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Prodigy Concepts

A preliminary  theoretical model for child prodigies

  Vernon M Neppe MD, PhD, FRSSAf, DFAPA, BN&NP, DPM, MMed, Director, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Seattle, WA (Adj Full Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, St Louis University, St Louis, MO. www.PNI.org;  psyche@PNI.org; 206 527 6289

Dr Vernon Neppe hypothesized several new factors that may be relevant not only in exceptional intelligence but in the concept of  prodigies. This is a preliminary  theoretical model for genius. This requires far more research. 

Child  Prodigy criteria

The following two criteria were used:

1.    Profoundly advanced milestones as a child, not necessarily recognized then as prodigy behavior. This could include a subgroup that also exhibited profound creative achievement as a child (which skill / discovery/ invention could not be replicated even by adults trained in the area).

2.    Demonstrable achievement in adulthood. This generally related to exceptional accomplishment or education e.g. doctorate (or in young adults, a career leading in that direction). We excluded the prodigy subgroup who became limited achiever adults or even disabled. (High functioning in adulthood  AP and CAP),

 

Theoretical Application:  Two kinds of prodigies

Advanced prodigy    (AP) requires exceptional IQ (i.e. e.g. ≥3.2 or 3.4) implying very high G factor, but also Specific elements to focus on specialized skills. Required general very high level skills in childhood (not savant). If just highly advanced then = AP.

Creative advanced prodigy (CAP = AP + Demonstrable creativity) Advanced prodigy who also exhibits high C factor (Creativity factor). This group appears very rare. Some would regard this as the only kinds of prodigies. If AP plus high  creativity then CAP.

Based on readings of the literature: Creative prodigies in these criteria also exhibited profoundly advanced milestones. In terms of a mnemonic e, they may manifest the qualities in the mnemonic GENIUS: The qualities that are needed for Genius are  not necessarily exhibited by Child Prodigies as Dr Neppe feels they may miss the essential E and S.


The I  (intuition/ imagination) would be disputed but appears a common theme with all geniuses and CAPs based on biographies). However, they need not necessarily manifest all of  GENIUSES to satisfy the criteria above— the ES too. Possibly the essential component of true genius requires the demonstrable cultural required skill and zeal factors to carry through performance.  The true genius requires  exceptional creative achievement.

 

Current factors that are well established in high intelligence

g factor  general factor implying highly correlative convergent thought but this does not correlate very well in the exceptional individual. Also the so-called  s factor —  specific factor— is also insufficient to describe  non-convergent thought.

New factors.

c factor   creative intelligence;  Unique, innovation demonstrated in one of several disciplines; convergent thinking; music, mathematics, science, chess are easier to quantitate than  art and literature. It is used above in the context of the U for Unique Creativity.

n   factor   implying nervous system integration of c and e with g and s.  Also involves volitional factors of executive function z,

e   factor: ego strength with emotional-cognitive functional combinations.

i  factor: intuition-inspiration factor

z factor: zeal, energy, motivation, drive,  volition, persistence, pursuit, perseverance (here the E for energy), how much does he want it?
a factor: achievement pioneering or redirecting cultural comprehensible skills.

 

GENIUS

G  g  factor of intelligence

E: Ego strength / ego-strength / emotional;  Normal  communication:  biopsychofamiliosociocultural;

N     nervous system integration of  C with G and S factors.

G, E,  I,  S, C, using z

I     Intuition / inspiration elements;  nonlocality elements: i  factor

U   unique creativity   c factor.  divergence.  Originality, imagination;  lateral thinking 

S    s factor:  specific aptitudes,

GENIUSES with the ES that requires extra:

E  energy.  relates to z factor,  zeal / persistence/ drive/ volition/ ardor/ keenness/ will  / motivation/ perseverance.

S:  skills manifesting within the cultural fabric.

 

Citation
Neppe VM: Intelligence assessment by history taking in child prodigies with adult achievement—the SCHIQ, in International Society for Intelligence Research Conference Book. Decatur, GA, 2008, p 21

 

 

 


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