Genius or Madness? The Psychology of Creativity – Professor Glenn D. Wilson

Genius or Madness? The Psychology of Creativity – Professor Glenn D. Wilson



“Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide” (Dryden)
There often seems to be a link between creativity and mental illness. Many great poets, playwrights, artists and composers suffered from depression, alcoholism, obsessionality, bipolar or psychotic disorders at some time in their lives. How strong is the link and what might account for it? Are these disorders beneficial to the creative process or a drawback that must be overcome?

The transcript and downloadable versions of all of the lectures are available from the Gresham College website:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/genius-or-madness

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December 1, 2012 / 25 Comments / by / in
  • Interesting. It seems that there is some kind of madness (in varying degrees) in every person. Some of my favourite people have a lot of craziness. I do, and I am not a genius. It is sometimes hard for me to think inside the box. In my case, this could also be thought of as a personality type. ENTP in the Meyers-Briggs. I sometimes wonder if I have a slight touch of Aspergers. Is that craziness, or just a different kind of person?

  • It saddens me deeply that a first world country like USA could not choose two individuals with a clean past & honest track record. Both Hillary & Trump are not fit to be president of USA. Spin doctors from both the sides are weaving unimportant stories & lies to take the public attention from real issues. The American Dream is dying its slow death. It use to be a great nation once upon a time.

    Both Hillary & Trump are unfit to become president of USA. But when there are no other choices left I think it's fair to give Trump a chance rather than bringing in the Old Clinton Machinery. Out of both the Clintons at least Bill was charismatic & approachable. But Hillary was always consistent in being a liar, cruel, cold, greedy, manupulative bitch right from the get go. Can't TRUST HILLARY anymore what so ever. Crooked Hillary Rodham Clinton has always been a sociopath.

    Can't the US Congress charge George Soros for Sedation. He has been an economical Terrorist of the world for a long long time. He finished many countries, currencies, societies, Happiness. When USA let him stay under its rador, while he was disrupting other currencies & countries, they could never think, one day he would try to break USA. Evil people like him stays alive for a long time. Puppet Master of Obama & Crooked Hillary Clinton. Pray to God that America gets saved from The New World Order.

    It's sad that Congress is spending so much time on Hillary Clinton, when it's already pre decided by the FBI & DOJ, no matter what Hillary Clinton walks out free, Coz she is above the law. Moreover it sends a bad image of USA Government in front of the world, that saving a single person, becomes more important than saving the Country.

    .
    Now with the new revelations of wikileaks all of us agree on The OBAMA Deception. He is truly a Devil in a Sheep's Clothing. Obama is the worst President till now among all other President. He is worse than Bush, Coz whatever Bush did, he declared war & then attacked. But Obama is someone who does everything from the back like a sly coward. Killing through Drones has become his speciality. Because of his deceptive method, now I strongly feel, the Congress should take a look at his birth certificate & DNA. I think OBAMA has coned America in the biggest possible way…

    …..

    The Moral Fibre of USA seems totally dead. Shame that no one person who can speak the truth. For saving 1 persons bad deeds, all the best Agencies like NSA, DOJ, FBI, ODI, CIA are giving away with their Best Practices. USA no more a democratic nation.

    American News Media has become PR Firms of Rogue Politicians & MNC. Giving there narrative has no meaning any more. Shame on You CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, PBS, FOX & all other GECs. Changing the narrative of Perception has become your prerogative. Death of Real News.

    Karma is a bitch.
    The biggest Democracy of the world USA, is not a democracy any more. Corporatization of American Government has no place for their citizens. Through Exercising Executive order few at the top can change the Constitution, Bill of rights, can put any of its citizen to jail, giving no reason. After attacking so many countries now America is bringing back the war to their own country. In the name of veto power of the President, can evoke martial law anytime, by creating False Flag Operation.

    Thought NSA would act on any breach or compromise at robust speed. But it proves the level of corruption has reached its epitome in USA. How can so many departments like DOJ, FBI, NSA, ODI MALFUNCTION CONCURRENTLY???
    …. . …

  • Interesting stuff. I'm the dummy in my family with a mere 134 IQ. Along with smarts we have mental health issues too. From anxiety and learning disorders to schizophrenia, personality disorders, and bi-polar disorder. More interesting we're all creative in one way or another. I'm inclined to think that a LOT of mental 'disorders' are just not fitting into socially accepted frameworks. I also think that trauma, bad upbringings etc are the fodder on which some of the most interesting expression is based.

    I, personally, have an emotional regulation disorder and my math and visual perception IQ is in the 97%. I'm a 3D artist, creating 3D content for games. I can't help wondering how much this logic based ability is connected to learning to stay in my logical mind to help balance difficult to control emotions? And how much of my visual perception skill came from having to assess a monitor my hostile environment growing up? Could difficult situations in life help us to build the pathways in our brain which can be useful in creative endeavors?

  • Born sane into a psychopathic world ….. that sums it up

  • When those doctors hold up a picture of an ink blob and ask you 'what do you see", are they measuring your degree of apophenia?

  • Is it the cipher or the commentator that backs its self into a cell of commoner use of lingo too swat off like this isolated unrealized keyed deliberation of mouse traps,author auteur tours etc?

  • You're a "kook"until you succeed,then you're"eccentric".

  • Reading the comments I see that most take the labels of sanity and insanity as gospel. Please do remember that this is all a construct. What is normal? What is abnormal?

  • 480p? terrible, anyone know of a better upload?

  • . thankful to this nice ones .

  • terrible.

  • Bad jokes out the bat……………simpy

  • investigate 311

  • Don't agree with this at all. Many poets, playwrights, artists etc are not 'mad' but many citizens and Isis driven males are. There are 'mad' golfers, grocers, jewellers etc…this is such a lazy approach to what being 'mad' is. And btw…he got the whole story of van Gogh's ear wrong…It was to do with the sacrifice of an ear after he had seen a bullfight..to his waning lover. He only sliced the top off.

  • I like this lecture, particularly the details on schizotypy.

    Depite of this that gentlemen clearly doesn't know what he is talking about regarding Asperger's syndrome.

    No it it not "just another way of saying they are slighlty schizotypal".

    Aspeger is a form of autism. It is a neuro-perceptive divergence leading to four main troubles : lesser cognitive emptahy, acute physical sensitivity (can vary from people to people, some being visually, others more auditory, sensitive, form example), organization trouble (too many perceptions), clumsiness (motor dispraxia). Some Aspergers have impressive abilities in domains implying "systemising" (music, maths, software conception etc), can produce drawings rendering details as precisely as a camera, have outstanding memory, or can sing at perfect pitch. Not all of them though.

    The isolated genes for autism are different from schizotypal genes.

  • ISSAC NEWTON TRIED TO PLAY MARBLES WITH BRICKS BUT GAVE UP WHEN HE REALISED THEY COULDNT ROLL……ALSO THE IDEA OF A HEDGEHOG ORCHESTRA WASNT A GREAT SUCCESS EATHER…

  • Dali was much better than Picasso.

  • Or both♥️

  • How about David Bowie, he was scared going insane. His brother if I am not wrong was schizofrenic and commited suicide.

  • He claims Tesla had a photographic memory when it has contemptually know not to xist due to neuro…

  • "A sane person to an insane society must appear insane"

    – Kurt Vonnegut (Welcome to the Monkey House)

  • It is a combination of genotypes rs6994992(T;T), rs1800955(C;T), rs9536314(G;T), rs17070145(T;T), rs1799990(A;A). Genius and insanity may be diagnosed by DNA

  • i am genious ……….

  • genous loves insanity……..because they do not think about madness they only think about his work and work………………everybody says him mad….

  • Who IS this bloke Professor Glenn D. Wilson? Why is he a professor? Why decided and when/why? Glenn D. = why the D = too many Glenn Wilsons or because it adds a little je ne sais quoi?

    Glenn Wilson seems to believe everything he has read/heard from a particularly narrow and biased selection, why is this? Is it meant to be humour or satire and me with my brain injury is wrongly taking it all seriously?

    Has this Glenn Wilson had any original ideas of his own? Maybe he has, maybe I should look rather than judge him too fast and on only ONE performance?

    I got bored and fed up with his blinkered point of view and moved it on a few times so maybe I missed the good bits, if any?

    Ha ha ha am I meant to go? But I can't because not ONCE (that I saw/heard) did he state that what is now globally termed 'mental illness' is a construct created by white western wealthy men and that in other cultures and ages people termed 'mentally ill' were/are revered as doctors/healers, advisors and wise people. Just look at christianity and what it takes to become a 'saint' = visions of people/things which don't exist/aren't real = quite often!

    Does this Glenn D. think that all the millions who believe in the immaculate conception of Mary ('mother of god' = odd she was from the middle east ? but has an english name), resurrection of a dead man (Jesus), that wine turns into Jesus' blood when ritually spoken to – and so on… are sane or mentally ill? I would welcome his timely response or one from Gresham College, whatever that is. Many thanks.

    Silly stuff too about women = no WAY can he believe that! Was Marie Curie not very clever, not a genius? And so very many women from many centuries = 'forgotten'?

    But maybe this is just a farce, a spoof, hilarious to those who 'get it', education/propaganda, and/or to make people think and question = to get people talking about these issues? Go on: do tell! Gotta stop: my life's too short.

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