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9 - Genius and Madness

from Part III - The Question of Extraordinary Thought Processes in Creativity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2020

Robert W. Weisberg
Affiliation:
Temple University, Philadelphia
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Summary

Chapter 9 examines the long-standing hypothesis that psychopathology plays a role in creative thinking – genius and madness. Modern opinions on the relationship between creativity and psychopathology vary widely, ranging from the idea that psychopathology influences creativity, to the complete opposite – that there is no relation between genius and madness. This chapter examines the complexities involved in trying to determine if there is a relationship between genius and madness. It begins with a discussion of how one might try to test the hypothesis that psychopathology facilitates creativity. We then review the literature on genius and madness; specifically, the possible relationship between creativity and two disorders, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) and schizophrenia. Many researchers have concluded that mild forms of psychopathology, rather than full-blown disorder, may be related to creativity. We examine the evidence for that conclusion. The discussion places the study of genius and madness in the broader social context and examines the many factors that play a role in determining whether or not psychopathology and creativity are related.

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Rethinking Creativity
Inside-the-Box Thinking as the Basis for Innovation
, pp. 284 - 316
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Genius and Madness
  • Robert W. Weisberg, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Book: Rethinking Creativity
  • Online publication: 01 October 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108785259.009
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  • Genius and Madness
  • Robert W. Weisberg, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Book: Rethinking Creativity
  • Online publication: 01 October 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108785259.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Genius and Madness
  • Robert W. Weisberg, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Book: Rethinking Creativity
  • Online publication: 01 October 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108785259.009
Available formats
×