Scientists Claim a Child’s Drawings can Show Signs of Genius

Obviously, your little one–just mere days since his grand entry into the world–is already the superlative child prodigy in every field he deems fit to explore (future tense included). But, if you’re looking for empirical evidence of your bundle’s genius, beyond the objective credibility of your opinion, of course, here are the clues scientists say you’ll surely find…

Baby drawing

When bubs first puts pen to paper (or crayon to furniture, more likely), you can begin looking out for these markers of ‘giftedness’…okay, full disclosure: your child will have to be a tad older, but since when are budding virtuosos never ahead of the curve, anyway?

According to a new study on the pliability of what it means to be ‘gifted’, young artists between the ages of 7 and 9 add specific “exceptional detail” when drawing people.

30 “signs of a gifted child” included adding the following to human renditions:

  • goatee beards
  • eye makeup
  • mucous (heh?)
  • freckles
  • braces
  • a tie
  • a badge
  • hair on the arms
  • gloves
  • a ring
  • a wallet chain
  • a waist

Nipples, genitals and urine are also apparently indicative of nascent brilliance–plus drawing in profile, and sticking hands in pockets or behind the back (because this in no way means hands are just too difficult to do).

The study was based in the Netherlands, with the so-called ‘highly gifted’ group comprising of 47 children all from the same gifted education institution in Holland–so the question is raised as to whether the aforementioned artistic ‘markers’ of above average intelligence are in fact influenced by specific creative instruction via the school.

Nevertheless, the researchers admit that the study needs significant replication in order to confirm a solid conclusion on the hypothesis.

For now, the valuable takeaway from the findings is that the conventional concept of ‘giftedness’ is changing; high IQ is but a part of a varied whole when it comes to our understanding of the young mind’s incredible capabilities. And if a hairy arms, nose boogers and nipples sketch is one way to get closer to that understanding, the irony alone would be so brilliantly worth it.

Via madeformums