Experts: Born or Made?

  1. Most people believe that “experts” are made, the product of deliberate practice rather than born out of innate ability (think Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule for his 2008 book Outliers).
  2. A new Princeton University study suggests the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play as big of a role as originally thought in terms of skills, capabilities or performance.
  3. The study did show a positive relationship between practice and performance, but practice only accounted for about 12% of individual differences.
What do you take away from this finding?While practice may be a lesser component of success–12% can be a game changer.  The difference between winning a gold medal in downhill skiing and coming in well off the podium may only be fractions of a second. The difference between winning the Green Jacket in golf and placing well into the pack, may only be a few strokes.Your call…does practice make perfect or is it just wasted effort?


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