Galton, Terman, Cox: The Distinctive Volume II in Genetic Studies of Genius

AHP readers may be interested in a recent piece in Gifted Child Quarterly: “Galton, Terman, Cox: The Distinctive Volume II in Genetic Studies of Genius,” by Dean Keith Simonton. Abstract:

With just one exception, all of the volumes in Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius report the results of a longitudinal study of more than a thousand intellectually gifted children. That single exception is Volume II, Cox’s single-authored The Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses, which instead was a retrospective study of 301 eminent creators and leaders, using historiometric methods to estimate their IQs (as well as to assess a subset of 100 on 67 character traits). This article discusses how this volume actually fits with the other four volumes in the set. After giving the historical background, discussion turns to the emergence of Cox’s doctoral dissertation. Then comes a narrative of the aftermath, including subsequent contributions by Cox, Terman, and numerous other researchers extending into the 21st century. The article closes by treating the ways that the intellectually gifted and the historic geniuses are not comparable, thus indicating the need for more recent replications and extensions of her work.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.