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Encyclopedia > Eccentricity (behavior)
This page refers to eccentricity in behavior and popular usage. For other uses, see eccentricity (disambiguation).

In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive. Eccentricity is contrasted with "normal" behavior, the nearly universal means by which individuals in society solve given problems and pursue certain priorities in everyday life. For people who consistently display benignly eccentric behavior, there is a label: "eccentrics". Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Look up Eccentricity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. ...


Depictions of eccentricity

Eccentricity is often associated with genius, giftedness, or creativity. The individual's eccentric behavior is perceived to be the outward expression of his or her unique intelligence or creative impulse[1].In this vein, the eccentric's habits are incomprehensible not because they are illogical or the result of madness, but because they stem from a mind so original that it cannot be conformed to societal norms. In this vein, Edith Sitwell wrote: A genius is a person of great intelligence. ... Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. ... Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell DBE (7 September 1887 – 9 December 1964) was a British poet and critic. ...

Eccentricity is not, as some would believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.

Comparison to the norm

A person who is simply in a "fish out of water" situation is not, by the strictest definition, an eccentric since, presumably, he or she may be ordinary by the conventions of his or her native environment. The childrens game of Marco Polo is a form of tag played in a swimming pool or on an open space. ...

Eccentrics may comprehend the standards for normal behavior in their culture, or they may not. They are simply unconcerned by society's disapproval of their habits or beliefs. Many of history's most brilliant minds have displayed many unusual behaviors and habits.

Some eccentrics are cranks, rather than geniuses. Eccentric behavior is often considered whimsical or quirky, although it can also be strange and disturbing. Many individuals previously considered to be merely eccentric, such as aerospace engineer and pilot Howard Hughes, have recently been retrospectively-diagnosed as actually suffering from mental illness (obsessive compulsive disorder in Hughes' case). Probably the best example would be Nikola Tesla. Another famous eccentric was renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, who in addition to being widely recognized as a genius, was also known to pick up and smoke discarded cigarette butts on the street, pilot his sailboat on windless days ("for the challenge"), and lecture his 8-year-old nephew on physics (including a 2-hour exposition on the fascinating Newtonian properties of soap bubbles). Crank is a pejorative term for a person who holds some belief which the vast majority of his contemporaries would consider false, clings to this belief in the face of all counterarguments or evidence presented to him. ... Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering concerning aircraft, spacecraft and related topics. ... The name PILOT is an acronym, and stands for Programmed Instruction, Learning, Or Teaching. ... For the Welsh murderer, see Howard Hughes (murderer). ... A mental illness or mental disorder refers to one of many mental health conditions characterized by distress, impaired cognitive functioning, atypical behavior, emotional dysregulation, and/or maladaptive behavior. ... For other things named OCD, see OCD (disambiguation). ... Theoretical physics attempts to understand the world by making a model of reality, used for rationalizing, explaining, predicting physical phenomena through a physical theory. There are three types of theories in physics; mainstream theories, proposed theories and fringe theories. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ...

Other people may have eccentric taste in clothes, or have eccentric hobbies or collections which they pursue with great vigour. They may have a pedantic and precise manner of speaking, intermingled with inventive wordplay. (See also List of types of clothing) Introduction Humans often wear articles of clothing (also known as dress, garments or attire) on the body (for the alternative, see nudity). ... A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit. ...

Behavioral eccentricities have often been classically associated with psychological profiles indicating overcompensation, insecurities, unresolved childhood issues, involuntary celibacy and other sexual issues, unrequited love, heartbreak, and other romantic issues, repressed feelings, social ineptness, monomania, or a variety of other influences, even if the person would not necessarily be classified as insane. Some accepted psychological profiles that are commonly attributed to eccentrics are the Oedipus complex (a primal desire on the part of a young male to compete with his father for his mother's love and affection), Napoleon complex (colloquial term used to describe a type of inferiority complex suffered by people who are short), Peter Pan Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, most notably Asperger syndrome. Eccentric behavior has also been attributed to drug use. Sorry, but. ... Insecurity is either danger, i. ... Involuntary celibacy is the state of a person who has not established an intimate relationship or engaged in sexual intercourse for reasons other than voluntary celibacy or sexual abstinence. ... Unrequited love is love that is not reciprocated, even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired. ... Broken Heart A condition that may result in illness. ... A repressed memory, according to some theories of psychology, a memory (often traumatic) of an event or environment which is stored by the unconscious mind but outside the awareness of the conscious mind. ... In psychiatry, monomania (from Greek monos, one, and mania, mania) is a type of paranoia in which the patient has only one idea or type of ideas. ... The Oedipus complex in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to a stage of psychosexual development in childhood where children of both sexes regard their father as an adversary and competitor for the exclusive love of their mother. ... Napoleon complex (also, Napoleon syndrome or Small Man syndrome) is a colloquial pejorative term used to describe a type of inferiority complex which is said to affect people who are short. ... Peter Pan syndrome is a pop-psychology term used to describe an adult who is socially immature. ... For other things named OCD, see OCD (disambiguation). ... A boy with autism and his mother Autism refers to a spectrum of disorders, and lies somewhere under the umbrella of a greater encompassing spectrum, that of pervasive developmental disorders that involve the functioning of the brain. ... Asperger syndrome (also Aspergers syndrome, Aspergers disorder, Aspergers, or AS) is one of several autism spectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted and stereotyped interests and activities. ...

Many individuals may even manifest eccentricities consciously and deliberately, in attempting to differentiate themselves from societal norms or enhance a sense of inimitable identity; given the overwhelmingly positive stereotypes (at least in pop culture and especially with fictional characters) often associated with eccentricity, detailed above, it would seem only natural that certain individuals would seek to be associated with this sort of character type. However, this is not always successful and the individual in question may simply be dismissed by others as just seeking attention. Popular culture, or pop culture, is the vernacular (peoples) culture that prevails in a modern society. ... A fictional character is any person who appears in a work of fiction. ...

Extravagance is a kind of eccentricity, related to abundance and wastefulness; refer to description in hyperbole. Not to be confused with Hyperbola. ...

See also

Not to be confused with Hyperbola. ... For articles with similar names and topics, see Individual (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou (揚州八怪) (Ba Guai: Hànyǔ pinyin for Eight weird) is the name for a group of eight Chinese painters known in the Qing for rejecting the orthodox ideas about painting in favor of a style deemed expressive and individualist. ...


  1. ^ "Einstein, eccentric genius, smoked butts picked up off street", The Daily Telegraph, 2005-11-06. Retrieved on 2006-09-27. 
This article concerns the British newspaper. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Eccentricity - Search Results - MSN Encarta (182 words)
Eccentricity, in geometry, a property of a conic section (circle, ellipse, parabola, or hyperbola).
In mathematics, the eccentricity, denoted e or, is a parameter associated with every conic section.
A quantity defined for a conic section which can be given in terms of semimajor a and semiminor axes b.The eccentricity can also be interpreted as the fraction of the distance...
  More results at FactBites »



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