Greatness, Creativity, and Trading Success

Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

by Brett Steenbarger:

Perhaps my greatest interest in psychology is understanding what differentiates highly productive, successful, and creative individuals from their more ordinary peers. Trading happens to be a worthwhile area to assess factors that lead to success, because success is so quantifiable.

In the next series of posts, I will be exploring factors associated with greatness: superlative achievement across various disciplines. An excellent overview of this area is Dean Keith Simonton’s book Greatness: Who Makes History and Why. Summarizing Simonton’s research, Dutton outlines several characteristics of creative geniuses:

* They have an unusually broad range of interests;

* They are open to novel and complex ways of viewing things;

* They are capable of defocused attention: thinking about one thing while focusing on others;

* They display flexibility in their work habits;

* They tend to be introverted and prosper during periods of relative isolation;

* They generally are independent and unconventional.

In combination, these qualities enable creative geniuses to draw upon a broad range of experience to understand things in new, enlightening ways.

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