How “The Science of Success” Redefines Psychology
I just finished reading Dave Dobbs’ new article in the the December issue of The Atlantic, “The Science of Success”. Dobbs turns the classic question of Nature vs. Nurture, whether our genes or our environment are the deterministic drivers of our fate, on its head. Traditionally, those who support “nature” say that our genes are most influential in defining us. On the other hand, those that support the “nurture” side say that our environment plays a more important role.
Based on new research, Dobbs introduces the idea of two types of people, “dandelions” and “orchids”. Dandelions can thrive anywhere, despite their environment or upbringing. Orchids, however, are more temperamental, and require a stable environment to survive. At first glance, the orchids may seem like a liability, and in fact, they often carry genes that make them susceptible to mood disorders and psychological disease. The astounding part of Dobbs’ report is that he shows that given the right care, or environment, the orchids don’t just do OK, but far surpass the dandelions in perfomance. In other words, given the right training, orchids may in fact be destined for greatness.
This finding redefines conditions we typically may have classified as undesirable. ADHD, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder, are no longer conditions to dread, because given the right training, people with these predispositions may in fact be the true “movers and shakers” in the world.
Please read the full article for yourself. And, as always, I’d welcome a discussion here…