The Great Secret

by Scott Barry Kaufman, February 28, 2015 in Blog

My entire childhood I felt as though everyone other than me– parents, teachers, other students– were all in on some great secret. Once I grew older, and started challenging assumptions about myself and the world, I started to realize that it was *I*, who in fact, was in on the great secret. The great secret […]

The Tears of a Clown: Understanding Comedy Writers

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 12, 2014 in Blog

What are comedy writers like? Stylistically, professional humorists and other funny individuals span a variety of flavors of humor. There is some evidence that they are more creative and verbally intelligent and adept at self-monitoring. Those who tell jokes for money tend to have had to overcome adversities in life and seem to use humor […]

Robin Williams’ Comedic Genius Was Not a Result of Mental Illness, But His Suicide Was

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

Of course, the media is writing a lot today about the link between mental illness and creativity in light of Robin Williams’ suicide. Here’s the thing: Williams’ comedic genius was a result of many factors, including his compassion, playfulness, divergent thinking, imagination, intelligence, affective repertoire, and unique life experiences. In contrast, his suicide was strongly […]

Letter from a “Gifted” Kid

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 14, 2014 in Blog

Last year I gave a talk in Vancouver on testing, intelligence, and potential. Most of the audience consisted of parents and educators. But it’s not their questions that stuck most in my mind. I was especially struck by the points made by a young kid. I told him if he wanted to write something to […]

Once Again: Black Women are NOT (Rated) Less Attractive

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 2, 2013 in Blog

I’m frustrated by Satoshi Kanazawa. Again. It was bad enough that Guardian journalist Sadhbh Walshe recently gave Kanazawa’s pseudoscience the light of day: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/smart-women-not-having-kids. But no, she thought it would all be OK with this caveat: “Kanazawa’s judgement has been called into question in the past, regarding a study in which he found that black women are less […]

The Need to Believe in the Ability of Disability

by Scott Barry Kaufman, January 30, 2012 in Blog

[This article was co-authored with Kevin McGrew]

Our society has clear expectations regarding students who don’t fit the norm. In a 2004 national survey reported in Education Week, 84% of 800 surveyed special and general education teachers did not believe that students in special education should be expected to meet the same set of academic standards articulated for students without disabilities. These beliefs are important, as they guide policies that either encourage or hinder students with disabilities from receiving the same opportunities to flourish as everyone else. Read More

Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, January 8, 2012 in Blog

“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.” — Salvador Dali Must one risk getting lost in the sea of madness in order to reach the lone island of genius? While not necessarily mad, creative minds are often chaotic, untethered and unhinged. These thought processes enable a creative person […]

Educational Psychologist Kevin McGrew: An IQ Test Maker Who Goes Beyond IQ

by Scott Barry Kaufman, January 7, 2012 in Blog

Dr. Kevin McGrew is the Director of the Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP).  He received a masters degree in school psychology at Moorhead State University and his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota.  He was a practicing school psychologist for 12 years.  He spent 10 years as a Professor of Applied […]

Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

Today, lots of different definitions of giftedness exist. This wasn’t always the case. Prior to 1972, practically every school used one criterion and one criterion only to identify giftedness: an IQ cut-off of 130. This criterion was heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Lewis Terman, who equated high IQ with genius. Read More

The Will and Ways of Hope

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 29, 2011 in Blog

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered […]

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