Genius and Madness

"Are Genius and Madness Related?

Contemporary Answers to an Ancient Question
By Dean Keith Simonton, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Times June 2005 Vol. XXII Issue 7
The idea that creativity and psychopathology are somehow linked goes way back to antiquity--to the time of Aristotle. Centuries later, this belief was developed and expanded by various psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists. For instance, Cesare Lombroso, M.D., argued toward the end of the 19th century that genius and madness were closely connected manifestations of an underlying degenerative neurological disorder. To be sure, this idea has not gone without challenge. On the contrary, humanistic psychologists were inclined to associate creativity with mental health. Nevertheless, the prevailing view appears to be that psychopathology and creativity are positively associated.
But what is the scientific evidence supporting this hypothesized association? And what does this evidence suggest is the basis for the relationship?"

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