Children’s Drawings Indicate Later Intelligence

child_drawingHow four-year old children draw pictures of a child is an indicator of intelligence at age 14, according to a study by King’s College London, published in Psychological Science.

The researchers studied 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins (a total of 15,504 children) from the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), and found that the link between drawing and later intelligence was influenced by genes.

At the age of four, children were asked by their parents to complete a ‘Draw-a-Child’ test, i.e. draw a picture of a child. Each figure was scored between zero and 12 depending on the presence and correct quantity of features such as head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, body, arms etc. For example, a drawing with two legs, two arms, a body and head, but no facial features, would score four. The children were also given verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests at ages four and 14. Read more »

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Spatial Distance Enhances Creativity

distancePlaying make-believe is more than a childhood pasttime. According to psychologists, it’s also crucial to building creativity, giving a child the ability to consider alternative realities and perspectives. And this type of thinking is essential to future development, aiding interpersonal and problem-solving skills and the ability to invent new theories and concepts. That has been shown to be a component of future professional success in fields from the arts to the sciences and business. Read more »

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Personality More Important Predictor Than Intelligence for Academic Success


Recent research at Griffith University has found that personality is more important than intelligence when it comes to success in education.

Dr. Arthur Poropat from Griffith’s School of Applied Psychology has conducted the largest ever reviews of personality and academic performance. He based these reviews on the fundamental personality factors (Conscientiousness, Openness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, and Extraversion) and found Conscientiousness and Openness have the biggest influence on academic success.  Read more »

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Why I Stopped Writing About Bruce Lee

Lee01For those who are unfamiliar with my work on the subject of Bruce Lee, I wrote a number of articles and two books on Bruce Lee in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In April of 2000, I took the first place collegiate prize for philosophical writing at the Bruce Lee Educational Foundation’s conference in Las Vegas, the only such award that was ever given by the foundation. After receiving my award at the ceremony, Bruce Lee’s widow walked to the podium and publicly praised my first book on Lee. John Little, the director of the Bruce Lee Educational Foundation, considered me to be one of the world’s top authorities on Bruce Lee’s philosophy, and, at his request, I participated in a series of groundbreaking lectures in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the Fall of 2000. And I established, along with Spain’s leading authority on Bruce Lee, the most popular website on Bruce Lee in the Spanish-speaking world.

I saw Bruce Lee and his philosophy as a vehicle to accomplish something socially relevant; to use Bruce Lee to educate the masses on issues concerning society, religion, philosophy, and psychology. It was my own profile of Martin O’Neill, a senior social worker in Northern Ireland, who was using Bruce Lee’s martial art to unite Protestants and Catholics, that led to our symposiums at Queens University and Trinity College. I believed that the value of studying Bruce Lee was in the opportunity for personal growth. After all, as Lee was often quoted as saying: “All knowledge leads to self knowledge.” Read more »

Categories: Commentary, Creativity, Media Watch, Philosophy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Recognizing the Mentors in My Life


This January 15th is “Thank Your Mentor Day,” a part of National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month was started in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. According to the National Mentoring Month website, the purpose of National Mentoring Month is to focus “national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for our young people.”

In recognition of this day, I would like to take some time to reflect upon and recognize the mentors who guided and influenced me. Read more »

Categories: Commentary, Education, Philosophy, Profiles | 1 Comment

Gifted and Talented Gets the “Glee” Treatment in Short Film

musicalA Gifted and Talented class is the setting for this entertaining short film. Note the elements of asynchrony, introversion, and social anxiety.

From IMDB’s synopsis:

“Now in his second year at CTC, Wyatt has returned to the charmingly awkward accelerated summer program with two things on his mind – music and the girl of his dreams. The young composer navigates his overwhelming social environment with internal masterpieces; the sardonic song of his arch-rival, E.O., looms while the errant tuba of his testosterone-driven pal, Jack, forces him off his examined path in life. Wyatt must break through the noise and find his own voice if he ever hopes to harmonize with the triumphant music of Nikki, his heart’s desire.”


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This, I Believe

Young Einstein.There is a diversity of human aptitude, every bit as varied and complex as one might expect with a population of over 3.5 billion. The majority of humankind trend toward the average, but there are also outliers who can engage in domain-specific endeavors with an ease and faculty that is extraordinary and, in some cases, profound.

I believe that giftedness is a natural endowment. I believe that there are children born pregnant with their own potential in a manner which distinguishes them from most other children. Giftedness is often a stable trait but not always; it is entirely possible for the ungifted to catch up to the gifted, particularly if the gifted person’s abilities are being neglected. Even the hare can lose to the tortoise, given the proper circumstances.

I maintain the belief that there is a unique psychology of giftedness. The gifted can experience the world differently than those who are not gifted. They have life experiences and face challenges and anxieties uncommon in the general population. I also believe in overexcitabilities. Some people, frequently gifted but not always, experience life with greater intensity. I believe this because I live with overexcitabilities. Read more »

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On Perfectionism

hodgmanIf you look in the dictionary under ‘perfectionist,’ you see Henry Selick correcting the definition of perfectionist in the dictionary. I mean, he is so meticulous.”

John Hodgman

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Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper – Big Fish in a Little Pond?


In the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, gifted physicist Sheldon Cooper is the center of a social group composed mainly of academics and intellectuals. This social circle includes his roommate and experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz, microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali, girlfriend and neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler, and his neighbor – a waitress and struggling actress named Penny.

Sheldon has an unusual relationship to the others within his social circle. He makes it a point to remind them that he is the most intellectually gifted person within the group. Sheldon frequently suggests that Leonard’s research and academic accomplishments pale in comparison to his own. He also rarely misses an opportunity to point out that Howard never obtained a doctoral degree. He even orchestrated a fellowship whereby Raj was forced to work in a subordinate role to him. Read more »

Categories: Commentary, Media Watch, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Talent

eric-hofferWe acquire a sense of worth either by realizing our talents, or by keeping busy, or by identifying ourselves with something apart from us – be it a cause, a leader, a group, possessions and the like. Of the three, the path of self-realization is the most difficult. It is taken only when other avenues to a sense of worth are more or less blocked. Men of talent have to be encouraged and goaded to engage in creative work. Their groans and laments echo through the ages.

“Action is a highroad to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow toward it. It comes readily to most people, and its rewards are tangible. The cultivation of the spirit is elusive and difficult, and the tendency toward it is rarely spontaneous. Where the opportunities for action are many, cultural creativeness is likely to be neglected. The cultural flowering of New England came to an almost abrupt end with the opening of the West. The relative cultural sterility of the Romans might perhaps be explained by their empire rather than by an innate lack of genius. The best talents were attracted by the rewards of administrative posts just as the best talents in America are attracted by the rewards of a business career.”

Eric Hoffer


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