Brilliance and insanity

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Brilliance and insanity

Can some one be both brilliant and insane? I ask from both a philosophical and psychological perspective. If anyone has knowledge of psychology,  is there a correlation between intelligence and sanity?

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Please, first give me

Please, first give me medical definition of sanity. I heard doctors complain that they don't even teach it at school.

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Well, I am a psychiatric

Well, I am a psychiatric social worker. For anything that I need, there is no definition of insanity in the first place. What most people would call insane is actually a legal term arising from criminal pleas that a person should not be held to account for some specific crime due to an illness.

 

In the great state of Connecticut, you don't really even have that. If you do enter an insanity plea in court and the judge accepts it, you get turned over the the custody of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, for a period of time exactly equal to the maximum sentence you could have received had you gone to jail.

 

What functional definition there could be is that there are a number of specific conditions that could be contributory to being a criminally naughty individual. Dissociative Disorder, Bipolar illness or Schizophrenia could all be relevant in court depending on the specifics of a given case. They are treated very differently.

 

As far as the basic question, yes, you can have a high IQ and a mental illness. However, you can also have a low IQ and bats in the belfry. Even if studies revealed a statistical relationship (and there are none of which I am aware), it still may be only an odd number on a report.

 

My step father owned a market research company and he used to tell us about odd statistics that would come up from time to time. One of my favorites was the correlation between which brand of pasta sauce you prefer and what type of pet food you buy. It seems that dog owners prefer Ragu and cat owners prefer Prego. Which means almost nothing apart from what type of coupons the cash register will spit out for your next trip to the store.

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The answer is Yes

The answer is Yes


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The Doomed Soul wrote:The

The Doomed Soul wrote:

The answer is Yes

 

Um, would you happen to know which way the correlation flies - positive or negative?

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cj wrote:The Doomed Soul

cj wrote:

The Doomed Soul wrote:

The answer is Yes

 

Um, would you happen to know which way the correlation flies - positive or negative?

 

My positive/negative or Your positive/negative? Because i assure you madam, they are vastly different!

 

Also... thoughts on Insanely Brilliant, and Brilliantly Insane?

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If I set the parameters of

If I set the parameters of insanity to be so broad as to say any psychotic disorder, psychosis, so forth. Would that be enough to narrow it down any?

 

Thank you all so far for your insight, as well as simply asking for the definition of insanity. I guess I should've been a little more specific.

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The Doomed Soul wrote: cj

The Doomed Soul wrote:

cj wrote:

The Doomed Soul wrote:

The answer is Yes

Um, would you happen to know which way the correlation flies - positive or negative?

My positive/negative or Your positive/negative? Because i assure you madam, they are vastly different!

 

No games, the statistical definition.  Positive correlations indicate when one increases the other increases.  Negative correlations indicate when one decreases the other increases.  Correlations between +1.0 and +0.5 or -1.0 and -0.5 are considered significant, correlations inclusive between -0.5 and +0.5 are considered random events and not correlated.

There is more than one way to compute a correlation, and you can get very fancy with the math.  Fancy is over my head.  One semester of stats does not a statistician make. 

 

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Also... thoughts on Insanely Brilliant, and Brilliantly Insane?

 

I haven't researched but I would guess those types of mental illness that are physical in nature - low lithium uptake, brain injuries, bad wire ups while developing and such - have no correlation between intellectual brilliance and the illness.  Those that are environmental in nature - abused as a child, PTSD, and such - are more likely to be brilliant and mentally ill and so the correlation may be significant.  In statistics, the type of mental illness would probably qualify as a confounding factor.

My basis for this conclusion is that it is much easier to mess with an intelligent person's mind than a  person who is not the brightest porch light on the block.  And that is from raising a child who is mildly retarded.  My other two sons are above average and it was a lot easier to mess with them.  ------ Adding the caveat that I did not mess with them to the point they are seriously mentally ill, but are just mildly neurotic like the rest of us.

Which is part of why I didn't particularly want to respond to the original question.  But I guess it's all right.

Having friends who are psychologists, I have a real problem with the idea of "insane".  I have been told many, many times that insane isn't in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV).  And one of my friends has a real nasty stink eye when she says it.  So I tell her she's crazy. 

I am also assuming the "brilliance" being discussed here has to do with academic aptitude rather than Savant syndrome (used to be called "idiot savant" and isn't in the DSM-IV either) or musical talent or ........

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Crossover wrote:If I set the

Crossover wrote:

If I set the parameters of insanity to be so broad as to say any psychotic disorder, psychosis, so forth. Would that be enough to narrow it down any?

 

Thank you all so far for your insight, as well as simply asking for the definition of insanity. I guess I should've been a little more specific.

 

Uh, no, I don't think it makes it any narrower.  Please see my reply to DoomedSoul.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote:Crossover wrote:If

cj wrote:

Crossover wrote:

If I set the parameters of insanity to be so broad as to say any psychotic disorder, psychosis, so forth. Would that be enough to narrow it down any?

 

Thank you all so far for your insight, as well as simply asking for the definition of insanity. I guess I should've been a little more specific.

 

Uh, no, I don't think it makes it any narrower.  Please see my reply to DoomedSoul.

 

Alright. Being that it has already been pointed out that insanity is a legal term and not a psychological term, instead of finding the psychological definition let's just use the legal one.

 

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Legally+insane

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Have you guys heard of idiot

Have you guys heard of idiot savants. I would say they may be considered insane because of severe psychological disorders, being unable to process reality etc. yet they can be incredibly brilliant at a given task

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Indeed, I have worked with

Indeed, I have worked with what you are calling idiot savants. I call each individual a specific interesting clinical presentation of the autism spectrum. Actually no, first names are much easier to deal with and help the rest of my coworkers to know specifically what I have in mind.

 

Now, you need to know that this is not the same thing as having a huge IQ. One guy I know can spell any word you can come up with. Even if you are working from the OED and looking specifically for long and rarely used words, he will know it. Apart from that, he is just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Nor would he fit ant reasonable definition of insane.

 

Again, the definition of insane is specifically a legal one. It also must be noted that it depends on the exact text of the law where an individual is standing. On one end of the George Washington Bridge, a person may be insane while on the other end, the same person may be incompetent.

 

Since the exact definition does vary so much, what might work would be a Tarasoff like rule. Basically, you would be insane if not being locked away puts other people in danger of specific injuries.

 

As long as you are no danger to others, you may, more or less anyway, go about your business. So if you want to go months without bathing, you can do so as long as you stay down wind from the rest of us. However, stinking like a cesspool is not proof of insanity.

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Crossover wrote:Alright.

Crossover wrote:

Alright. Being that it has already been pointed out that insanity is a legal term and not a psychological term, instead of finding the psychological definition let's just use the legal one.

 

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Legally+insane

 

This definition doesn't help much as you could be legally insane from brain abnormalities present at birth or expressed as your brain develops.  If you have brain abnormalities, you may not be capable of brilliance.  If, on the other hand, you are legally insane due to emotional trauma, you have the exact same chance of being brilliant as anyone else.

My contention is that those most likely to become insane due to emotional trauma are more likely to be at the high end of the intelligence spectrum and so are more likely to be brilliant and satisfy the legal definition of insanity.

I guess I am sort of saying, yes, insanity and brilliance could go hand in hand (be correlated) and we could determine if this is true:

1. We sort the insane ones into two (or more) groups

2. We compare the groups for intelligence (most commonly thought of as academic aptitude though the original test was designed as a developmental assessment)

3. We clearly define what brilliance is - new ideas, great talent (music, academic, artistic, etc.) and we define how to measure it

4. We can then make some sort of conclusion based on correlation coefficients and personal histories

 

The original question is sort of vague.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.