David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including "The Forgetting," "Data Smog," and "The Immortal Game." He is a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS. His new book, "The Genius in All of Us," will be published by Doubleday in March 2010.
David Shenk: I think the really dangerous and oppressive myth of IQ is that IQ tests are identifying some kind of quantity of intelligence that we are born with and that we have this static amount of intelligence that we’re going to carry with us throughout life.
Kids might be immensely great at something, but they’re never performing at a great adult level.
There is a large group of child prodigies who go on to a life of relative mediocrity.
The difference in personalities between people who get good at stuff or get great at stuff is the people who get great at stuff really find satisfaction in the constant pushing process.
A parent who wants their child to be great at something, absolutely cannot put love out there as a reward.
The old notion of giftedness, the notion that we are born with a certain quantity of intelligence or a quantity of talent really isn’t there.
You just absolutely cannot separate the affects of genes from the affects of the environment, so all we can do is identify the resources that we have in our environments and maximize them as best we can.
David Shenk: I don’t think it’s really important to make a dividing line to try to figure out when you’ve crossed over into genius.