What is the difference between a savant & a genius?

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AlexWelshman
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11 Aug 2017, 2:50 pm

What exactly is the difference between an autistic savant & an autistic person who's simply intellectually gifted? I'm kinda unclear as to what the difference is. For example Jacob Barnett is an autisitsc boy with an extreme maths ability, but he's not a savant. However, Daniel Tannent also has an extreme maths ability, but he is classed as a savant. What's the difference exactly? Can someone explain because I'm kinda unclear.



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11 Aug 2017, 4:12 pm

A genius is someone who is really, really smart. A savant does something that is magical that can't be explained by just being smart. Of course, since normal people don't really know what is going on in either case, the difference does get rather fuzzy.



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11 Aug 2017, 5:27 pm

To me, a "savant" is a person who is gifted in a very specific area. A "genius," if you will, in that specific area.

A "genius" is a more general term. One can be a genius in a very specific area, or can be a genius in many areas.



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11 Aug 2017, 5:31 pm

AlexWelshman wrote:
What exactly is the difference between an autistic savant & an autistic person who's simply intellectually gifted? I'm kinda unclear as to what the difference is. For example Jacob Barnett is an autisitsc boy with an extreme maths ability, but he's not a savant. However, Daniel Tannent also has an extreme maths ability, but he is classed as a savant. What's the difference exactly? Can someone explain because I'm kinda unclear.

Daniel Tammet is the world's only "prodigious savant" ... a class of his own. This ( http://paulcooijmans.com/psychology/gen ... avant.html ) is a good primer about genius, giftedness, prodigiousness and savantism. One can get lost in all the other descriptions online.


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11 Aug 2017, 6:07 pm

Genius is generally related to possessing a very high IQ, whereas Savantism is about possessing a rare and special ability that "normal" people don't have or can't do that involves extreme mental capacity of some kind. Not all rare and special abilities are classed as savantism - for example being able to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope is rare though it isn't classified as savantism.



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12 Aug 2017, 6:12 am

I believe it means someone who is below average in most/all areas but excels in one as kind of a quirk. Doing this, writing and interacting like this is kind of a savant thing for me.


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Chichikov
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12 Aug 2017, 6:55 am

B19 wrote:
Genius is generally related to possessing a very high IQ


I thought IQ was unrelated to intelligence?

B19 wrote:
In real life, IQ doesn't measure how smart you are. What it does measure is how you do on IQ tests at any point in time - and that's quite a different thing.


https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0&start=15



kraftiekortie
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12 Aug 2017, 7:11 am

IQ can be somewhat related to intelligence.



kraftiekortie
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12 Aug 2017, 7:18 am

I see Ezra's written ability as a learned thing, rather than a savant kind of thing.

It indulges his inner smartass :P



naturalplastic
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12 Aug 2017, 7:30 am

Stereotypically a "genius" pianist is one who has studied music theory, and has the intellect to know who Mozart was, and etc, and then combines that knowledge, and years of study with his muscular finger control to be able to play piano with virtuosity.

Then some slobbering kid come along who cant even speak, nor read music, cant even read words, nor dress themselves, but sits at the piano and just plays Mozart, or Wagner, or Duke Ellington, or whomever, perfectly by ear from just hearing it one time. The former is the "genius" and the latter is "the savant". The latter is a freaky thing that baffles the experts.

But I suspect that the two things over lap. Many celebrated geniuses like Newton and Einstein were deficient in other mental realms, and though learned were probably also somewhat savant-like.



B19
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12 Aug 2017, 3:33 pm

Chichikov wrote:
B19 wrote:
Genius is generally related to possessing a very high IQ


I thought IQ was unrelated to intelligence?

B19 wrote:
In real life, IQ doesn't measure how smart you are. What it does measure is how you do on IQ tests at any point in time - and that's quite a different thing.


https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0&start=15


Very often, in media, mensa blogs et al, genius is automatically conflated with high IQ, and that is a widely held view in my experience, but not one I share or have shared, as you so usefully point out.
I continue to believe that IQ tests are not the 100% reliable and valid, and there is a massive literature on this.



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12 Aug 2017, 3:54 pm

There is no hard line between these. A savant is just more specialized and seemingly supernatural, and tends to be a one-trick pony. A genius can easily have savant abilities when they are needed for progress, but will display more types of intelligence.

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit."
"Genius hits a target no one else can see."
- Arthur Schopenhauer



izzeme
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13 Aug 2017, 3:17 am

A savant is extremely good in one specific thing (like painting portraits), while a genius in the same field has a little lower ceiling, but is good all-round in that field (painting in general, in this example).

The line is a bit blurry at times, but this is how i understand it