tinkr
Article Copyright © 2020 John Baxter
ISSN: 2334-1149 online
DOI: 10.18536/jge.2020.01.04

An Unfortunate Boon of Genius 

John Baxter
Yale University


In this article, possible origins for extreme creativity are explored. Among these are the capacities for concentration, curiosity, and access to resources. In addition to these stable, highly-researched topics, a lesser-researched idea of parental issues or early parental death is discussed. Several exceptionally gifted individuals have come from families rife with tragedy and strife such as Isaac Newton, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Steve Jobs. This tendency is, of course, merely correlation; direct effects of parental bereavement on children cannot be assessed with confidence. Instead, theories taken from psychological and creativity studies are used as possible explanations for this correlation. For instance, individuals who go through traumatic early parental loss may have developed cognitive defenses against adversity. When these individuals meet obstacles later in life, they are perhaps better able to solve them through their inner fortitude (Ritter et al. 2012). Genius is not guaranteed for those with rough childhoods; in fact, much research supports quite the opposite direction. Young individuals with early parental death have often been associated with delinquency (Brennan et al., 1998; Murray & Farrington, 2005). Other mechanisms of genius and contradictions to the early parental death theory are discussed.

John Baxter | Yale University | 205 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Correspondence: | [ORCID id –]
Correspondence address: 6701 SW 116th Ct #209, Miami FL 33173
Note: The author attests that there are no conflicts of interest, that the data reported here are not used in any other publications and there are no infringements on previous copyrights.