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Additional resources for Creativity and Mental Illness: The Mad Genius in Question
Causes must be both necessary and sufficient, while risk factors are only correlated, and not necessarily causally related, to the variable investigated. While, for example, there is agreement that both in historical and present time most creative individuals, regardless of discipline, have come from middle or upper-middle classes, this is a correlation not necessarily causally related to genius. Genius in the insane The third part of The Man of Genius, embarks on a historical journey of ‘insane genius’ in literature and art.
Brothers and sisters to artists more often exhibited psychopathology than the general population: ‘The number of schizophrenics Early Empirical Studies of Genius 41 corresponds to the general population, whereas the manic-depressives are twice as frequent as in the average population and the total figure for endogenous insanity is definitely higher than in average people. The low figure for imbeciles, on the other hand, is remarkable’. 1% and definitely increased as compared with 2% of the average population’.
Regarding their lack of character, Lombroso says, ‘These insane geniuses have scarcely any character. The full complete character “which bends not for any winds,” is the distinctive mark of honest and sound-minded men’ (p. 314). While this statement is clearly a blunt oversimplification, the impression may again be explained partly by the fact that many creative individuals tend to be contrarians (Runco, 2007a). Similarly, originality and eccentricity may fall into this tendency. Gamman and Raein have recently also suggested some shared traits in creative individuals 30 Creativity and Mental Illness and criminals, such as in the identification of being an ‘outsider’ facilitating the opportunity of ‘breaking the paradigm’ (2010).