Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Simple Book Review: "Genius Test: The Complete Guide to Genius. Could You Be One?" (1996, 2006)

Genius Test: The Complete Guide to Genius. Could You Be One? (1996, 2006)
by British Mensa Ltd

Reading this book – I assured you – doesn’t make me a genius (though I felt like one when I read it in public). But I believes that every one of us have a potential to be a genius. What we need is not to find out who, but how. The aim of this book “is to examine what genius actually is, what acclaimed geniuses of the past were like, and whether it is possible for us to emulate them or, at the very least, to expand our own powers significantly. It is fashionable in certain psychological circles to claim that we all have amazing powers which, if only they could be unlocked, would astonish those who know us. This might be true. It’s the unlocking that proves to be the problem.”

In this book, Mensa (is the international society for people with a high IQ) help us to look at the factors which make up the genius personality. If we know these factors, we can cultivate and unlocked our own geniuses. #1 Obsession. “The only thing which seems to be true of all geniuses is that they were totally obsessed with whatever it was they became known for”; #2 Vision. It is “the capacity to see something which is not apparent to other people… without vision, genius cannot exist”; #3 The Test of Time. It “is the way in which [their ideas] stands the test of time”;

#4 Inspiration. “…the genius must be able to inspire his public… it is that inspiration which becomes a very powerful force in deciding whether the genius gets the recognition he deserves”; and #5 Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (or be curious). “There is no great genius without some touch of madness,” write Seneca.

Since Mensa is full of people with a high IQ, does it mean that the higher the IQ the more genius one is? Not necessary. “I think that all geniuses must have been highly intelligent,” said Robert Allan, CEO of Mensa Foundation for Gifted Children, “but by no means are all highly intelligent people geniuses.” Good to know!

Inside this book, there are lots of mental challenge exercises. To test IQ there are spatial reasoning, numerical reasoning, vocabulary and verbal reasoning tests; to test Creativity there are creative brainstorming and practical puzzles; to test Concentration there are two tests to do; to test Knowledge Skills there are artistic knowledge, literary quiz, music quiz, philosophy and science (my result is very poor in this, though I thought I can get higher mark for philosophy and science, but…); and lastly there are Personality Test which consist of assertiveness, arrogance (the book claim that “to be a genius you probably need to be arrogant.” Well), charisma, conceptual thinking, control, deferred gratification, determination, enthusiasm, group dependence, inspiration, obsessiveness, self-image and vision.

There are about a dozen of tests/puzzles that I don’t know how to solve or have any answers for (especially on Knowledge Skills. Very hard!). And there is one question that I suspects to be an error (Test 1, Spatial Reasoning, Question 22, page 65. I asked my friends but none of them can answer it). This is a fun book.

If you have read Tony Buzan’s The Genius Formula or Edward de Bono’s Serious Creativity or Michael Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, you going to love this one too!

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